When this international business transformation executive decided to slow his pace and set down retirement roots, he returned to his hometown of Victoria. Although, almost immediately, his commitment to overhauling businesses was replaced by an extensive home renovation of his 1955, split-level, mid-century gem in the Uplands neighbourhood.
To modernize the 3,400-square-foot home, the owner turned to Interior Designer, Rodney Deeprose of Rodney Deeprose Inc. for the residential and interior design, and enlisted Maximilian Huxley of Maximilian Huxley Construction for the build. Making numerous trips to Victoria from his design office in Toronto, Deeprose met with Huxley and the homeowner in a collaborative effort to establish the design concept, and returned several times during the process.
“The design brief wasn’t to restore the mid-century marvel to its original state, but to extend the home’s classic features — large windows, vaulted ceilings, walnut floors, and cabinetry, lacquered cabinets, and fireplace while melding the outdoors with the interior,” explains the owner. Robert DeGros of Robert DeGros Landscapes Ltd. worked with the team to boost the interior’s relationship with the third-of-an-acre property, and create a private backyard oasis.
The landscape redesign centered around an outdoor fireplace and included hardscaped patios, Portuguese rock retaining walls and a soothing rock waterfall feature highlighted by new plantings. To minimize discrepancy with the neighbouring Uplands homes, Huxley
preserved the exterior structure while updating the façade with beveled-edge cedar siding and modernized garage doors finished in satin-etched glass for a natural West Coast statement.
Huxley and his team demolished the entire interior right down to the studs and rebuilt the home, floor-by-floor, as requested by the owner. Huxley adds that “the home hadn’t been updated since the 1970’s, so the entire scope of the reno consisted of rebuilding all three floors to include three bedrooms and two baths upstairs, an open concept main floor, and a large rec room and office on the lower floor.”
Hemlock was installed on the soaring ceilings to create volume and a sense of design cohesion on the main floor. The original brick fireplace was brought up-to-date with white paint, an open-flame gas insert and a black granite hearth. New walnut floors and custom built-in cabinetry create a warm backdrop to allow the homeowner’s vibrant hued furniture and artwork to take centre stage.
Four separate rooms in the original floorplan were knocked out to create an open-concept kitchen dedicated to the homeowner’s love of cooking, with state-of-the-art appliances, ample cabinetry, and cement-toned quartz countertops. Respecting its mid-century roots, the home’s 13-foot vaulted ceilings on the main floor were extended into the newly reconfigured dining area, kitchen, entryway, and staircase while the oversize windows were maximized throughout the house.
Upstairs, the master bedroom ceilings were vaulted to nine-and-a-half feet while the walk-through closet leads to a spa-inspired ensuite. Soaring ceilings continue in the guest bathroom and showcase hand-blown Murano glass pendants the homeowner brought back from Italy.
This 1955, split-level home is a bright beacon of mid-century architecture that demanded an interior update to harmonize with outdoor spaces and firmly establish the home in the twenty-first century. Deeprose, Huxley, De Gros, and the owner proved to be keen collaborators in their ability to tastefully modernize spaces while honouring the historically significant home’s original design intent.