How do you design a dream without a homeowner?

September 1, 2017

Kinsmen Home Opens This Weekend

When you’re on the team of designers and suppliers for a lottery dream home, you’re flying by the seat of your pants. Deadlines are tight and timelines are constantly shifting, not to mention that you are only one of dozens of moving parts that must fall perfectly into place.

Our team is very proud to say that all the Hunter Douglas window treatments and blinds throughout this year’s Kinsmen Club of Sudbury’s Sweepstakes lottery home are by Barrydowne’s Hunter Douglas Gallery.

But because designing the show home is a group effort with a million different decisions to be made, we often find ourselves planning and ordering products before all the details are ironed out – or even before the windows are installed!

So that leads to a tricky question: how do you make design choices for a dream home that doesn’t have a homeowner?

Truthfully, it's a challenge to create a design that appeals to all demographics, so we create a make-believe family and then envision what they would want in the home.

— Terry Vendetti

For the answer, we went straight to the Kinsmen Home’s designer extraordinaire Terry Vendetti (who never seems to sleep!) of Terry Vendetti Interiors.

“I ask myself how I’m going to do it every year,” Terry jokes. “Truthfully, it’s a challenge to create a design that appeals to all demographics, so we create a make-believe family and then envision what they would want in the home. The way I look at it, if I can please both a mother and her daughter so that they each find something they love about the house, I’ve done my job.”

To find inspiration and the latest innovations, Terry visits the Interior Design Show in Toronto every January

“With the Kinsmen Home, people expect the design to be over the top. They want to see all the new stuff. The challenge is to bring in as much as possible and still work within the budget,” he says. “That’s why we rely so heavily on our sponsors and suppliers – we’ll ask them what they have coming up and want to showcase in the house and we’re fortunate to be able to get many of it at cost.”

Terry says his favourite design element in this year’s Zulich Homes-built lottery house is the coffered ceiling in the spacious living room. It features a unique Venetian plaster finish expertly applied by our friend Brian Kitchin from Drywall Nation. The decorative surface treatment gives the ceiling a pearl-like sheen and truly brings the wow-factor to this year’s home.

And speaking of unique finishes, thousands of people will file through the show home over the next few months, and we know that every single one will have an opinion about the design choices made.

Personally, I think that’s why the home’s entire design team tries to push the envelope in order to be bold and yes, provocative, in creating a one-of-a-kind space. We want to make something that people have not seen before. After all, who wants to tour a lottery home that looks like a cookie-cutter of their neighbours’ houses?

Mary Jane Drury of the Sudbury Kinsman Club says that this year’s home definitely delivers the “wow” factor.

As the Sweepstakes Coordinator for the past 15 years, Mary Jane keeps all of us on track in order to meet the deadline. She manages the development and design of the show home, overseeing all the trades and suppliers and sticking to the schedule – in other words, she’s the ringmaster of this happy little circus.

We asked Mary Jane what her secret is to making sure everything gets done on time.

“Practice,” she told us quite modestly. “It takes practice, patience and quite frankly, thankfulness. We’re very fortunate to have this absolutely wonderful group of trades and sponsors bringing their A-game to the project and when we’re appreciative, it helps the entire process go more smoothly.”

We are lucky to be part of a close-knit community of local suppliers and tradespeople and working on the Kinsmen Home brings us all together for a great cause. We love the opportunity to collaborate with fellow businesses like La Cuisine and Surface Design and Decor and catch up on the latest products and style trends.

While Barrydowne’s team takes the lead on the Hunter Douglas blinds and window treatments, we tip our hat to paint sponsor Second Avenue Home Hardware, one of my all-time favourite stores as I grew up on the street directly behind them and was a regular fixture in the store. I spent countless hours and days with my sister combing the aisles getting supplies for our latest contraptions and projects.

As you can imagine, with so many local suppliers and trades involved in the show home, getting everything done on time is a huge accomplishment. Mary Jane says the biggest challenge is crossing the finish line, “so we can make as much profit as possible to support our local charities. That is what is most satisfying about working on the home.”

People come to the Kinsmen House and love it and then are inspired to build something similar.

— Mary Jane, Sweepstakes Coordinator

I just love how this year’s show home turned out, and I was curious to find out if Mary Jane thought it was the best of all the lottery projects she’s managed to date.

“They’re all my favourite – every single one of them, because they’re all unique custom homes,” she said. “The Kinsmen are the first ones in Sudbury to have a home that looks like this, but afterwards, it’s not unusual to see a few more start to pop up. People come to the Kinsmen House and love it and then are inspired to build something similar. We’re very proud of what we’re able to accomplish.”

We’re feeling pretty proud about it, too.

The Showcase Home is open at 14 Westport.  Don’t miss your chance to be inspired, help a good cause, and possibly walk away with a truly sensational home.

-Kelly from Barrydowne