A cramped and neglected character home gets a contemporary refresh by Chris Lacey, owner of Bowcey Construction. Built in 1911, the home suffered structural problems, a dysfunctional layout, and previous fire damage. To restore the 2,400-square-foot home, Lacey lifted the house to create height for a nine-foot basement with a secondary suite, additional bedroom, and flex space currently used as a home gym and workshop.
“The client wanted to maintain the character appeal of the house on the exterior and update the interior to a modern Scandinavian style,” says Lacey, who added a steel floor beam and additional large beams to shore up the structure. “We had to get creative with the layout to provide structure while maintaining a functional design.”
To tie the new basement with the original house, Lacey finished the exterior with cedar shingles up to the main floor, plus horizontal wood siding, custom milled to match the original. “It was really important for the owner to make the house as energy-efficient as possible,” says Lacey. He used Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for the new foundation, plus upgraded insulation and Marvin wood mullioned windows. A new energy-conscious heating system includes radiant in-floor heating for the basement’s polished concrete floors.
Stylistically, the restoration achieved a minimalist aesthetic inside, with plenty of built-in storage. Black doors, stair railings, and window frames stand out against crisp white walls, all balanced by natural wood floors and grain-matched walnut cabinetry in the kitchen. A waterfall island in Silestone white quartz contains the microwave, handy storage compartments, and the sink. High-gloss white pantry cabinetry seamlessly integrates the fridge into the design.
In addition to the central living areas, the main floor contains another bedroom, an office, and a full bathroom. The upper half-story provides charming sleeping quarters, with two bedrooms and the main bathroom tucked under the dormers.
“Victoria is home to many beautiful and solidly built character homes and this project is a lesson in making a century-old home more functional with modern materials while staying true to its original character,” Lacey says. For the young professional couple who live here, the balance between old and new is a joy to come home to.