When I think of classic design, I think of something that endures…something that isn’t a trend or that will outdate quickly, but has an element of what is current, timeless, lasting, stylish & elegant. Some classify it as purely traditional, but that is certainly not the case!! Classic design is still chic and comfortable but can be clean and modern too--as can be seen in this West End Hamilton side split home.
A devastating fire had ravaged most of this residence, yet the homeowners saw its potential through the tragedy. They lived just next door, and upon viewing the property they saw the pool, larger yard, and most of all OPPORTUNITY to make a home truly their own for the family of five. They decided to purchase the home as-is and started to slowly renovate it room by room. There was lots of clean up, but this gave the family the blank slate they wanted to incorporate what was important to them—classic design that endures and a home that functions well for their busy family.
Here are some of the before shots of the kitchen and living room.
There were many decisions that had to be made and as the kitchen is the heart of the home, they started there and worked their way through the main floor. Initially, the big debate was whether or not to remove the wall from the kitchen and open it all up for an open plan. We decided that keeping the one wall in place would offer more privacy and create a more formal living space that was ultimately what the homeowners envisioned. The wall from the kitchen to the dining space was removed and we added in a peninsula, making the kitchen area much more open for entertaining & socializing.
The desire for the homeowners was for this space to be the dream kitchen, so a lot of time was spent working out the best layout for pots, plates, waste stations, etc., so everything had its place. We also carefully chose each finish –from the granite countertops to the extra long cabinet hardware to provide a modern classic look that she loved. Drawers have customized inserts, cabinets extend to the ceiling–this kitchen has all the storage needed for this family of five; there are even places to display her various blue and white collections, which add so much personality to the room!
We chose to create a feature wall in the kitchen and tiled the area behind the stove in a more prominent marble mosaic, while on the facing wall we chose a quiet oversized subway tile that blended into the wall color. For the flooring, tile was laid in the kitchen on the diagonal to give the room a feeling of spaciousness, and laminate flooring was installed throughout the dining and living rooms all the way to the bedrooms for continuity. It was very important to the family that they achieved an end result that everyone would be happy with for many years to come…and we helped them every step of the way!
When it came to the configuration of furniture for the living room, I have found over the years that many people struggle with the layout of the L-shaped living room/dining room in these side split homes; but with some creative planning, we were able to maximize the flow of these areas. The homeowners had a large collection of books, so we gave them a place of pride in the living room and positioned the shelving to create a niche for the custom sofa. On these shelves, you also find more pieces of the client’s blue and white collection (a person after my own heart!) and many family mementos to make the space personal and interesting.
The previous homeowners had left some furniture behind (yes it survived!) and the coffee and side tables were part of this lot. They were given a fresh coat of paint and now work perfectly with the classic design of the space. The two side chairs were also given a makeover with fresh re-upholstery and a black coat of paint. To mix things up, we selected a side chair with a different fabric on the back that adds style and can be seen right when you walk into the room. It’s these little details that elevate this space, yet provide an elegant, livable look for this busy family.
The homeowners wanted a quiet, calm feeling in the living room, but added a bit more color in the dining room by painting out the vintage chairs in her favorite color and styling the china cabinet and sideboard with some of her favorite pieces. Shutters were added to the windows for privacy and drapery panels soften the look and provide some subtle pattern that finishes these rooms off perfectly! A little bling on the chandelier and hanging pendants isn’t over the top so the men in the house don’t feel out of place.
This project is still a work in progress and a labour of love for this family; just this spring they were able to complete the exterior siding and stain the brick which now has removed all traces of the fire from the exterior and given the home a completely new look! The homeowners wanted the front door to stand out, so we decided on a bright blue hue for the siding and a deep gray for the brick, causing the white door and window frame trim to contrast and give the look the homeowner now is proud to call her own! The dated arch in the entryway was demolished and as well as a half wall that jutted out of the front of the home; this opened up the front entrance considerably and gave the entrance more visibility and is far more welcoming.
There are still more rooms to be completed, but with each step they accomplish, these homeowners enjoy their West End Side Split home more and more. We enjoyed the process of helping these homeowners achieve a classic style that truly represents them and their vision for their forever home…and will continue to do so until the project is finally completed!
Photography of main floor by Vanessa Jeakins
Granite Counters: Granite Plus
Floor & Wall Tiles: Eden Tile
Sofa: Bella Casa Interiors
Dining Chandelier: Rona
Pendant Lights: Structube
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