Homeowner Carrie Reykdal says it took two years of looking before she and her husband, Gordon, found property as nice as their previous home on Beaumaris Lake in Castle Downs.
Though Parkview gives them a river valley vista from their front lawn, it was the house itself and the backyard that sealed the deal.
“We just loved everything about it. It’s a bungalow on two city lots, so it’s one of the most rare properties in this area,” she says. Lots of windows at the rear of the house give the homeowners multiple views of their patio area.
Because Carrie and Gordon, founder and CEO of Cash Store Financial, are avid travellers and spend a great deal of time at their second home in Scottsdale, Arizona, they wanted a maintenance-free yard. But they also wanted the patio to exude the old-world charm of Italy, albeit with a modern touch.
With help from designer Fay Mihailides, they accomplished this with classic clean lines of granite tile complemented with mosaic cobblestone inlay, all imported from Italy. Black, ornate wrought-iron furniture and traditional street-lamp lighting give the terrace a romantic ambiance.
The Reykdals originally thought they would build a gazebo, but plans kept getting more extravagant. Soon an outdoor kitchen, almost six-by-six-metres large, felt like a necessity for the couple, who love to entertain friends and family by the pool.
In fact, Carrie says the outdoor dining room would be even bigger if it weren’t for building code restrictions. “Any bigger and it would have been considered a second home,” says Carrie.
The built-in stainless steel barbecue and pizza oven are surrounded by bricks. “Gordon is well known for his homemade pizza,” says Carrie, adding that she likes to bake bread and roast vegetables and fish in the oven.
"We don’t use the barbecue as much. Everything just seems to go in the pizza oven now.”
The eight-person Beachcomber hot tub is a focal point, set against an arch-shaped wall, which also acts as a barrier for more privacy.
Simple square planters filled with ivy, daisies and other annuals flank the hot tub platform, softening the angular lines of the patio and adding visual interest.
Just to the right of the hot tub there’s another seating area so family and friends can take in the aroma of fresh arugula, sweet-leaf basil and Italian oregano from Carrie’s herb garden.
The concrete pool was already there when they moved in 14 years ago and has required little more than a paint job since.
“When we are home, it’s all about having everyone over to eat and swim in the pool,” says Carrie. “That is a huge part of our Saturdays and Sundays in the summer.”
In the fall, as temperatures dip, they heat up the pool so they can enjoy it just a little longer.