For a retired couple downsizing from a sizable modern home in Fairfield to a condo in James Bay, the key to this involved undertaking was a consultation with interior designer, Jason Rolstone of Jason Rolstone Design, prior to purchasing. Close to urban amenities, the beach, and green space, their 9th-floor condo, built in the 1990’s, was mostly in its original state and in need of an overhaul. Rolstone’s keen eye helped the couple envision their dream of bringing the modern open plan of their previous home to the smaller space. Together with Erik Larsen of Larsen Group, the creative collaborators removed walls to open the floor plan, let the natural light pour in and capitalized on the condo’s bird’s eye views of the ocean and Olympic ranges.
Like most condos built in the 1990’s, the rooms were boxy and disconnected with no sense of flow and the main living spaces didn’t take advantage of the stunning water views. As a full-service team that provides residential design, project management and custom millwork and furniture, Larsen Group created a six-page estimate for the couple to break down every element of the project with timelines and budget parameters for labour and materials. It was estimated to be a three-month job. “We blew out all the walls in the main living areas creating an open living, dining, kitchen and family room. The condo provided very limited storage capabilities so this became a focal point for the couple. Jason did a great job designing the cabinetry for the clients’ needs, with a clean, unencumbered feel,” adds Larsen.
“My design approach to this renovation is what I refer to as west-coast modern earthy,” says Rolstone. I’m always inspired by the elements found in nature so my style comes from combining different textures and merging various elements like concrete, wood, metals and stone for an eye-catching design.” The kitchen is sleek with quality materials and full height cabinets that provide ample storage you would find in a house. Walnut-lined cut-outs in the kitchen pantry cabinets create display space for the homeowners’ collection of fine glass sculptures.
Rolstone created a neutral palette for the condo’s backdrop and incorporated colour features with the couple’s art and accessories. Exposing original cement columns brought an industrial touch that mingles beautifully with the various woods and glass.
Concealing the television behind solid wood cabinets above the fireplace was important to Rolstone considering the room’s dimensions and the goal of keeping the harbour views the primary focal point. Minimal handle-less cabinetry maintains a natural uncluttered feel.
The Hubbardton Forge dining fixture keeps sight lines open to allow the artwork and views to take centre stage. Larsen included built-in storage in the dining area to elevate the room’s functionality.
Built-in storage was an essential part of the couple’s transition from single family home to condo. Larsen incorporated built-in chest of drawers in the master bedroom and optimum storage in the ensuite. “Renovating condos can be challenging because of the smaller space to work with and you want to be respectful of the other residents in the building and the strata. Our clients were moved into their new condo in under four months with a few finishing touches left to a subcontractor.”