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October 01, 2008

Sterling stunner

Berkshire worth the ride to southerly Silverado Sequoia

Nicole Bross

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Calgary and the surrounding countryside has a strong ranching heritage, with the city being founded mainly by cattle farmers, cowboys and others involved in agriculture. Although we are now a very cosmopolitan city and the main industry has shifted to natural resources, there’s a reason why Calgary is still referred to as Cowtown by many, and it’s not just due to the rowdiness of the Stampede every year.

Calgary’s history is honoured in the new community of Silverado in the far southwest, where small touches like post and rail fences with hitching rings bordering main roads give the neighbourhood an equestrian feel. With nothing but countryside to the south and the proximity of world-famous Spruce Meadows show jumping and equestrian centre to the west, Silverado residents can immerse themselves in ranching culture if they choose, without sacrificing the big-city advantages that Calgary has to offer. With access to both Macleod Trail and Deerfoot Trail via Highway 22X as well as public transit, downtown is quite easy to get to, and the Shawnessy Towne Centre just to the north provides all manner of shopping amenities. The community itself has many kilometres of walking paths, several parks and a storm pond, and the mountains are reachable in half an hour.

“I think people appreciate the western theme of Silverado because it symbolizes what Calgary’s all about,” says Bob Leonard, Sterling Homes’ area manager for the community of Sequoia within Silverado. “It’s also a great place to raise kids because we have some great park spaces.”

Sterling Homes, one of Calgary’s longest operating and most respected builders, has recently opened two show homes in Silverado Sequoia. Their Berkshire model (193 Silverado Bank Circle S.W.) is a 2,609-square foot, two-storey model with an attached garage, a covered porch and a shaker finish exterior, keeping with the ranching motif.

Walking into the Berkshire model, you are first faced with a flex room, used as an office. Although it is somewhat separate from the rest of the open floor plan home, the walls have large arched cut-outs to open it up. Moving deeper into the home brings you to the kitchen, which is anchored by a large curved island with built-in sink and a raised eating bar. A walk-through pantry leading back towards the garage contains plenty of room for food storage. The laundry is located here as well. The breakfast nook at the back of the house is large enough to seat eight comfortably.

Across from the nook is the great room, whose large windows flood the room with natural light. While the fireplace in most homes is built into the wall, in the Berkshire it projects outwards and acts as a small divider between the nook and the great room. Because of its three glassed sides, it can be enjoyed in either of those rooms, as well as the kitchen.

A wrought iron railing leads the way up to the second level. Halfway up the stairs is a tall window with a flip-top seat, just the right size to curl up on with a good book or keep a bird’s-eye view of the lower level. Upon reaching the upper level, a spacious bonus room with a vaulted ceiling and two skylights greets you. Branching off this room are the four bedrooms. Leonard notes that this central bonus room is one of the best features of the home, because it acts as a gathering place for the entire family.

The master bedroom at the back of the house also has a vaulted ceiling, and is large enough for a full suite of furniture. The ensuite offers a soaker tub and separate shower stall, as well as a three-sided, dual-sink vanity that has enough counter space for all of his and her toiletries. Finishing off the room is a walk-in closet with plenty of space to spare.

The three remaining bedrooms are each a decent size and are suitable for children or as a guest room. A full bath with another double vanity completes the upper level.

The entire home is decorated in a striking colour palette of red, white and black/dark brown. The hardwood floor on the main level is a rich chocolate, as are the kitchen cabinets. With creamy white walls and furniture and red accents like window coverings and artwork, this thoroughly modern design is given a touch of retro appeal with portraits of bygone stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.

Homes in Silverado Sequoia start in the $460,000s, and a home with features similar to the showhome runs for $589,900. Leonard says many of Sterling’s sales have been referrals or repeat customers, which he says is a testament to the quality of their homes. Giddy on up to Silverado today to add a touch of western flair to your life.  NL

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