Chris Nitsopoulos, co-owner of Dreamwood Homes, wants his clients to ponder after visiting his new 3,200 sq. ft. rustic modern residence in Midhurst’s estate development The Ravines of Matheson Creek.
cabinetry all his life, so we’re able to maximize quality and budgets.”
With endless opportunities for originality, he encourages creative thinking and pushing the boundaries of expectation.
“We don’t just build a home, we build
a custom home,” he states,
referring to his team of 15 years as dream builders who stand for quality. “A lot of people don’t have the imagination to see what’s possible. It’s our job to show them. In the end, they’re thrilled.”
That reaction is his favourite moment.
In designing his own new home with wife
Mitsy, their goal was to combine beauty and function in a new way.
The departure from a more traditional approach is evident from the road. The three-bay garage is fronted with frosted glass in an aluminum frame from Advance Door Systems Ltd. The contemporary style is matched in the solid wood custom- built entrance by The Doorland Group that required specialized hardware to stabilize its enormous proportions. Brampton Brick and Tarpin Lumber & Truss completed the facade.
During the year-long build, he recalls seeing raised eyebrows when he shared kitchen plans that included ultramodern black cabinetry (from Innovative Wood Worx) and unique 36-by-36-inch travertine tiles
from Barrie Flooring Design Centre to complement stainless steel TA Appliances. After moving in last September and presenting the finished product, their innovative approach received rave reviews.
“I think when you pick different things, people are hesitant,” he considers. “But the result shows what we can do.”
He says the key to success is the time and care put into each detail.
Chris and Mitsy took their design to their go-to architectural firm Cornerstones Residential Design to draw up the plans, and hired Aldo Santiago Contracting to manage the project.
“Every trade rose to the challenge,” praises Chris, who points out the skill required to line up the oak wood grain across the kitchen accent walls. “All the boards come from the same tree.”Similarly, the granite island (Barrie
Flooring Design Centre) with built-in sink (Lefroy Plumbing) features a single slab with grain that flows uninterrupted over the eight-inch waterfall apron.
Mitsy, who worked closely with interior designer Samantha Thomas of Inhabit Interiors & Design, says the deliberate addition of wood helped warm things up.
So does the duo of blown-glass pendant lights above the island that give the room’s straight lines a curvy counterpoint. Measuring three-by-four-feet each with glass one-
inch thick, the massive fixtures hang by airplane cable from the 17-foot peak of the vaulted ceiling.
“They come from the Czech Republic,” Mitsy recalls. “We had to wait four months for a matching pair. For every 100 they blow, only one makes it to market.”
The concrete floor transitions to oiled, white-oak wide planks from Barrie Flooring Design Centre for the remainder of the
great room and main floor. White walls by Ontario Paintworks provide high contrast to the black frames of the Casabella Windows that extend across the back wall. The expanse reveals a forest setting and 1.4 acres of outdoor living space sculpted by CC Landscaping, which is working on completing the hardscapes, softscapes and tree planting.
“I kind of feel I live outside,” smiles
Mitsy, who says the natural light and serenity remind her of a yoga studio. She also appreciates the light show of stormy weather
that is accompanied by sound effects as rain splashes down onto their Classic Roofing Systems steel topper. “What’s not to like?”
Chris agrees the great room is his preference as well. Although spacious at 50-by-40-feet, it’s comfortable and they spend most of their time there together.
With a Napoleon Home Comfort fireplace warming up the living room area on cool evenings, and an open-concept office tucked off the front entrance, they make use of every inch. “When the kids were away in our last home, we weren’t using the whole house,” she says. There is no such wasted space here
Downstairs, accessed by custom Royal Oak Railing and Stair Ltd. installed by Hamhawk Fine Carpentry, a rec room, office, gym and guest room complete the tour. The guest bath features fixtures from Bathworks and a vanity customized by Barn to Table furniture makers.
Chris is just as proud of the home’s infrastructure as he is its finishes, so the utility room doesn’t get missed. While Airlogix Mechanical installed the heating and air conditioning, Icynene spray foam insulation ensures it stays in place.
As a land developer, Chris had his choice of properties, and helps his clients find their perfect location as well. It could be on one of the few remaining lots in The Ravines subdivision or on a Dreamwood Homes Lovers Harbour estate, which offers marine docking amenities. Or it could be somewhere completely different. With Zarcone – who has a passion for all things construction – and the rest of the Dreamwood team, Chris has completed custom homes and renovations from Oakville to Uxbridge and up into Muskoka.
But the Midhurst home and showpiece he and Mitsy built together will remain his favourite for a long time to come.