We always love a good renovation challenge! We sure enjoyed bringing this tired family home back to life. These homeowners called upon us to re-work their existing house to create a more inviting space, all while stepping up the functional performance potential of their busy home. With the addition of flexible spaces and lots of storage, they can now enjoy a bright, welcoming and functional place to call home. This project is nominated for a Georgie Award, construction by Alair Homes.
The entryway was one of the largest changes made in the Kraft Residence. Having always lacked an official “entryway”, the client wanted something that would act as a touch down zone for her and their family. Removing the double doors and installing a single door with two side lights allowed for increased natural light into the space. By changing the staircase into the home from a U-Shape to a straight run, there was more room to add a wall at the entry that could act as a large storage unit, dividing the entryway from the rest of the house. Added into the new wall is a leaded glass window to let natural light spill though the home and add character into the space. In terms of built-in storage, the rear wall is used for clothing storage, and drawers are located underneath for shoes. Guests can hang their coats and scarves on the hooks above the built in bench. The large format porcelain tile was chosen to be durable and not show wear and tear, all while visually separating the space from the living room.
Located at the front of the house, the living room is a focal point within the home. This space was all about creating a homey area that could accommodate a busy household while being open to the kitchen and dining areas. The first step in creating this was removing the original floors and replacing them with a natural-looking laminate to brighten up the space and add durability. We removed the walls that previously encased the kitchen, allowing the natural light from the other side of the house to flow straight through from the front of the house to the rear. The main focus within this space pointed towards the far wall, which originally lacked storage. By installing a custom millwork wall, the family could display keepsakes on built-in shelving with added drawer storage beneath. Because this wall runs from the living space to the dining space, the two areas now feel connected. These structural changes in addition to light greys and whites open up the space and make for a beautiful and functional family living area.
Originally, the door to the patio was located in the kitchen. Changing its location to the dining room by using the structure of the existing window allows the family to open their dining room right up to the outdoors through the addition of infinity doors. The storage in the millwork wall within the dining area is defined by a change from open shelving to a glass display case for the client’s glassware. The large open area to display art is deliberately designed to be on center of their dining table and light, making the space feel defined but still connected to the living area and kitchen. When choosing a light fixture, the client wanted a statement but didn’t want the space to feel too overwhelmed. This light takes up the appropriate amount of room above the dining table while being open and not visually too heavy.
Previously completely closed off from the living room and dining area, the kitchen was at the top of the transformation list! By utilizing the corner where the door previously was, the kitchen was re-worked from a U shape to an L shape, adding space and functionality. Another structural change was deciding to move the window so it was centered above the sink with additional room for cabinets on either side. The flooring from the living room and dining room were continued to make this level of the home feel large and expansive. However, to designate the kitchen as a separate entity from the rest of the space, a full height pantry and fridge were placed at either end of the space. Adding cabinets that went to the ceiling added to the overall grand feeling of the space. The island is a contrasting colour to the rest of the kitchen, and features oversized textured glass pendants, which adds a touch of character to the space. The microwave is housed under counter in the island to simplify the appearance of the rest of the space and retain the classic look of the kitchen. A Wolf range was added alongside medium-range appliances, offering a mix of appliances to suit their family’s needs. When the client first received the light fixtures in a delivery, we received a panicked phone call, “they are way too big!” we encouraged them to trust the process and wait until the kitchen was built and the pendants were installed, once they saw the final product, they couldn’t believe how perfectly they fit into the rest of the kitchen!
The house had two small bathrooms on the upper floor, the client wanted to utilize both spaces equally. By borrowing space from the master bedroom, both bathrooms were increased in size and functionality. Before, the sink was located against the window wall. By adding a bathtub to this wall instead, the layout became more efficient and more space for the vanity and toilet was created. In addition to this, having a glass enclosure instead of a shower curtain allows for more natural light to flow through the space (a common theme throughout, as you may have noticed!). Bright and reflective materials were used to keep the space feeling airy and inviting. As this bathroom is designated for kids and guests, the client wanted it to feel playful but grown up. The fish-scale glass tile feature wall does just this, and plays beautifully against the other tiles within the space. The flooring was chosen because of its natural pattern and durability. Storage is included within the vanity and towel racks, perfect for both kids and guests.
The basement was completely structurally reworked to ensure that the space could be opened up and become a fun (and functional!) family space. Before the renovations, the kids refused to venture to the basement on their own. It was too scary! Really, who can blame them? Now they barely spend any time upstairs because the basement is the place to be! The client wanted a wet bar downstairs for family movie nights. The bar is currently located under the newly-installed straight run stairs, which allows plenty of room for the sofa and media area. To the other side of the basement, we were able to plan a purposeful home office, which gets lots of use. An added bonus of the wet bar, it has a coffee maker, which is, and absolute a must when you work from home!