This neighborhood is what you would call an urban countryside, complete with flatlands, stables, and low speed limits for the sake of the horses that roam the streets. “The lot we bought is a very rare, regular-sized city lot, but in this special neighborhood,” says Michelle Gemmill. “The home has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and is just over 3,000-square feet.”

Michelle & Kenny Gemmill’s Urban Countryside Home Tour

Michelle and Kenny Gemmill purchased the home with plans to renovate. “You can’t have basements in this area due to the flood risk, so we reversed the floor plan to have what would normally be in our basement on the top floor,” she says. “The home is three floors, with the living room on the main floor, bedrooms upstairs, and the spare and rec rooms on the top floor.”

In keeping with the aesthetic of the neighborhood, the couple set out to design a modern farmhouse. “It was a new style for us, but we ended up loving it,” says Michelle. She mentions that the main floor is her favorite. “We love to entertain and it’s a really great room for that, with all the big windows that help bring the outside in.”

In addition to areas for lounging and dining, the main floor accommodates a spacious kitchen. “I love the luxe feeling of the black cabinets, paired with the raw wood open shelves for the farmhouse vibe. We also were able to sneak a pantry in, which has become a ‘must have’ when designing kitchens ever since.”

In place of upper cabinets, the Gemmills opted for minimalistic floating shelves. “Open shelving helps to increase the size of the kitchen optically, and I also find it so practical to have your daily-use items within arm’s reach and not behind a door,” she says. Michelle credits Union Wood Co. for the floating shelves and CF Interiors for the bar stools. “I really think you have to pick the right stools to go with your kitchen; it can make or break it visually.”

Though the couple splurged on marble countertops, the kitchen island is Caesarstone. “Being our main workspace, I wanted the island to be durable and bulletproof. Marble is beautiful but high maintenance—and expensive.” Michelle & Kenny Gemmill also splurged on appliances, tile, and special millwork. “We were lucky to partner with Jillian Harris and her team on finishings in the house.”

Photography by Tracey Ayton | Produced by Canadian Home Trends Magazine

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