For this professional couple, the arrival of their first baby prompted the need for more livable space for their growing family. Having grown up in Cordova Bay, it was important for the homeowner to be close to extended family in the quaint community bordered by a beautiful stretch of sandy beach. Custom designed by Ryan Hoyt of Ryan Hoyt Designs, the 3800-square-foot home is a lesson in maintaining elements of a neighbourhood’s existing vernacular while moving forward with the evolving demographic. Hoyt designed a modern farmhouse with an open concept living plan on the main floor, five bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths with a separate basement suite. Must-haves for the couple’s custom home consisted of three-levels with a front porch, walk-out rear patio, a suite, garage and recreation area.
“At the turn of the century, Cordova Bay was a rural vacation retreat from the city and this particular property had a 1906 missionary cottage on it,” says Hoyt. Out of respect for the neighbourhood’s rich history, the couple wanted to design a home that was sympathetic to the existing homes yet create a farmhouse feel with a fresh modern flair. Hoyt adds that he wanted the house to have a certain timelessness, yet a definite distinction as a new home that would continue the transition of the neighbourhood moving forward.
When considering the basement suite entrance, Hoyt adds that “the slope of the home from back to front was a challenge to provide walk-out access to the basement. To allow for a private entrance to the suite, we detached the garage from the house, allocating an area between the house and garage to house the basement stairs. This allows light and outside access to both the suite and the recreational portion of the basement.” To embrace the home’s timeless appeal, the front porch wraps around the side of the house to connect with the living room. It was important to the couple to create a sense of connection to the rest of the house while providing covered outdoor areas on three sides of the home.
Hoyt carefully considered the home’s orientation to enjoy either sun or shade at any time throughout the day. Clever design of the suite placed it directly beneath the front porch and not under primary living spaces which helps reduce noise transfer and increase privacy. By taking advantage of the full footprint below the house and porch, Hoyt achieved 1500-square-feet of basement area below a 1300-square-foot main floor. The garage was designed with three doors, so the owners can drive through the garage into the rear yard, which is helpful for yard work and allows for concealed boat parking.
Sliding doors from the dining area open onto a covered walk out patio. The overhang blocks just enough of the harsh west-facing sun to keep the interior of the house cool but is high enough to flood the space in natural light.
In the kitchen, glossy white cabinets pair with white Caesarstone quartz countertops to offer a fresh beach house vibe while hints of grey in the backsplash, sink and island create warmth and comfort. Replicating country house style plank flooring, Kronotex Amazone laminate flooring on the entire main floor consists of 90% wood fibre and 10% environmentally friendly bonding resin. “With the modern farmhouse theme of the house, we knew we wanted a big farmhouse sink. We were really drawn to the charcoal gloss finish of the Nantucket Fireclay farmhouse sink,” says the homeowner.
The island base is wood framed for durability with cabinets hung on the interior side. The owner envisioned the island base contrasting the rest of the cabinetry and the gloss grey was the perfect middle ground between the black window frames and white cabinets. Recessed LED pot lights in the kitchen and living area keep the open plan clutter-free while the glass lantern globes with Edison bulbs hang over the island to provide a warm glow.
Adjacent to the hardworking island, a workstation houses a beverage fridge and extra storage capabilities. Soft grey grain in the Carrera marble honeycomb tile backsplash provides a touch of contrast and warmth against the glossy white theme.
Rustic wood furnishings offer warmth and contrast to the white kitchen and maintain the home’s farmhouse feel while sliding doors open into a walk-out patio area in the backyard.
A glass door in the living area brings in light and offers access to the wrap around porch to embrace the theme of connection in the home. The tongue and groove shiplap wood on the fireplace surround offers a casual New England style charm to the living area.
“We made the decision to not use carpet in the house for ease of cleaning and reduction of dust and allergens, says the homeowner, who used Kronotex Amazone flooring in the bedrooms and “Essential” vinyl tile in the bathrooms. The homeowners conclude that they are very pleased with the results of their home, the layout has become a great space for entertaining and allows them a lot of flexibility in the future if they want to convert the basement into two suites. “Our neighbours, many of whom have lived in the neighbourhood for a long time, have been very complimentary of the design and feel it has been a really positive addition.”
Heated vinyl tile was used in the ensuite along with Carrera marble and easy to maintain, white subway tile wainscotting to protect walls and keeps the design fresh and clean. All ensuite fixtures are Delta Vero series in brushed nickel and bathtubs were sourced from the Maax collection.