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December 01, 2006

Talk of the town

Astoria Custom Homes at on Cochrane Lakes

Anne Gafiuk

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AFTER WINNING the 2003 SAM Customer Choice Award and building the 2004 HAWC2 lottery home, Astoria Custom Homes has been getting a lot of extra attention.

With their 4,759 square foot, triple garage Arts and Crafts-influenced four-bedroom show home, valued at almost $1.8 million, they will surely be the talk of the town – out at MonTerra on Cochrane Lakes, located a leisurely and scenic twenty minute drive north west of Calgary.

“We’re a small company and we want to stay small. We’re more hands-on and are involved in every aspect from day one to long after the warranty has expired,” explains Darrell Haase. He and partner Jim Stinson have built Astoria’s reputation through quality construction and referrals. “That’s the way to do it,” Darrell adds proudly. “One of our clients built their first house with us and is now building a second with us.”

Astoria has primarily built in rural estate areas, including Priddis, Millarville and DeWinton. They have moved into MonTerra because “Medallion, the developer, has done a great job on the infrastructure: in the lakes, the fountains and the gates. People drive out here, are wowed by it and are impressed by what they see.”

Astoria’s beautiful show home has an exterior of Eldorado Stone, acrylic stucco, and cedar detailing in the gables and on the windows. Stepping through the oversized front door into the elegant, yet casual home decorated by Deb Ross of Rosswest Interiors, one can immediately recognize the care taken in the creation of this home. The inlaid slate entry opens to the great room with its twelve foot high drywall beam detailed ceiling and the fantastic views of one of MonTerra’s lakes.

The flex room found at the front of the home is being used as a den, but it could be designated as an office, library or dining room, depending on the purchaser’s lifestyle.

The half bath, with its beadboard wainscoting and curved ceiling is stylish and distinctive.

The great room’s double-sided gas fireplace features Eldorado Stone and cedar once more. Copper detailing on the fireplace is duplicated on the custom-built hood fan in the kitchen and in the mullions in the on-site custom-built alder cabinets’ windows. “Deb coordinated everything, from the wall colours and glass tile backsplash to the copper specks in the black granite,” says Darrell. “She’s very talented.” High end stainless steel appliances including Thermador and Bertazzoni are found in the gourmet kitchen. “The dining nook is quite large with a lot of glass around it,” Darrell says of the main eating area, offset by warm walnut floors and an ash inlay; the breakfast bar on the island offers more seating options.

Also found on the main floor is the master suite, with large windows to take advantage of the panoramic view. The ensuite’s heated slate floor is a welcome touch on cool mornings, as is the six foot soaker tub at the end of the day. His and her’s vanities with Corian® countertops flank the double entry shower. Glass tile is featured on the backsplash and within the shower, as well as accents its exterior wall. The custom-built walk-in floor to ceiling closet includes an upper level for seasonal clothes, using a unique pull down closet rod.

The spacious laundry room/mud room is to be praised for its practical design: its sink, Bosch washer and dryer, a closet, lockers, the cork bulletin board/message centre above the island with cubbies and cupboards for extra storage, and extra electrical outlets. “We always need a place to plug our cell phones in!” laughs Darrell.

Upstairs, two additional bedrooms with full bath are found. Each has built-in desks, large closets, and has either a view of the lake or the mountains.
With in-slab heating and cork floors throughout the window-filled walk-out level, the well-dressed, yet relaxed entertainment area, exercise room, conversation area, chic wine room, and full bath with steam shower are made more comfortable. “People who come in just love the basement!” The “sports bar” idea includes a granite island bar and two televisions. A second double sided gas fireplace and home theatre complete this space. “There is still more room for storage or a dedicated media room,” explains Darrell.

To visit Astoria Custom Homes at MonTerra on Cochrane Lakes, drive west on Highway 1A from Calgary to Cochrane, turn north on Highway 22 for five kilometers, head west on Cochrane Lakes Road and follow the signs. NL

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