Heritage Style Home Renovation

    January 4, 2010

    Welcome to our first blog!

    The general idea for the blogs of THE SKY IS THE LIMIT will be to showcase current projects that are in the making, Before and After’s, discussions about new products on the market, and we might also look into technical issues of renovations in general, lighting, appliances, effects of colour and space on the human psyche…

    We are open to suggestions, so feel free to write us a note about a subject of interest!

    For today’s introduction I will present a renovation which lately has earned us several prestigious Renovation and Design Awards, and which is being featured in a number of magazines in 2010.

    It’s a single family home, built most likely in the 1920′s, 3 houses away from the ocean, in a very nice residential neighbourhood.

    This was the view from the main entrance – to the left was a space for dining, then the kitchen, and at the end of the long hall was a small home office hogging the nicest view of the garden.

    To your right would be the living room, stairs, a small hallway towards the guest bath and guest bedroom, and a closet to the right of the back door.

    heritage reno - before

    heritage reno - after

    This is (obviously) the ‘After’ shot, taken from the same vantage point.

    After gutting about 75% of the main floor we reconfigured the space, but in a way that looks totally natural for a home that age.

    The space on your left is what we call the ‘Games Room’ – a place to hang out and play board games in, read or write, even watch TV. It can be also used as a formal Dining Room.
    The wall unit serves as a bar with storage for liquor, glasses and all the necessary acutrements for entertaining, as well as a pass through from the kitchen and display area.
    Note the ceiling treatment – the light Greyish-Blue and the Limesickle Green add an almost Swedish flavour to the place!

    heritage reno

    This shot was taken looking through the pass through into the Games Room.
    We wanted to create a defined entrance area without closing off the Games Room too much.

    The other necessity was to create proper closet space for a family of 4, with lots of sports equipment, school stuff and all the other things we humans need to store in the entrance…

    A tiled area rug design, made out of 2 colours porcelain tile, glass and granite, and the very special ‘Pebbles in Resin’ accent ( which scratches easily, so buyer beware – it totally depends where and how you want to use this tile!), defines the space nicely. A hige Thank You to Guenther for this fabulous job!

    We positioned 2 large closets on either side of the living room, connected by an archway, and defined the Glames Room with posts and ponywalls, to keep the space breathing, but nicely enveloped.

    heritage reno tiles

    If you look closely you will see that the openings, although centred onto each other, differ in width – the space between the 2 posts is actually wider than the the archway, which gives the living room more privacy, and adds dynamic to the space.

    In order to avoid too much white on the cabinetry we added a beige for the paneling on the hallway units, which makes for a great combination with the light blue ceiling.

    heritage reno kitchen - before

    This was the old kitchen – although the large windows would usually be a nice assett to have, the view of the neighbour’s fence didn’t quite cut it …

    heritage reno kitchen - after

    This is the same location after the transformation.

    Our plans asked for clerestory windows as an integral part of the hoodfan design – this way we get the effect of natural light, and a visual of the sky, without being bothered by whatever is going on at the neighbour’s house…

    The grand hoodfan treatment ( based on the idea of a typical British Hob), is being flanked by tall units – left being the Kitchenaid fridge, and on the right the Appliance /Baking Centre, hidden behind retractable doors.

    Because of the necessary depth of those units we were able to pull the work areas out more then usual, and give the homeowner a raised shelf behind the stove, which is great for having a number of spice bottles handy without giving up counter space.

    The backsplash is a custom blend in blue and green crackled glass tiles from Sonoma, combined with 3 ‘pictures’ made of pewter and bronze relief tile.

    heritage reno seating area

    This is the new informal seating area.

    Remember that office space I mentioned earlier, with the nice view of the garden?
    Here it is – integrated into the space the family hangs out in most of the time…

    Again, we reconfigured windows – higher ones on the side of the neighbour, tall ones, that max out the available space, to look out onto the garden.

    Just envision yourself lounging there on that comfy bench (storage included underneath), having the gas fireplace turned on, and watching the birds (or TV)!

    The Oak table was existing, but we stained it black, for graphic impact, and to match the colour of the Add-On Island.

    heritage reno view towards front door - before

    This was the original view from the back door towards the front door. On your right the entrance into the office, on your left you (barely) make out the closet, and then the stairs…

    heritage reno view towards front door - after

    This is the same view now, including the wonderful family canine, who was my (and the trades’) trusted friend and helper during the reno, and a constant source of joy…(sorry, no names due to privacy concerns) – love you, C!
    Great colours – don’t you think?!
    Not always am I blessed with a lively and daring client like this one!
    By the way, the blue is actually not quite as bright as on the photo – it’s more like a jeans blue…

    The island is 14′ long – we had intensely discussed all the various design options for this long room, and the client decided on a continuous stretch of island.
    In order to make this island more manageable we broke it up into 3 sections -
    remember, lots of continuous counter is not necessarily a good thing, a lot of people simply start cluttering it up despite their best intentions!

    The main island is 9′ long, stained maple in a jeans blue, with a black Cambria quartz counter top with brown flecks in it.
    BTW – the bronze faucet is the reason why we introduced the bronze relief tile in the backsplash!
    The whole area is for food prep and clean up, with a compactor and the dishwasher facing in towards the stove area.

    The black portion is what I refer to as the Add-On-Island – it’s 4′ long, with the black quartz countertop dropped just by the thickness of the counter on the blue part.
    It houses a 24″ Sharp microwave drawer, and features a curved door, to ease the transition between island and eating area.

    Curves have been used to assist with the flow, and to introduce some dynamic to an otherwise very long and rectangular space.

    The spectacular red stained, extra fat, custom made post from Old Country Woodproducts in Victoria, BC is the finishing highlight on this unusual island.

    heritage reno kitchen island

    This area especially showcases the fantastic cabinet work of Martin Zemp from Zee Design in Comox, BC!

    heritage reno kitchen pantry

    This is the desk/ message centre/ pantry part of the kitchen. It is actually wrapped around a structural post in the right front corner – but nobody could possibly guess…

    That’s it for this project…

    We used the following suppliers and trades:

    - Mclaren Lighting, Victoria BC
    - Illuminations, Victoria BC
    Appliances – Kitchenaid, through Sears
    Countertops – Colonial Countertops, Victoria BC
    Cabinetry – Zee Design, Comox BC
    Turned posts – Old Country Woodproducts, Victoria BC
    Colours - Benjamin Moore
    Tiles – Decora Tile, Victoria BC

    Hardware – Cantu, Victoria BC

    Many thanks to the client for this wonderful project…

    Happy Renovating!



    THE SKY IS THE LIMIT DESIGN is a national and international award winning, full service architectural and interior design firm. We service Vancouver, Kelowna and the BC Mainland, Victoria and Vancouver Island, Seattle and the Gulf Islands as well as international clients. Principal Ines Hanl and her team specialize in the creation of artful, bespoke interiors in any style for their discerning clientele.

    1 Comment »

    1. Ines and Martin,
      I am enjoying the layout of the new website. Reading behind the photos, I know all the thoughts and ideas that you and Martin thru around between you to make this project happen. Hopefully I will get a chance to do more projects with you two.
      John Bavin.

      Comment by John Bavin — January 18, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

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