Designing Our New Home

It has taken almost a year and a half but we are finally moving forward on the construction of our home at White Tree Farm.

The Design

As we outlined in this post, we decided to engage BONE Structure as both the designer and the supplier of the main structural aspects of the home.

Over the years, Robin and I had collected quite a bit of information on what we wanted in the house design, so it took us some time to go through it all and make a final list of givens and druthers:


  • A durable, low maintenance, low energy usage house
  • Interesting architecturally but should echo the style of Ontario farm buildings
  • Living/dining/kitchen on second floor; living /dining should face south towards Lake Erie
  • Living/dining/kitchen in a great room arrangement
  • Stairs to second floor close to kitchen and garage
  • Mudroom near main family entrance and garage
  • Five bedrooms in total
    • Small bedrooms, each with an en-suite (sink, toilet and shower)
    • First master bedroom for owners in one wing
    • Second master bedroom for owner’s children in the second wing
      • Smaller bedroom for grandchild adjacent to second master bedroom
      • Shared bathroom
    • Two additional bedrooms for guests and potentially one for elderly parent
  • Two small offices
  • One-car garage


  • Separate formal entrance
  • A covered porch area with views to the lake
  • Fireplace in living room
  • Library/game/music room
  • Play room for grandchild
  • Elevator to allow barrier-free access to second floor

We also spent quite a bit of time on the BONE Structure website looking at their designs and completed projects. One particular design we liked was the New Classic 32, which tied two traditionally shaped houses together via a connecting cube.

Once we had the contracts signed, we met several times with the designers, both face-to-face and via video-conference. BONE’s lead designer for our project, Ioana, hit the first concept design out of the park: Robin and I had only a few minor comments and clarifications. We’ve tweaked a few things in the meantime, but the drawing above remains very true to the first concept.


Because of the specialized nature of the BONE Structure construction, we decided to go with a builder who has had experience with them, Garrison Creek. Garrison built the BONE Structure house we visited in May 2017 and they agreed to take on our project. We’ve met with them on two occasions on site and are very pleased with the enthusiasm they all have for the project.