King City House

King City, Ontario, Canada

King City House landscaped exterior with pool and Ipe decking

Set amongst the beautiful pastoral landscape of King Township, this renovation is the perfect marriage of home and garden. Contemporary design blended with naturalized landscaping gives the homeowner the benefit of both a modern and rural experience.

The original faux-Roman Villa was quite different from the modern hilltop retreat existing today; it was an elaborately decorated circa-1980 house with quirky aesthetics, a problematic layout, no relationship to the view, and numerous structural issues.

In addition to overcoming these pitfalls, the homeowners needed to be able to accommodate a bustling house full of guests, but also to maintain a comfortable and cosy feeling. Most importantly, they wanted a close visual and physical connection with the landscape.

Toronto area home with naturalized local landscaping and large deck area with seating and dining.  Kebony pool deck

The landscaped gardens by Landcare utilize a modern layout with reference to the surrounded rural environment of King Township, creating the feeling of being in nature, even when you’re inside.

In deference to that operatic view, the design is calm and low-key, with white walls and simple, natural embellishments: a hearth of Muskoka granite that tapers to the ceiling, with a mantel made from a barn beam brought from the old house; and high above, a coffered ceiling of natural fir planks, which adds warmth to this big room. It’s a perfect backdrop for a lifetime collection of unpretentious furnishings and family pieces and artwork, some of it by the couple’s son, a developer and artist.

“Dramatic before-and-after reno creates modern hilltop retreat from faux Roman villa in King” 

National Post

Entryway with large main door with sidelights and transom windows. Clean maple floors and small stair to great room
Modern dining room table with wicker chairs. Hanging contemporary sculptural chandelier above table
Open kitchen with stone and wood countertops, gas range with hanging vent hood and stainless steel appliances

In contrast to this dramatic view, the interiors are simple, and the overall feeling is calm, natural, and low-key. The kitchen wing, originally designed for caterers, was in need of reconfiguration. The kitchen itself was relocated to directly face the great room, allowing for a new sunroom overlooking the pool. The opposite wing contains several guest bedrooms; they feel open and connected to each other, but also have a sense of privacy and separation.

This was achieved by framing the surrounding rolling hills and forrest by the entire back wall of the great room. As one enters, they are immediately struck by the view, focused on the pond in summer, and on glorious colours in autumn.

The master suite is a retreat within a retreat. Accessed by a separate doorway directly off the great room, it has its own walkout to a private deck and and its own view. Even with an expansive bathroom and dressing area, the master suite feels modest and cosy.

Master bedroom off of main room of house, with contemporary ceiling fan and Master Ensuite washroom
Master ensuite washroom with  freestanding tub and glass enclosed shower. Custom bathroom shelving and wardrobes
King City contemporary home renovation with expansive landscaping and views down to nearby pond

The material palette of the house blends the softness of wood and the hardness of concrete. The original terracotta stucco was replaced with horizontal fir siding, stained dark blue in some areas and left its natural tan colour in others. Outside, an infinity pool and concrete patios for lounging and dining are divided by gardens. This wood cladding is echoed in the patios and pool area, tying the two areas together harmoniously.