Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Busy, busy!

Wow, things have really become busy over the past week, or so!  Two new projects have been acquired, and I'm hopping!!

I'll be making more formal announcements, in the next few days but, for now, I'll just give you the basic details...

  • I've been retained to design a pool house for a local client.  A nice, little job to compliment a lovely house in SE Oakville.
  • I've been retained to redesign and develop an existing commercial, retail unit in a local Plaza, which will become a second location for a growing music teaching facility and studio space.  I'm thrilled about this one, as it's my first venture into the commercial architecture that I love.  While I have much experience in this area from past positions whilst employed by Architects, it's a field that I've yet to manage on my own...  Excited, to be sure!!
I'll be updating, as they progress, and time permits!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Hands-on Renovation

Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure to be working with a client / contractor who is renovating a dated dwelling and preparing it for sale in the active Old Oakville real estate market.  The property has been listed before but was taken off the market, as it was found lacking in various areas.  The client retained me for advice and guidance in bringing the dwelling up to date and renovated in accordance with comments received by the Realtor during open house viewings.

For a frame of reference, here are the existing floor plans:

Existing Main Floor Plan

Existing Upper Floor Plan

Of primary concern was the awkward layout of the rooms in the forward portion of the Main Floor Plan.  The existing spaces (currently labelled as "Living Room" and "Office / Library") were perceived as being small and restrictive to both function and flow.

Office / Library

Living Room

Also, the these spaces were considered to have less than ideal natural light.  In addition, the main staircase to the upper level of the home was very dark, narrow and unwelcoming.  To get an idea, I've included some images of the existing spaces, as described:

Main Stair
As you can see, I suggested removing the partition wall between the two spaces to open-up the plan and address the issue of "flow".  An unused closet was removed and all hardwood flooring was replaced, to match the remainder of the floor level.  New windows (from Pollard Windows) were introduced, to match the existing, which dramatically increased the amount of ambient light in the space.

New Windows

To Match Existing

To address the "unwelcoming" stair, Sun Tunnels from Velux have been specified and are awaiting installation into the flat-roof above the upper stair-hall.  The desire is to illuminate the entire space and fill the stair case with more ambient light.  A lighter paint colour on the walls, a bright coat of paint on the stair and a contrasting stair runner will draw the eye up, create interest and invite the occupant into the upper level.  As this phase progresses, I'll update with photos of the transformation.

The remainder of the main floor level is also undergoing renovation to the kitchen and great-room spaces.  The idea is to check-off the "dream kitchen" must have in a potential purchaser's list, and to address the uncertainty in function of the open area.

The existing Kitchen had uppers suspended from a bulkhead which compromised the view to the massive, wooded lot at the rear of the property.

Existing Kitchen
The remodel includes removal of the uppers, to open the kitchen to the view and access to the renovated breakfast space:

Existing Breakfast Area

These areas are currently under renovation:

Uppers Removed

New Cabinetry Awaiting Installation

There will be a new, coffer / bulkhead detail and integrated lighting introduced into the Great Room ceiling to delineate the spaces and give the occupant an anchor for the intended functions of casual dining and relaxing.

I've been involved in all aspects of this project.  From design planning and decisions to swinging a hammer with the contractor, we've been working together.  It's been a fun project which is ongoing.  I'll update as progress continues!

- Credit to the Realtor, Mark Kirton, for the scanned images used in this post.  Thank you.