‘Moving On and New Adventures’

I am continually inspired by my clients. Choices about how we live, and where we live are some of the most personal decisions we will ever make. I consider it an honour to be asked by my clients to be a part of that process.

We all make decisions for different reasons. Decisions about our home reflect our core values – what’s important to us, what challenges us, what motivates us. Many homeowners are embracing the challenge of planning for the years ahead and what exactly this looks like is different for each person.

This journey for some involves planning for a quieter lifestyle- a smaller home with less maintenance so carefree travel can happen. For others, it’s planning to accommodate their extended families – a private suite for grandparents, or the newlyweds starting out. For others, it’s planning for a home flexible enough to accommodate just two, but large enough for hosting large family dinners and get-togethers easily.

In this age of reliance on new technologies, many grandparents are looking at spending ‘unplugged’ time with their grandchildren. This means having room for them to stay for vacation time. I have very fond memories of time spent with my grandmother- learning to make pastry, cookies, sewing… and always finishing with tea in a china teacup. I want to do the same with our five (and counting) grandchildren.

I am encouraged by so many who are anticipating their retirement as a time to take on new projects and challenges. I wish Rob & Cindy all the best in their new adventures!!


Heating with Wood, Efficiently

A driving design feature in Robert and Cindy’s home was the requirement for an efficient wood-burning fireplace. They knew they had a good source of wood from deadfalls in the bush. Robert had researched and found a pre-fabricated masonry heater called Temp-Cast.

Masonry heaters work by radiating the energy stored in their masonry mass. Heaters like the Temp-Cast 2000 are simply heat storage banks. A short, hot fire heats the masonry mass, which stores and radiates it back to the space slowly and evenly for many hours. This creates a very gentle heater, with unobtrusive warmth.

We designed the Temp-Cast unit into a central masonry fireplace and chimney which radiates heat to both levels of the home. I asked Rob for his experience with the Temp-Cast unit over the past 15 years. He says, “The Temp-Cast makes for a great talking feature in the house, with its stone mass and the additional pizza oven. It is truly efficient- it saw us through the ice storm for 14 days a few years ago & some other power outages since. Two burns- morning and evening keep our home very comfortable. The chimney never needs cleaning & the ash remaining is just powder. It lights easily due to a built-in convection system, it produces very little pollutants…everything burns in the convection/gas re-burn process. It’s a very comfortable convection heat that lasts for days after firing and it’s aesthetically pleasing when the fire is burning.”

Autumn – what a glorious time of year! What can be better? - the colours in the bush, the smell of wood smoke and the taste of freshly harvested produce. This Seasonal newsletter is about ‘moving on’ and change. Back in 2001, I had the pleasure of working with Robert and Cindy to design a new home for them on their stunning 10 acres in King Township. A few weeks ago I received an email from Robert, “Cindy & I have decided that we want to do some different things as we are both moving into retirement. That involves selling (very reluctantly) the beautiful house that you designed for us and we have lived in for the past 15 years but…it is time to move on…”

LIFE ~ ‘Moving On...’

Rob & Cindy had a lot of vision when they purchased their 10 acres. Part of a secluded group of properties on a private road, the location is treed, peaceful and quiet, but a close drive to town amenities. Our first assessment of the original bungalow ‘cottage’ determined there was a newer foundation worth saving, but the rest should be demolished. Rob had grown up appreciating the architecture of a prominent Toronto Restoration Architect, B. Napier Simpson Jr. Integrating imagery from this inspiration, Cindy, Robert and I worked through a design which gave them the space they needed, the aesthetic they admired and an orientation which took advantage of the beautiful vistas of the surrounding forest.

Here is the Real Estate Link to the home:

1. Architectural Design: Jane Cameron, Life Home Design
2. Builder: Mike Fiume, The Birkshire Group
3. Photos (after shots) & Real Estate Contact: Stewart Madden
4. Fireplace Unit: Temp Cast
5. Exterior Veneer Stone: Cultured Stone
6. Exterior Wood Siding: Cape Cod

My Fall Favourite - Peach Pie!

My Grandmother, Elva Culham was a talented woman on many levels. A farmwife in Peel County, she sewed, knitted, crocheted, painted, cooked and was a great baker. My late father told us that growing up on the farm, he remembered having pie at every meal – breakfast, dinner and supper.

I was raised in Port Credit, and grew up a few doors away from my grandparents (they had retired and left the farm by then). It was a special treat to visit them on my way home from school - sometimes I got to help Grandma with the pastry for her pies and tarts.

Last weekend we were invited to some friends’ for dinner & I brought peach pies for dessert. One friend commented it was possibly the best peach pie she’d ever had…so I’m inspired to share it with you!

This recipe, (with my alterations) is from the Tenderflake box. The key to flaky pastry is keeping everything cool and working quickly. Put Tenderflake in the fridge for a few hours before using. This recipe makes 4 or 5 pies depending on how thin you roll it.
Beat an egg in a 1 cup measure, add 1 TBsp. cider vinegar, 2 icecubes and fill with water to the 1 cup level - then set aside. Sift together 5 1/2 c. all-purpose flour with 2 tsp. salt. Cut in cold Tenderflake into the flour with a pastry cutter, until the size of peas. Gradually add in the egg/water and quickly combine (should form a big ball). Divide and roll out for pie shells.

(this is for one pie, multiply as required)
Combine 3/4 c. sugar, 3 TBsp. all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and a dash of salt. Add 5 c. of sliced fresh peaches and mix. Add to pie shell. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and dot with 2 TBsp. butter. Add lattice pastry for top, brush with milk, sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Copyright © 2017 Life Home Design, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: 5087 4th Line, Tottenham, ON L0G 1W0
905-939-8025 - -