You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world.
But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
– Walt Disney
Last Friday evening, David’s House was presented with an Award of Merit at the 2013 Mississauga Urban Design Awards. A Mississauga native and the son of a past Mississauga Urban Design Award winner (nearly 30 years ago), David was truly honoured to accept this award.
As the longest running urban design awards in Ontario, we were thrilled to have our entire team present at Mississauga’s Council Chambers to see Mayor Hazel hand David the award and congratulate our team on a job well done.
Thank you to the City of Mississauga for continuing to recognize excellence and innovation in both public and private design. Thank you to the jury members for your time, discerning eyes, and feedback. Thank you and congratulations to the other winners and finalists; it’s your extraordinary design talent and continued submissions that keep these awards interesting, competitive, and highly esteemed. And a BIG thank you to all the people – our dedicated team at DSD, our loyal clients, our dependable partners – for your contributions in making David’s dream home a reality.
We were fortunate enough to have David’s parents, Bill & Betty Lou Small, join us at the awards on Friday evening. Bill Small, a mentor to David and a respected and accomplished man in the building industry, both on the local and national level, was the President of HUDAC in 1978 (now known as the Canadian Home Builders’ Association). In our search for information about his Urban Design Award, we came across this HUDAC newsletter published in 1978. Just one of Bill’s many contributions to the Canadian Home Building Industry.
The Urban Design Awards were held in Council Chambers at Mississauga’s City Hall
Three generations of the Small Family
This past Tuesday evening, we were honoured to receive three Ontario Home Builders’ Association Awards for David’s House.
David’s natural modern design was recognized as the Most Outstanding Custom Home in its category, and then received 2 more awards for individual room design, New Home Kitchen and New Home Bathroom. We were thrilled to have David’s House acknowledged by the OHBA; a project that is so personal to David and represents a new approach to modern design.
Thank you to the OHBA for putting on this great event that recognizes outstanding design, construction and marketing within the Ontario Building Industry…and kudos to those who came up with the Bond theme “licensed to drill”.
A BIG thank you to all the team members who helped make David’s House an award-winning design. To our DSD team, thank you for your hard work and dedication to excellence in design. To our incredible builder, Tony Ferkul of Tony Ferkul Construction Management Group, thank you for your attention to detail and quality craftsmanship. And to our vendors, Cameo Kitchens & Fine Cabinetry, Pella Windows, Watermarks Kitchen & Bath Boutique, York Fabrica, and many more, thank you for your exceptional customer service and customized product offering.
It was a fantastic evening celebrating tremendous talent in our industry. Sincere congratulations to all the winners and finalists.
OHBA Awards of Distinction 2013 | Most Outstanding Custom Home (2501-5000sf)
Accepting our award for ‘Most Outstanding New Home Bathroom’
‘Natural modern’ is a term we’ve coined to describe the unique architectural design of David’s House. To some, ‘natural modern’ is an oxymoron; a combination of contradictory terms. We saw it as the perfect descriptor for a design style that combines the aesthetic ideals of modern design with the warmth and elegance of a traditional home.
The ‘natural’ component of the style is two-part. Firstly, it’s the use of natural materials in the design; both on the exterior of the home, carried through to the interior. Natural stone, rich woods and copper add texture and definition to the façade. When used throughout the interior they create a seamless flow, blurring the lines between inside and outside. Secondly, ‘natural’ describes the way the design is integrated into the neighbourhood; the way it blends with its traditional surroundings and respects the community’s established character. It references the organic way the home is situated on the lot, mindful of the existing tree stand, designed to be “of the land” and not simply sitting on top of it.
The ‘modern’ aspect of ‘natural modern’ reflects the principles behind the design – clean lines, uncluttered space, visual clarity. It defines the simplicity of the design; flat or low sloping roof lines versus peaked rooflines with numerous gables, structural elements exposed rather than hidden behind ornate detailing, open floor plans as opposed to distinct room division.
Like any design style, ‘natural modern’ can be interpreted and applied in a variety of ways. Over the next several months we will be showcasing projects inspired by David’s House. Some of these projects are in the design phase, others in construction. All of the homes were influenced by ‘natural modern’ design, but like every custom home, the design style has been interpreted and applied in a way that reflects the lifestyle, inspirations and desires of the client.
