Everything about the 2020 Minto dream home is designed to invite you in — even if you can never set foot in it.
The designer-decorated, fully furnished home makes up the bulk of the grand prize in the annual Dream of a Lifetime lottery to benefit CHEO. Normally, the home is unveiled and opened to the public amid great fanfare at the lottery’s launch in early September.
But thanks to pandemic-related issues that wreaked havoc with construction schedules and material availability, that simply could not happen this year as the home was not finished in time. And even if it were, the CHEO Foundation, which runs the lottery, made the difficult decision to not open the home to the public this year, citing the difficulty in ensuring public safety.
Instead, the foundation has created an interactive 3D virtual tour that lets you, from the comfort of your own home, “walk” anywhere you’d like in the dream home. It’s an interactive way to visit, and an option CHEO has been using for the last few years. This year, it’s more important than ever.
“In light of the fact that the home won’t be open, the virtual tour becomes that much more important,” says the foundation’s vice-president of development and corporate relations, Dan Champagne. “Traffic to the home is important, but making sure they can at least see inside it is critical.”
The virtual tour will include pop-up details about features and finishes found in the home. And because the technology lets you decide where you want to explore with 360-degree views from multiple vantage points, it’s almost like being there in person.
About the home
The four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home is called the Bohemian, reflecting the Boho chic decor theme chosen by designer Tanya Collins, who has created the interiors for the dream home for the past three years.
“I’m trying to pick up on where I see the movement in things,” she says. “That Boho kind of look has been around for a little while — it’s a classic, but it has made a big resurgence in the last while.”
Minto product development manager Karen van der Velden wanted the home to pay homage to Manotick architecture and particularly local landmark Watson’s Mill. As a result, the exterior is an almost-white stone with quoined corners and charcoal accents for an updated traditional look.
The home has its roots in Minto’s Fraser floor plan, but with significant changes, including adding a third storey to take advantage of the pond views across the street, shifting the front door to the side of the home (it’s on a corner lot), creating a wraparound porch, and adding an inviting three-season screened porch.
“It’s this spectacular three-storey home with these gables that are accented with the white stone, enhancing or picking up on the Watson’s Mill theme,” says van der Velden.
Inside, she and Collins gave a nod to the area’s architectural history with transom windows over the main-floor arches and added flair with black window frames — “it’s a blending of old style meets new style,” says van der Velden. There’s also a dramatic U-shaped staircase that stretches from the basement to the third floor and several cathedral ceilings, all embellished with faux ceiling beams in reclaimed wood sourced from nearby Atmosphère & Bois.
“I’m so happy to be a part of (the dream home),” says Atmosphère & Bois general manager JD Wienecke. “I just find it great that a whole bunch of suppliers and people offer different products.” (There are 70 companies that have donated material or trades to the building of the home, says Champagne.)
Collins then wove in the Boho chic theme, using furniture supplied by La-Z-Boy and accessories she sourced elsewhere.
“Bohemian does conjure up an artistic type of home, which can be uber-colourful, and lots of pattern,” says Collins. “What I’ve done is there’s patterns but it’s more in a neutral way.”
She used a colour palette of woods, terra cotta, black and white, with dark green as a repeating accent, particularly on the interior doors.
“I think people who gravitate to a Boho esthetic typically like a house with lots of character; they’re not looking for a white box to live in, they’re looking for some layers with moulding or some wood panelling or beams.”
And there are definitely layers.
“You’ll see a lot of rustic touches, layered patterns, lots of texture, pattern on pattern, with a lot of Middle Eastern, Spanish and Moorish influences running throughout,” she says.
Virtually every ceiling has some kind of treatment, including shiplap inlays and coffered and tray ceilings, along with the cathedrals and ceiling beams.
Walls, meanwhile, are a mix of panelling, shiplap, beadboard and wallpaper. And everywhere there are touches of the Bohemian esthetic, with macramé rugs and fixtures and accessories in star shapes, diamonds and arches.
“There’s a little bit of a hippy kind of influence in the house,” Collins says.
At 4,700 square feet, the home is large, but it’s on a smaller footprint than usual for a dream home — it’s a 45-foot lot — which helps keep room sizes in scale.
“Starting off with something that wasn’t oversized to begin with gives a nice look and feel of the house,” says van der Velden. And adding in the earthy tones of Collins’ design, “it looks really warm and cosy, like you could live there.”
Adds Collins: “I think people can see themselves using these spaces… There’s something for everyone in the house this year.”
Room by room
The dining room has an unusual placement, thanks in part to the front door being moved to the side of the home. It means the dining room is more open and prominent at the front, with one side acting as a walk-through to the back of the home.
“I like the way the dining room space feels,” says van der Velden. “It’s kind of an old-school charm, where it’s a separate space but still flows through the house as you’re walking through it.”
A nook in the room was meant for a sideboard, but Collins insisted it be a built-in.
