For a professional couple with two small children, their 3500-square-foot home on a quiet street in Broadmead was feeling dysfunctional and dark. Typical of most 1970’s homes, the rooms were boxy and disconnected and the dated kitchen was becoming restrictive. Think built-in mustard yellow wall oven, linoleum flooring and a surplus of flimsy dark cupboards. The vision was to transform the traditional layout with its series of small dark rooms into an open and bright, practical yet stylish space for easy family living.
The home owners reached out to creative collaborators, Roy Anderson of Brunswick Custom Building and Interior Designer, Leah Rourke of Relish Interiors to redesign the layout to let in light and create a functional open-plan for their family of four plus large dog. After significant reconfiguring, the outcome is 4200-square-feet of family-friendly space that ticks all the right boxes: an open-plan main floor with playroom, workstation and three bedrooms, a basement with large family room, wet bar, gym, office, two guest rooms, ensuite, laundry room and a garage.
To enhance the home’s flow and refresh its tired bones, Rourke had walls removed, repositioned the staircase, added expansive windows and reconsidered every room’s use in the house. Having worked with the homeowners on a previous renovation, she was familiar with the couple’s style and brought fresh ideas to their forever home. “They had a straightforward checklist of the things they needed from a functionality perspective and the material choices were based on durability for a growing family. Their primary design requests included an open-plan layout infused with natural light in a neutral palette that would be calming and casual,” states Rourke.
Rourke created a transitional kitchen by combining the warmth of timeless traditional elements with the simple lines of a contemporary design. To construct an industrious command centre for the busy family, Rourke enlisted Thomas Philips Woodworking to build custom cabinets and bring the home a lived-in, high-quality feel. The kitchen cabinets are a lacquered shaker with a bevel sticking in Benjamin Moore white dove.
The hardworking eat-in island houses a wine fridge, microwave, prep sink and extra storage while the warmth of the cafe walnut hue has a grounding effect in the open space. Stain and scratch resistant, polished quartz on the kitchen countertops and island bring a fresh, contemporary feel. An irregular linear marble backsplash in oriental white adds texture to the predominantly white kitchen. An expanse of windows the width of the house allows natural light to permeate the main floor while sliding doors lead to a deck overlooking the backyard.
To maintain a streamlined look with open sight lines, recessed lighting and under cabinet task lighting was used throughout the main floor. Visible from the front entrance, teardrop glass pendants hang delicately over the staircase as an elegant welcome. Considering young children and pets, the flooring had to be heavy-duty and easy to maintain. Hand-distressed engineered hardwood with an oiled finish in brazilnut was chosen for both its practicality and gorgeous natural finish.
Rourke redefined an underutilized area on the main floor to create a multifunctional workspace. Built as an extension of the kitchen, she used material repetition — marble backsplash paired with white shaker cabinets — to create cohesion in the open plan.
Designed by Rourke and built by Thomas Philips Woodworking, built-ins with cabinets in the living area carry through the same cafe walnut hue from the kitchen to create design unity within the open concept.
Defining the area, vein cut marble on the fireplace surround offers a sophisticated focal point in the living area.
Designed as a private sanctuary, the master ensuite was kept moderately minimalist with white porcelain flooring and white shower surround. “A Carrara marble shower niche, a custom-built vanity in vintage walnut and a decorative chandelier over the free standing soaker tub brings interest to the space,” says Rourke.