Roughly this time last year I sat down with a new client. She came in flustered having just bought a new home, she had a two year old son in her right hand a 3 month old daughter in her left hand; needless to say starting a renovation was rather daunting. The client had a conceptual idea for the home and a husband who was onboard for anything. Before I saw a single photo of their newly purchased home I was told “we want the home to have a calm Scandinavian country feel… but still modern”. Then the moment of surprise came, I was presented photos of house untouched since its 1930’s construction and a set of architectural plans for a renovation that looked like every mass builder would produce. First thing I asked the client was “If I can have your trust, would you let me throw out any preliminary work and let me start new?” The client said yes and everything else is history.
Knowing that the clients purchased their home to be close to her parents as well as the trendy neighborhood of Hintonburg, as opposed to loving the interior, I figured everything was fair game. I decided to tear down the dividing wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Turning the position of the kitchen 90 degrees so that Mom and Dad can watch the kids play in the backyard while prepping the meals and cooking was a huge advantage. Needing storage, but hating upper cabinets - a walk-in pantry was discreetly disguised behind the fridge. Opening up the kitchen to the backyard was important for creating an indoor outdoor space; this was accomplished by having to 8’-00 tall sets of navy blue French doors installed; flooding the space with light.
Refer to before picture 3 for comparision of previous view. Reference to the Blue French Doors installed.
Once we decided on a new floor plan and functionality for the spaces involved we needed to pick finishes. By now the client and I had been meeting weekly to discuss every detail from the flooring, to paint colour, to cabinet hardware. Knowing we wanted to maximize the amount of light and keep the Scandinavian feel, lots of white and blonde woods were used. A 6” wide wire-brushed white oak flooring was installed. Farrow & Ball No.2001 Strong White was used on all walls, ceiling and trim. The existing brick fireplace was painted in No.2001 as well to create subtle texture. All interior & exterior doors were then painted out in Farrow & Ball No.31 Railings for a deep inky blue black contrast. The kitchen cabinetry is a combination of natural quarter sawn white oak and matte lacquer maple all done in Astro’s House Brand cabinetry. Simple matte black square knobs complete with back-plate create a crisp graphic quality to warm bright kitchen. The counters are a combination of Caesarstone 1141 Pure White quartz created the low maintenance hardworking surface needed for a young family. Along the stove wall a subtle backsplash was installed. The marble mosaic from Montreal’s very own MUD Tile (sold exclusively via Astro), was used to create depth, elongated hexagon Rock Salt mosaic nods toward the Scandinavian arts and crafts movement. A simple drywall hood fan was used against the mosaic. The fan was painted out in Farrow & Ball’s No.269 Cabbage White to pull the pastel green out of the mosaic.
Refer to before picture 2 for comparision of previous view. Reference to the Hood Fan & Mud Tile Backsplash.
By October of this year the clients were happily moved in to their new home. Having recently stopped by to visit the finished project I found myself standing in a kitchen that while brand new felt as though it had always been there. The renovated house was now a home for a young family to grow in. In the end, success is the only word that comes to mind.
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Photos by Doublespace Photography