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January 01, 2013

Artistry in Artesia

Albi Homes’ Carrara show home wows in new estate community

Pepper Rodriguez

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Timeless elegance in southern Alberta’s rolling grasslands seems to best describe Albi Homes’ latest show home masterpiece, as the renowned luxury estate home builder introduces Carrara in Artesia at Heritage Pointe.

Carrara is the latest in Albi Homes’ successful string of high-end show home launches in 2012, which has considerably raised its profile as one of the province’s premiere home builders. The new show home may take its name from the exquisite blue-grey marble found in the Carrara region of Italy, but its executive flair and elegance is all Albi.

Even amidst a streetscape of million-dollar estate homes, Carrara still stands out, and its well-defined exterior of strong horizontal lines, sloping roofs and natural wood and brick accents shows a heavy influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous “Prairie House” style.

It’s location in this new estate community by Heritage Pointe Properties along Calgary’s southern outskirts matches the glorious Big Sky country feel of the neighbourhood. It is also the perfect setting for what Wright had in mind for this style — which is said to be the first example of the “open plan” and used to stunning effect by Albi.

The 2,432-square-foot Carrara brings an understated elegance and stately character to estate living, even as it takes the bungalow lifestyle to a whole new level of executive grandeur.

The soaring, vaulted ceiling of the great room, with its impeccably crafted details and tall windows, gives a feeling of airy splendour. The gorgeous fireplace, with designer brick facing at its centre, lends a distinct contemporary touch and echoes the legendary American architect’s principle of bold horizontal lines.

Organic elements are everywhere, including the natural walnut kitchen cabinets, and natural walnut hardwood that’s also used to accent the ceiling of the great room. The natural stone and marble flooring in the attached ensuite bring to mind a stylish Roman bath.

“It’s a luxury home where you can host large gatherings in comfort. In fact, we were able to fit at least 25 people with room to spare just in the great room during the launch party for Carrara,” says Albi Homes’ Chris Kitt.

The ornate French double door that is its main entrance is the perfect touch to introduce visitors to the grandeur of the interior, and an elaborate wooden screen — a reproduction of a Lloyd Wright pattern — serves to veil the open concept main floor.

This spacious bungalow features an open kitchen and dining area that combines family comfort and functionality with stylish panache. It has a massive quartzite-topped, two-level centre island. The top level provides a lot of working room for food preparation, and the lowered ledge provides a convenient feature for chair-height seating.

The soft-close walnut cabinetry and the high-end kitchen appliances create a backdrop of gourmet grandeur that would be a perfect set for any HGTV cooking show. “Albi knows the importance of kitchens as the heart of the home, and all of our homes feature some of the best designed kitchens around,” Kitt says.

The bathroom in the master suite is the very picture of lavish comfort. The walk-in double shower lends a certain sophistication, and the stand-alone tub just begs for long-hours of luxuriating in this cozy cocoon. Natural cut marble dominates the room, forming a half-wall that hides the shower on one side and the toilet in the other.

The developed lower level of the Carrara gives new meaning to the term ‘creature comfort’, as it is the dream come true of every home entertainment aficionado. There’s a wine tasting area for refined entertaining, and a cutting-edge home theatre area for more casual game day parties and movie nights. There’s also a separate home gym with cork flooring and a pub-size wet bar. The lower level — which adds 1,977 square-feet of living space — also has two spare bedrooms and a full bath.

This side-attached triple car garage home is available for $1.7 million, although Albi Homes in Artesia start in the mid $800,000s. “Lots are 60- to 80-feet wide and it’s country living at its best,” Kitt says. “Artesia is a great, little community that’s still just 10 minutes to the city and not far from major amenities including the new South Health Campus and the future Seton commercial complex.”

Artesia is along Calgary’s southern edge, next to Pine Creek Valley. It offers sweeping mountain views, large estate lots, and a quiet, country setting ideal for family living. More than half of the area has been devoted to open green spaces and pathways, and sustainable practices are at the heart of the neighbourhood’s development. Not to mention the Heritage Pointe Golf Course is minutes away.

Fast Facts:
Builder: Albi Homes
Area: Artesia
Developer: Heritage Pointe Properties
Model: Carrara
Style: Luxury bungalow with triple car garage
Size: 2,432 sq. ft.
Price: $1.7 million including lot and GST
Address: 70 Waters Edge Drive, DeWinton, AB
Directions: South on Deerfoot Trail, exit east on DeWinton and follow the signs
Hours: Monday to Thursday 2 to 8 p.m., weekends and holidays noon to 5 p.m.

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