With their solid construction and efficient use of space, there’s a lot to love about single-story ranchers. A renewed interest in these low-slung homes has people drawn to their minimalist sensibility and one-floor living that allows them to age in place without downsizing. However, one glance at the tiny windows and claustrophobic rooms will tell you that these dated beauties have plenty to improve. Faced with pink walls, dated light fixtures and a dark European style kitchen, this retired couple wanted to step outside the design box to usher their rancher into the 21st-century. The style-savvy pair turned to Lisa Dunsmuir at Step One Design and Harbour City Kitchens to help them transform their 2100-square-feet of main floor living.
Set in a beautiful location surrounded by trees, the first step was to bring down walls to reunite the home with natural light. Dunsmuir describes the homeowners as the perfect clients: “full of energy, youthfulness and willing to think outside the box. I appreciated their design sensibility and willingness to take a leap because their house was really in need of some love. Our goal was to create a warmth and energy suitable for clients accustomed to a more traditional style but ready to experiment with a more modern open concept.”
To create drama and a wow-factor welcome, Dunsmuir designed a spacious and inviting entrance in natural materials including frosted glass door panels to let in diffused natural light without compromising privacy and a unique fireplace and surround built into the storage unit by Harbour City Kitchens. To visually distinguish the entrance in the open plan, in lieu of an entry carpet, Dunsmuir incorporated a tile inlay in the wood flooring. The entry fireplace was a unique move to provide a warm welcome and enhance the home’s sense of warmth that the clients requested.
Eschewing the quintessential west coast white kitchen cabinetry for a more timeless colour palette, the couple paired horizontal grain teak cabinets with Cambrian Black Quartz countertops for a classic feel with a contemporary edge. Black Zebrano marble backsplash runs the height of the wall for visual impact. “All the home’s elements were selected to reflect the dynamic personalities of the clients,” says Dunsmuir.
“The clients wanted a kitchen built to last so we used birch plywood box construction cabinets and dovetailed maple for the drawers. The owners wanted to go with high-end cases and hardware so we used quarter cut teak that we put together horizontally. We built an engineered veneer door with painted black accents on the kicks, island posts and crown moulding for visual impact,” adds Scott.
Exposed wood beams emphasize the living area’s vaulted ceilings and bring a rustic quality to the contemporary living area. Scott built a wood mantel to tie in with the ceiling beams and create a display space that would overshadow the tv area.
Scott concludes that “the results really exceeded the client’s vision — we managed to attain the modern look they wanted with the warmth of natural elements — overall, the project was a success.”
- Kitchen and Millwork: Harbour City Kitchens
- Interior Design: Lisa Dunsmuir, Step One Design
- Countertops: Floform
- Kitchen fixtures: The Ensuite Bath & Kitchen Centre
- Appliances: Trail Appliances
- Flooring: Fuzzy Wuzzy Carpets
- Lighting: Mclaren Lighting
- Stools: Scan Designs
- Backsplash Tile: Decora Tile
- Living Room Fireplace: Ark at Home
- Mantle: Harbour City Kitchens
- Fireplace Tile: Decora Tile
- Front Entry Fireplace: Ark at Home
- Tile: Decora Tile