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  • Writer's picturePat Browne

A family home full of laughter and cheer

“When we viewed our home back in 2005, we walked around a construction site with bare floors and rubble for a garden. We were already living in the neighbourhood but knew that our little house was not going to be big enough for a growing family,” said the homeowner. “When we first saw this house at more than 3,400 square feet, we knew we could make this our forever home.”

As we’ve noted before, all homes in this neighbourhood are different from each other and depending on your point of view, have different challenges. In this case, the house was one that you walked into a tiny kitchen at the front of the house. That was the catalyst for the first renovation.

“After living in this spacious house for a couple of years we knew there was much more that we could do with the space above and beyond builder basic. As we’ve both become home-workers, we needed a space that does more than double duty. We needed a much more spacious kitchen that provided some casual dining, and definition to the more formal dining area.”

"Working with a contractor, we started with the philosophy that design should make our lives easier, happier and reflect who we are."

The first thing suggested by the contractor was to remove the standard closet and full counter depth cupboard the builder had put in all the kitchens of English Lane townhomes. In most cases, these cupboards do not work in the kitchen and in fact, limit flow. Since function is the most important element in a house, especially one with a growing family, these had to go.

By removing the two cupboards and repositioning the cabinetry to a single wall layout (popular with designers as a one wall kitchen layout maximizes space), the designer was able to install an eight-foot island that incorporated the sink and dishwasher, as well as counter seating. Instead of the counter depth cabinet and coat cupboard, upper depth cabinets were built to fill the entire door-side wall, more than tripling the amount of cabinet space. The single line functioning wall houses a gas cook top, two wall ovens, the fridge and an espresso bar.

To accommodate the enlarged kitchen, the designer extended into the existing dining room space taking the cabinetry to the base of the stairs. In a house with so much square footage, this didn’t impact the size of the formal dining room. In fact, this is one of the houses that even had a powder room on the main floor hidden behind the side dining room wall.

To continue the tone and manner of the kitchen renos, the homeowners extended the trim package throughout the house increasing the height of the baseboards, changing the doors and hardware, and using applied mouldings to define the dining room.

In the living room a large built-in unit houses a fireplace and entertainment unit. Bulkheads were used to install additional pot-lights throughout ensuring enough light in a centre unit.

All bathrooms were renovated throughout the house sticking with a timeless grey and white colour scheme. In the master suite, the master bath now houses two sinks that sit between a large walk-in shower at one end and a soaker tub at the other.

In the master bedroom, a full wall of closets was installed to significantly increase the amount of storage space.

In the basement, a large study sits behind French doors with a full games room including a pool table in front benefiting from the light that flows through the glass of the French doors.

There’s a flow to the house now. “Although we are family of five, it never feels overcrowded,” the homeowner says. “Sixteen years on and we are delighted with our home – it’s exactly how we want it to be. We’ve planned everything around the needs of the family, and the result is a joy to be in.”

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