In a neighbourhood where English Manor and Arts & Crafts reign, David’s House illustrates how natural materials, familiar massing and a thoughtful design process can integrate a modern home into a traditional neighbourhood.
This is David’s front foyer. The large expanses of glass, structural clarity of the staircase and industrial-inspired windows showcase the modern elements of the design.
“Modern With Soul” is Toronto Home Magazine’s aptly titled feature on David’s natural modern home. In their Spring 2013 issue, Toronto Home highlights everything from David’s design inspirations (i.e. Wright’s Prairie House style) to his design philosophies to his passion for hockey.
The creative title “Modern With Soul”, coined by writer Silvana Longo (@laselvaoscura), could be interpreted in a variety of ways. It describes the contrast of clean modern lines against warm, rustic elements. It speaks to the essence of the project, a family home with custom design details unique to David, his wife, and twin daughters. It may even be a slight reference to the modern piano room; a juxtaposition of the traditional grand piano, ultra-modern Barcelona bench and cool Abbey Road artwork (photographer Philip Castleton captured a great shot of this on page 31).
Toronto Home not only captured the essence of David’s natural modern design, they also highlighted the personality behind it. Thank you Toronto Home for introducing David and his natural modern design to your readers.
Click here for more information on Toronto Home Magazine. To view the full 14-page spread, pick up the Spring issue in store today!
Behind the scenes at the Toronto Home photo shoot.
Pick up a copy of the magazine to see how this shot turned out.
A bungaloft is pretty much what it sounds like, a bungalow with a loft. Since its introduction 10+ years ago, there have been variations/configurations on the bungaloft, but the most common is a bungalow with an additional level created by jutting out a section in a steep bungalow-style roof.
From small, affordable homes to grand, luxury homes, the bungaloft style can fall into all categories. There are 2 common threads: the loft – the extra space that adds versatility to the design – and the master bedroom on the ground floor – a feature that allows the future saleability of the home to span demographics. Whether you’re a downsizing retiree or small but growing family, a bungaloft provides options for accommodating house guests, a nanny or older children slowly making the transition out of the family home.
Here’s an example of a luxury 4,600sf bungaloft we designed for a corner lot in Mississauga’s Lorne Park neighbourhood. The bungaloft style allowed the homeowner’s to get the intimacy and coziness of a bungalow, while still accommodating their desire for high ceilings and a separate space for their two children.
Many of our clients have young children when they embark on a custom home design. Creating a space for their kids to enjoy – a space other than a bedroom – is often on their wish list. They want to create a kid-friendly area for schoolwork, games, reading or hanging with friends. Ideally, the goal is to create a space that serves all those functions, but leaves flexibility in the design for when the kids are no longer living at home, or for when our clients decide to sell.
David was no exception when he embarked on his custom family home. He wanted to create a “cool” teen-friendly area for his twin teenage daughters to enjoy. With the master bedroom located on the ground floor, he decided to hand over the entire 2nd floor to his daughters.
As you take your first steps up the ladder-inspired staircase, you know you’re heading into “cool” territory. The open space steps and glass railings create a sense of adventure in the modern staircase. As you cross the bridge over the foyer (with only glass railings separating you from the first floor below), you are officially entering the girls’ wing, which many say is their favourite area in the house.
The first room is the lounge; a TV-free zone with built-in desks for homework, a big comfy couch for reading and hanging with friends, and individual desktop computers.
David involved his daughters in the decorating of their bedrooms. Paint colour, bedding, and accessories were up to them…of course, David, along with Tania Parkyn of Parkyn Designs, were on hand to guide them in their decision making. In the end, each room truly reflects their individual style but are still complimentary, which was important seeing that more often than not the oversized sliding door that separates their bedrooms is left open.
Click here for more images of the girls’ lounge and bedrooms.
Custom home design allows you to create spaces in your home that truly reflect your family, your lifestyle and your personality. Including your kids or teenagers in the design process can be a fun and creative experience for both parties. It’s a great way for your kids to express themselves and feel involved in the project, and for the parents, working on the kids space is often the most fun and imaginative part of the design.
