HOME TOUR: An Elegant Collaboration

Sometime's one plus one adds up to more than two. Put two creative minds together and the results can be spectacularly more than the sum of the parts. That's what happened with this Oakville home project. Carlos Jardino, president of Project & Construction Management Inc., and home owner Rita Vanderfleet collaborated to create the ideal home, in this beautiful corner of Southern Ontario.

“Rita and her husband Rod had built a few luxury homes before so they had the necessary knowledge and experience.  However, they were hesitant to build because the process had not been an easy one and they were reluctant to do it again,” Jardino explains.

“We met and talked and I convinced them that this would be a different build experience.”

“And it was!” says Rita. “The project was completed on time, on budget, and with no major complications. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience.”

Jardino thinks this house turned out so well ““ and progressed so smoothly ““ because Rita knew what she wanted. “She is more eclectic than I am ““ I tend to be more classic ““ but somehow we came together. She has great taste. I think I need to use her for my future projects.”

The process at PCM is highly structured. They pay much attention to the pre-planning, ensuring that the design, the budget and the major trades are clearly in place. “We always pre-plan and make most of the decisions, like cabinetry, ahead of time and get major pieces ordered in advance,” says Jardino. “Because of that, our construction time is often half of that of other firms.”

 “My background is in the design and manufacture of custom homes. I manage a project like an engineer, and that takes a lot of frustration out of the project.”

With PCM, the client knows exactly what he will get ““ the budget and the style are determined, and then the design is created to suit those parameters. A colour 3D rendering then allows the client to visualize the end product.
“We choose the best trades and many of them have been with us for a long time. That also helps us maintain quality and delivery times.”

This Chartwell Road home is large, more than 15,000 square feet, the size of three houses in one, on a big lot in a beautiful neighbourhood. The original house on the lot was demolished but parts of it were salvaged. The large beams and wood, British Columbia fir, were used for the new Muskoka room to clad the ceiling and form the mantel. There were also some old and classic doors on the exterior and elaborate gates which were incorporated into the new design.

The front of the home is mainly stone and copper, traditional in style, with a long driveway and a private setback. The build was started in November of 2011 and the family were in the house by the end of April, six months later.

The company does not take on too many projects at once and builds mainly in Southern Ontario. They have also built the houses that are given away in the Princess Margaret Foundation Lottery since 2007.

“Everything is synchronized in the build,” Carlos tells me. “We are organized and strategic, with checklists, and a great work team. The cherry on top is a five year warrantee from PCM, covering the top of the roof to the underside of the footing.”

 “Working with Rita was special,” Jardino says. “You need chemistry with a client ““ you need to like each other, trust each other ““ that was all there with these clients. We have become friends, and working with Rita was a pleasure. It was fun, ““ if it's not fun, I don't do it.”

Rita feels the same. “It was easy and quick very enjoyable ““ he built our home in record time. Our neighbours, who started at the same time, are still building. It was a great

She loves her new Oakville home. “I feel like my home is very eclectic in style. I like modern, and I had moved away from the traditional. But this area [Oakville] is a bit more traditional, so I kind of brought that in to this house.  It has ended up a mix of different styles. I find that cosy. I wouldn't like it all contemporary or all  traditional,” she says.

“I think the mix and match of  different styles shows who we are. This is a family house. I hang my children's art on the walls.

“I wanted the main space to be nice and big for my family and we've achieved that. I love two-storey rooms. The two-storey family room has a balcony that overlooks it, and I just love the wood-burning fireplace with the black pipe running from floor-to-ceiling. I think it looks spectacular.”

“I didn't want a large entry foyer. I didn't want to be able to see the whole house when you walk in ““ I like this smaller, more closed off entryway.

“One of the things I love is the staircase. It's such a grand and elegant open staircase, with round outer walls and an easy flow from floor to floor. I also adore the Muskoka room. It's casual and comfortable yet classic too.”

The kitchen is well laid out and highly functional, but the windows, with their views outside make it open and attractive. 

This is a house designed for entertaining. There is easy flow between the rooms. A servery and pantry make entertaining easy, and the music area opens up to the second floor so music flows throughout the house.

“I did the design myself, and re-used most of the things I already had. Most of my furniture is pieces I have accumulated so I had things reupholstered ““ I'm not good at letting things go. I can always find a place for the things that I love.

“I picked up a few pieces from Restoration Hardware. I kept to a light bright colour scheme, with cream, pink, browns and gold. I love gold accents, like the little gold florettes set into the marble in the floors in the foyer and the main powder room.”

The basement rooms are more colourful and adventurous, with bold reds and some vibrant art.

“The balcony off the master bedroom is one of my favourite places, with the hot tub overlooking the backyard and pool. I enjoy the outdoor covered areas and appreciate the fact that the front of the house is set back from the street, creating privacy. The long driveway is dignified when you drive up, but not overstated.  The house is a big surprise when you walk in. It looks smaller from the outside because the house is built on a decline through the back so the size doesn't show as much from the front.”

The home is a fine example of what happens when collaboration works perfectly.