I am super excited to share this renovation with all of you as it not only is stunning, but it definitely was a work in progress. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that the first conversations that I had with my clients were in April of 2015! Yes, that is not a type-o. The process I worked through with my clients is not really typical for most people however I hope by sharing this journey with you that you will see that ‘Reach for the Sky‘ was thoroughly planned out and thought through to give my clients their dream space!
Main Floor Renovation: Before
Prior to this renovation, this 4 level split home looked like this:
Here are some before photos:
Very limited cabinet space.
Door leading into the formal dining room
Back entrance and doors to the pantry (stairs just around the corner to go to lower 3rd level).
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the initial work with my clients started in April of 2015. I had met the Mr. and Mrs. to discuss what they were looking for and what they were wishing to have. We discussed taking out walls, pushing out the kitchen and dining room at the back, cabinet options, etc. We pretty much went through an entire process looking at ever single option that was available. One thing that I do wish to state here is that
anything is possible
You just have to have a budget that will allow for those changes.
In July of 2105 I sent some conceptual renderings that offered just 1 wall coming out (living room) to open up the space, taking out the back stairs to create a larger panty and keeping most of the appliances in the same space (to save on the budget). If you look closely at the plan, there are some spaces only 23″ wide and 22″ wide. Clearly not enough space – but my clients were able to see that once it was on paper. Being able to see the conceptual designs showed my clients that perhaps they were not getting exactly what they were hoping for. Here is what the plan looked like:
Main Floor Renovation: Let’s Try Again
After seeing this rendering, my clients knew something was missing. It wasn’t feeling ‘YES’ so we continued to plan. Mr. and Mrs. Client were also investigating two other options: to build an entirely new home or purchase a new home to renovate. They knew that with a 4-Level split, there was only so much we could do with square footage so those two options were also looked at. Looking at new builds and homes for sale took just over one year. Mr. and Mrs. Client committed to giving themselves one year to see if they could find something to either build or something to move into. What kept drawing them back to their current home was their current home. It’s located in a great community and it is where they have raised their family. No new build will ever trump that card!
After visiting many show homes, the Mrs. found one she was really drawn to. While there were elements that she couldn’t really care about (one being the total square footage which was way too large), it was the kitchen that she just loved. We went a few times to that show home together so I could get a sense of what was drawing her in. Was it the colour scheme? Was it the function of the kitchen layout? Was it the colours used that was having a psychological effect on her? Well – it was basically all of the above.
It was back to the drawing board for me to re-design those wishes and see if that was do-able in her 4-Level split home. The new plan involved more walls coming out and still working with taking out the back staircase (having to work around the 3rd level laundry room as well). This was one of the conceptual designs that I came up with:
Let’s Add On
While this rendering and conceptual design was a great way to see the potential, my clients wanted to explore the possibility of expanding out the back. I quickly drew up a rendering to show them the maximum they could go:
When the price tag came along with this possible expansion, we let this idea die and I did not have to re-design this space. This expansion idea took place in September of 2016.
Final Plan – But Is It Really?
Some minor changes were made, some tweaking of the interior cabinets were changed and on September 9, 2016, I sent Mr. and Mrs. Client a ‘Final Layout”. They could use this layout to get quotes for their home. Here is the final (but is it really the final) plan:
Really – This is the Final Plan!
Every time I go into my files for this project I get the giggles. Under Mr. and Mrs. Client, I have file folders and sub folders and sub folders! I have one file folder called ‘Final’, then within that file are other files titled, ‘Final 1’, ‘Final 2’, ‘Seriously the final final’. While I get the giggles looking at all the renderings, this process was extremely important for my clients. One thing to mention here (and I know Mrs. Client will not mind me saying this), is that the Mrs. is extremely detail oriented, Type A personality. I can’t begin to tell you how many emails and early morning phone calls we had to discuss the glass muntin’s for the glass cabinet. I thought my cabinet company was going to kill me with all the changes however they tell me they are used to many, many changes. Thank you to Casa Flores Custom Cabinetry for working with us! Throughout this process it became very evident early on that my client wanted to know every minute detail. Typically for me, most clients are unaware of my anal-ness and pickiness at the fine detail and are unaware of how picky I can be. For this couple, every last detail was discussed, thought over, and planned.
Reach for the Sky: And So It Began
I’m not going to lie. When January 9, 2017 came, I was dancing the happy dance! That was the day the renovation officially began. Adam Strong with Strong Residential Projects Ltd led this project with his wonderful crew.
While the renovation started, my clients and I were still solidifying items for their home and work was not done for me. When the walls came down and the ceiling came off, Mrs. Client mentioned how open their home would look if they could vault. While we had discussed vaulting before, we wrote it off to keep the numbers down. Well – low and behold, the ceiling could be vaulted and the price tag associated with it was not overly crazy. When Mrs. Client called to ask me my opinion, here is what I told her:
“Now that you see your ceiling opened up, you are getting a sense of what a vault will look like. There are two scenarios:
Scenario 1: If you don’t vault, when you come downstairs when this is all over, will you find yourself saying, “Boy, I wish we would have vaulted when we had the chance.”
Scenario 2: If you do vault, when you come downstairs when this is all over, will you find yourself ever saying, “Boy, I wish we would have never vaulted.”
We then talked about the budget and if this was something they wished to add. Would they ever regret vaulting? No, they would never regret that decision. In the end, we decided to reach for the sky and vault!
The entire time, things progressed as planned (even though a vault had been added). There obviously were onsite meetings for lighting placement (and it was super important to incorporate an existing chandelier and 2 stunning wall sconces), as well as meetings regarding the Butler’s Pantry. It was important to maximize every inch of the space(s). Here are a few in progress shots:
The vault has begun!
Drywall always makes the space feel like it’s coming together!
Cabinet delivery is a bit like Christmas morning! Excitement all around.
Cabinet and appliance install happening
Hood fan all in! Mr. Client getting right in there to lend a helping hand 🙂
Main Floor Renovation: The Results
I am not going to lie: I am going to really miss my clients as it was a long journey however I am relieved that this one is done! When I look back at the process, it is by far the longest project I have worked on. I love knowing my client’s are in love with their home, that they got everything they were hoping for, and they find their space functional and pretty.
I always work on function prior to the picking out the pretty. With this kitchen and Butler’s Pantry, we maximized every space. Here are a few ways we achieved this:
Super spice cabinet with pull out drawers for the cooks in the house! Mrs. Client had seen a similar cabinet and we were able to accommodate one.
Pull out pot drawers
Pull out trash/recycling
Butler’s Pantry with a super cabinet with 3 pull out drawers
Pull out pantry right in the kitchen
No filler panels here! This little cubby is perfect for brooms!
I hope you enjoy the images in my portfolio of this entire main floor renovation. Again, I am sincerely grateful for Casa Flores and Strong Residential Ltd and to for working on this project with me. And of course, a huge thank you to my client for this wonderful renovation journey!
Click here for the entire portfolio of images.
Thinking of carrying out a renovation and don’t know where to start? Contact me today to discuss your upcoming wishes and dreams!