For more kid-friendly design inspiration, browse the ‘kids’ section on houzz.com. It showcases some great design ideas, like this one, this one and this one. Or visit our website to check out ‘The Muskoka Room‘ featuring this ultra-girly bedroom designed for the homeowner’s young daughter…
The modern staircase and glass railings
The girls’ lounge
One bedroom features grey and blue walls with a pop of orange in the bedding and accessories. Note the oversized sliding door that separates the girls’ bedrooms.
Black and pink floral bedding compliment the pink and green walls and modern furniture in the other bedroom.
Our client, owner of Reign Custom Builders, worked with David to create this space for his young daughter.
David’s passion for hockey is only a close second to his love of architecture. When designing his current family home, one of the determining factors during the lot selection process was, “is there room for a backyard rink?”
For the past 6 years, David has constructed a 30ft x 53ft skating rink in his backyard. Complete with sideboards, hockey nets, a homeboni (a homemade Zamboni) and a Toronto Maple Leafs logo at centre ice, it has become an integral part of his home. From skating with his family to shooting practice with his daughter to pickup games with friends, David was determined to select a lot and design a home that allowed him to enjoy his favourite winter pastimes.
The backyard rink has become a popular addition to backyards across the GTA (check out Bert’s Sports annual backyard rink contest). They definitely add some outdoor fun during the cold winter months, but they also require regular maintenance.
David spends several nights a week keeping his rink in top form…
…and keeping the logo up to TML standards…
…and don’t forget the homeboni – some PVC piping, a piece of canvas, a drill, a hose, and a little ingenuity, and you’ve got yourself a homemade Zamboni…
Incorporating your lifestyle and interests into the design of your home is the true essence of custom home design – the creation of a home that reflects you, your family and your passions in life. Whether you’re incorporating your love of cottage living or a prized car collection into the design of your home, David will work with you to find creative ways to implement elements that will make your home unique to you.
Today we signed on our 1000th project.
For the past 16 years David has been putting pencil to paper designing beautiful, functional custom homes; taking the ideas and inspirations of each client and turning them into a home that goes beyond their expectations. Today marks the 1000th time he will be doing this.
This milestone is more than just another project added to a list. It’s a reflection of 1000 clients who trusted David and our team with the design of their dream home; 1000 times our tremendous staff have turned a sketch into an intricate computerized drawing, 1000 times we’ve called a client to say, “we got your permit today!”, and 1000 times we’ve seen a drawing come to life.
This milestone celebrates our partners who have been with us since day one, individuals who have contributed to these 1000 projects either through their engineering expertise, knowledge of municipal bylaws or surveying skills.
This milestone recognizes that design matters. 1000 clients saw the value in creating something that goes beyond four walls and a roof. They saw value in creating a home that was visually impactful and mindful of its surroundings; that was designed with care, attention and thoughtfulness. They saw value in creating a home that was a true reflection of their lifestyle, design style and inspirations.
This milestone is a reflection of our gratitude to every person, company and client that has been a part of one or all of these 1000 projects. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We look forward to working with you on project 1001.
David recently met with a prospective client looking to do a reno project in Aurora. They found us through our site sign on Keele St, checked out our website and fell in love with The Window Box, a home we designed in Mississauga’s Mineola West neighbourhood.
They proceeded to talk about other homes they were inspired by and mentioned a home they came across years ago in a Home Depot flyer. They had been carrying around a picture of this home for 3 years, not knowing who designed it or where the home was located, just knowing it was their dream home. David asked to see the picture. The couple presented the crumpled printout. It was a picture of Mineola Makeover, a beautiful David Small designed home located just minutes away from our office.
“Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.”
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge
We can barely contain the enthusiasm that has been buzzing through the office this week. Not only are we still on a high from our recent BILD Associate Award, but we found out Monday morning that ‘David’s House’ is a finalist for the 2012 Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s National SAM Award for New Custom Home. These awards recognize the best in ingenuity and imagination in the home design and construction industry. With ‘David’s House’ being such a labour of love, it’s an honour to have it considered among the most unique projects of 2012 and to have the efforts of everyone involved in the project recognized.
2012 has been a fantastic year – new clients, new designs, new website and new recognitions. We are grateful for the new relationships we made this year, as well as for the loyal clients and partners who have been a part of the DSD team since the beginning. We look forward to what’s to come in 2013…
Thank you to everyone involved in taking this award-nominated home from conception to completion.