“It just gives you a lot of storage potential, which is always something people want.” It can serve a dual purpose as a boardroom for those working from home. “It also gives you that library/dining room/multi-purpose effect.”
“With the cathedral ceiling in that space, (it) would be a fabulous feature for someone working at home nowadays,” says van der Velden.
Located at the front of the home off the foyer, it overlooks the street. And Collins loves the natural light the room offers.
“That whole family room kitchen space is quite lovely with the beams and the ceiling the way she did the shiplap… she always just nails it.” van der Velden says of Collins.
The grid pattern in the windows is a nod to the historical architecture of the area, while opting for black adds a modern flare.
“That adds a little punctuation mark to the decor,” Collins says of the windows.
“I love a spectacular kitchen so I think it’s pretty nice this year,” says Collins. “I’ve got lots of different layers and textures.”
Cabinets, which are provided once again by Laurysen Kitchens, are a mix of white and charcoal grey, and complemented by a terra cotta backsplash and light counters.
A standalone hutch on one side (not shown) is meant to give the sense of things being a little less fitted, she says, while the backsplash grouting was done to look like brick to give it an old-world esthetic.
The three-season screened-in porch (which was still getting some final touches when photographed) includes a fireplace to extend the season. It takes advantage of the home’s location backing onto a creek.
“It’s a nice little spot to sit out there,” says Collins.
The mudroom is roomy, with built-in millwork, a terra cotta-like floor and easy access to the garage and the kitchen.
Stretching across the back of the home, the master suite overlooks the creek behind the house and the pond across the street.
A double-door entry opens to a small hallway, with the ensuite on the right and the bedroom on the left. The space is roomy without being overly large and, although neutral, it’s warmed through texture (shiplap and macramé) and patterned wallpaper.
A standalone cabinet like the one in the kitchen is repeated here.
Dark built-in cabinetry adds an elegant touch, while a window keeps the space from feeling too dark.
“It’s very different from the past couple years,” says Collins. Where the previous two ensuites emphasized white and marble, this year’s is “a bit more earthy and masculine… I have wood-look tile that runs around the entire bathroom so it really makes it warm.”
The curb-less shower (not shown) features black mullioned glass that mirrors the home’s windows, while the echoes of macramé in the sconces “adds some lightness,” Collins says.
One of three secondary bedrooms, the guest room has wow factor with the cathedral ceiling, ceiling beams and giant chandelier (Collins has a thing for lighting). The room has its own ensuite, with terrazzo tub tile and a terra cotta influence in the floor tile, similar to the mudroom. “It just warms up all the grey,” says Collins.
The other two bedrooms share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom and one has yet another cathedral ceiling with beams.
Also of note: “There’s wallpaper in every room to add that extra layer,” says Collins.
It’s smaller this year, but still offers plenty of room, with storage, counter space and a sink.
“The loft is one of my favourite spaces,” says Collins. The 18-foot by 18-foot room is big enough for the whole family to relax comfortably, accommodating a large sectional, big bright windows and a balcony for enjoying the view of the storm water pond across the street.
An Eastern-inspired star-shaped pendant hangs from the wood beams and adding the suzani (a large cloth that can be a wall hanging, throw, blanket or table cloth, usually with a circular motif) to the sectional, provides layering and “gives you a feeling like maybe you’re somewhere else… hopefully it conjures up some Moorish influences,” says Collins.
Open from the third-floor loft straight through to the basement, the U-shaped staircase adds a dramatic element to the home, yet as Collins says, “it’s very clean and simple.”
Each landing repeats with a large mirror and black carriage lamp-style wall sconces.
Although open concept, there’s separation between the spaces — bar, home theatre and games area.
The home gym area is in response to the pandemic. The original plan did not include a home gym this year, but when the city shut down in the spring, the team quickly realized the importance of dedicating workout space and shifted gears to include it. It features clever cutouts that let natural light into the rest of the basement.
There’s also a three-piece bathroom, as well as an enormous cold storage room tucked behind the mechanical room.
This year’s dream home is 4,700 square feet on a 45-foot lot. It’s three storeys, with the top floor consisting of a large loft. There are four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and a fully finished basement.
Tickets: $100 each or three for $250. There is also a 50/50 draw (tickets are $10 each, 5 for $25 or 15 for $50) and a package that includes three tickets plus 15 50/50 tickets for $300.
Where to buy: Online at dreamofalifetime.ca; by phone at 613-722-5437 or 1-877-562-5437, or via mail (details on the website). Tickets cannot be purchased this year at the CHEO gift shop or the CHEO Foundation. Early bird deadline is Nov. 20. Final deadline is Dec. 18.
The home: The 4,700-square-foot, three-storey home makes up the bulk of the grand prize in the CHEO Dream of a Lifetime Lottery. The grand prize is valued at $2.8 million.
Where: 571 Bridgeport Ave. in Manotick’s Mahogany community. The home is not open to the public but you can take a 3D virtual tour at dreamofalifetime.ca.