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January 01, 2015

That prairie feeling

Skyview Ranch evokes feelings of home for Manitoba native

Darlene Casten

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If you want to get to know Hannah, all you have to do is walk through her front door.


If you want to get to know Hannah, all you have to do is walk through her front door.

The 29-year-old high school math and science teacher and Manitoba transplant lives in a three-story townhouse in the northeast community of Skyview Ranch. Hannah said the location of her house says almost as much about her as what you can find on the inside.

Skyview Ranch, in Calgary’s far north, is where prairies meet city.

“I love the prairies,” Hannah says.

The native Manitoban grew up on the grasslands, but says it was the mountains that drew her to Calgary.

As a youngster, Hannah said she and her family would make the 14-hour drive to Lake Louise for three days of skiing and then would hop back in the car for the trek home. During those couple of hours driving through the city, Hannah says she fell in love.

“It’s got the prairies and the mountains,” she says, adding it was the perfect combination of feeling at home and providing the playground for her outdoor pursuits, which include hiking and skiing.

After a year-and-a-half teaching at Tyndale Christian School, located near Chestermere, and renting an apartment Hannah decided it was time to find a home.

Her search took her to northeast Calgary, which is close to her work and the mountains, where she spends many of her weekends.

When she stepped into the show suite at the Marquis at Skyview Ranch townhomes, Hannah says she knew she had found her new home. The three-story, two-bedroom condominium by Lionsworthe Homes grabbed her attention immediately.

“It was the right amount of space,” she says. “I wanted a sewing area and there is a bonus room that I use for my sewing area.”

Many two-bedroom townhomes were using a two master-bedroom layout, she explains, but the bonus room was a big plus for her. She says because the master in this unit had an ensuite and a main bathroom, she knew it would work if she wanted a roommate or had guests and still gave her a space to be creative.

The open concept main floor was also a plus, she adds, saying she could picture herself entertaining there.

“When it caught my eye it was a Saturday and it was empty,” she recalls. “When I came back on Monday stuff was moving in and I said I wanted it.”
A month later, Hannah was moving in and immediately began making the place her own.

When asked to describe her style, Hannah says it’s simply ‘personal’.
Looking around the 1,200-square-foot home, you can see what she means.
Everything that she loves is on display. Whether it’s travel, her family, friends, her faith and even math are part of the décor that give Hannah’s tasteful home that personal touch.

“Everything is made by my friends or are things I have done or are hand-me-downs,” she says.

Mixing new with old and the pristine with the most basic materials makes for an eclectic mix that is all kept together with underlying farmhouse vibe.

In fact many of the materials used in the furniture she has made herself come from the farm she grew up on in Manitoba, where she says her father and uncle run one of the biggest greenhouses on the prairies.

Hannah smiles while recalling taking plywood from a greenhouse delivery truck to create what is now her coffee table. Her brother helped her create the rough frame and then she set to work combining two of her passions — sewing and math to create a unique table cover.

“It has a golden rectangle,” Hannah says, explaining that using the dimensions from a series of numbers, called the Fibonacci series, she created a series of squares that create a perfect rectangle.

The series uses numbers that are often found in nature, which is an element she strives to have around her, whether its just outside her door, where there is a beautiful courtyard with a wood pergola and the Rockies to the west, or inside where pictures hang of her adventures in Alberta’s mountain ranges or on the west coast, where she recently hiked the west coast trail.
When it comes to art and design, Hannah says she also gets a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, but she always takes the ideas and makes them her own.

Her latest project, a white map of the world painted on pallet boards from her family greenhouse, is a reminder of her travels, which included a study abroad session in the Netherlands, which led to adventuring all over Europe.

Hannah says the next place she wants to visit is Russia, so in her recently created library, there is of course a Russian book section.

The library is cleverly tucked away in a nook just off the kitchen. Using two bookshelves a comfortable chair and a quilt she made with her mom it serves as a place to unwind and a place to store her many books and personalized artwork.

Because where better than your own home to keep it personal, she muses.

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