For more information about the 2012 National SAM Awards and to see a complete listing of finalists, visit www.chba.ca
“The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
The Zimmerman house is a classic 1950s Usonian home, imagined and executed by our most-blogged-about iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright. FLW’s philosophies, individualism and architectural style inspire the way David approaches each design project, which is most apparent in the design of his own home. Every fall David plans a trip to one of FLW’s most notable buildings. This past October David and his wife visited the Zimmerman House in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Usonian is a term coined by FLW to describe a compact, efficient and economical style of housing. Essentially, it was Wright’s solution to low cost housing for middle-class America. Usonian homes were typically small, single storey dwellings with no basement or attic. Strong emphasis was placed on incorporating nature; from the type of local materials used to the large windows providing uninterrupted sightlines. FLW’s intention was to create a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors…sound familiar?
A writer from The Magazine Antiques described the Zimmerman House as a house that doesn’t age, but grows more modern in time. Mid-century modernism is experiencing a resurgence in the design industry. The Zimmerman house was designed with a focus on removing clutter and ornate décor from the living space. It features low sloping rooflines, large cantilevered overhangs, and an abundance of windows; all elements that could describe modern homes of today.
To recognize the importance and historical value of their home the Zimmerman’s had it placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In a final act of devotion to FLW, the Zimmerman’s left their home to the Currier museum to ensure its beauty and relevance was preserved and shared with the public.
For more information on the Zimmerman House visit www.currier.org.
The side split emerged in the 1950s. With the evolution of suburbia and the positive post-war economy came the demand for bigger, better homes. The solution was “splitting” the then common ranch-style home: the garage and bedrooms were on one side and the other side of the house held the main living area, half a storey above the garage level and half a story below the bedroom level. These multiple levels were obvious from the front elevation.
Credited with initially inventing the side split, acclaimed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright first featured a split design in his Prairie-style homes in the early 1900s. While the 1950s side split was a far cry from FLW’s design, a similar philosophy was employed: open living space with half floors dividing living and private areas. Popular into the 1960s, eventually the side split fizzled as homeowners began demanding more grandeur in home design.
The presence of side splits is still prominent in neighbourhoods across the GTA. However, these neighbourhoods that were new developments in the 1950s are now established neighbourhoods with beautiful mature trees and a pedestrian-friendly feel. Today these neighbourhoods are in high demand, unfortunately this style of design isn’t.
We meet with new clients every month who are considering a side split or already own one. They love the neighbourhood and the lot size, but usually aren’t happy with the exterior façade or interior layout. With the right design, even a dated side split can be renovated to match the vision and style of the client.
Accurately titled “The Side Split”, take a look at this side split renovation we showcase in our portfolio. It’s a great example of how architectural design can completely revive a dated design. While this renovation was strictly an exterior upgrade, there are numerous possibilities for renovating the interior of a side split.
If you’re interested in adding curb appeal to your side split or renovating the interior to better meet the needs and lifestyle of your family email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-271-9100.
Our project ‘Old Oakville’ was named Most Outstanding Custom Home by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association 2012 Awards of Distinction. We are thrilled to be recognized with this honour. There are some fantastic images of ‘Old Oakville’ in the New Homes portfolio of our website – click here to take a look.
A special thanks to builder Nick Carnicelli of Carriage Gate Homes for his attention to detail and quality craftsmanship.
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners! For information on the finalists visit www.ohba.ca.
“The architect should strive continually to simplify; the ensemble of the rooms should then be carefully considered that comfort and utility may go hand in hand with beauty.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
In the world of architectural design, Frank Lloyd Wright is an icon. Noted as one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, he was deemed the greatest American architect of all time by the American Institute of Architects.
He believed architectural design must be intimately tied to its surroundings, enhancing the beauty of its environment. To FLW, design went beyond the physical structure; it was about “nourishing the lives of those sheltered within” and creating “environments to inspire and offer repose to the inhabitants”. Visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (www.franklloydwright.org) for more information on FLW’s life and work.
Frank Lloyd Wright has been a major inspiration to David throughout his career, as evident in the design of David’s House. Here is a selection of FLW’s designs that hang on the walls of our office, offering a daily dose of inspiration.
Taliesin West Image via Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Robie House Image via Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
FLW’s Home and Studio Image via Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
Fallingwater Image via Robert Ruschak, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy c/o ArchDaily