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February 01, 2007

Designer’s Choice - February 2007

When it comes to building new homes there are various stages in the building process.

Sherry Hume

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However, first and foremost there has to be a design to work from and this initial design is created by an architect. There are many gifted architects, and countless designs created, but most architects can tell you which floor-plan or design is their favorite out of the many creations they have produced. We feature one of these each month in Designer’s Choice.

Home:     Heidi, Sabal Crafted Homes
Designer:    Jim Bell

In the past it may have been the design of the home that dictated how we lived, but nowadays the most successful architects and designers are paying close attention to lifestyle needs when they create new floor plans. Jim Bell, Senior Designer for Sabal Crafted Homes, is one of these visionaries.

Jim says that he has always been interested in the design and construction of new homes, and he even took a drafting course in high school. He says that once he left school he worked in the trades which gave him some insights into the home-building industry. “I was a framer for several years,” says Jim. “It was a very valuable experience and from there I entered into the Architectural Technologies program at SAIT.” When he graduated from the program in 1999, Jim says that he went to work for an independent designer that dealt predominately with custom homes but also did some commercial and other designs. “It exposed me to a lot of different design styles,” says Jim, who also mentions that this experience has been instrumental in getting him to where he is today.

Reflecting on his start with Sabal Crafted Homes just over four years ago, Jim says that he liked their design philosophy. Sabal Crafted Homes considers itself a dynamic company that isn’t afraid to change and evolve with the times in order to provide some of the most innovative homes on the market.

“We take on the challenge to always try to be innovative with our designs in a way that does not take away from the function of the house,” says Jim. “It steps up the bar for us and it really keeps you thinking about lifestyles while trying to incorporate them in a unique way.”

One of Jim’s most recent designs, Heidi, a 1,551 square-foot ‘Lane Home’ in Sabal’s Arkitekt Series doesn’t disappoint. “Heidi’s design has a Scandinavian influence that keeps Canadian sensibilities in mind,” says Jim. “The entire Arkitekt line offers progressive designs.” Starting with the exterior, Jim explains that Heidi has a distinctive elevation that combines a cubistic element - in the shape of the home and the way the windows are placed - with cedar siding which adds an organic element; offering warmth in definition in the building's form. Inside is more of a modular design that maximizes room sizes. Dropped bulkheads instead of walls, and an abundance of large bright windows and transoms allow light to penetrate deeper into the home. “The Heidi was designed for the urban-minded couple or family and I liked that this plan offers the homebuyer the freedom to incorporate their decorating styles,” says Jim. “It’s quite versatile so it opens up a lot of possibilities.”

With features such as the French entrance door with built-in mini-blinds, the large walk-in pantry in the kitchen and the second-level full-sized laundry room with window, Heidi has a lot to offer homeowners. Accompanied by an amazing panoramic window in the kitchen, nine-foot ceilings on the main floor, pot-lighting and beautiful contemporary hardware throughout, these and the many other great features in this home are designed for today’s lifestyles.

Heidi is currently one of Sabal’s show homes in Copperfield.   NL

For more information on this and any of the other homes in the Arkitekt series you can visit

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