West End Reno
Every project starts with a story and this started with a growing family in need of a bigger home.
They had been living in the West End throughout their thirties and loved that vibrant part of town, where everything is at your doorstep and you can leave the car parked over the weekend because you are able to walk everywhere. It was fundamental for them to maintain that lifestyle and they decided to trade the classical single family home dream with a bigger backyard: Stanley Park.
After they purchased their 2 bedrooms apartment in 2011, they quickly realized that they would have lived there for a long time. They knew they couldn’t afford a bigger space for their family plans so they got creative and purchased the other suite on the same floor, a 1 bedroom apartment, just before the market in Vancouver was starting peaking, and kept it rented for a few years while they were building the funds for the reno and building up their family.
When the second child was born they finally decided it was time to get their plan to merge the apartments into action and they came to me seeking help for a new layout.
The task was not easy, as they needed to combine two units into one, removing a redundant kitchen, laundry room and living room.
"The design process went through a few phases, while me and my wife were trying to prioritize our needs and optimize our space. We knew we wanted a big space for entertaining, with a table to accommodate 12 people, a kitchen big enough for our family needs and a working surface to be able to express our cooking skills. I wanted the living area to flow, with everything connected but yet well defined in its space."
Though a total square footage of about 1200 sf could seem quite big for the average size of apartments in the area, the requests were quite ambitious:
A master bedroom with wic and ensuite, 2 bedrooms for the kids, a guest/office and an open space kitchen dining.
After different trials and after checking the various limitations of the building, we decided that the best way to connect the 2 apartments was through the old bedroom that would now turn into the living room.
This allowed us to open completely the kitchen to a large dining area. This became the heart of the house as the family loves to entertain large group of friends with delightful Italian aperitivo and dinners.
To get a bigger kitchen and dining to entertain we had to knock down the kitchen walls, that required an engineer to evaluate the type of support we needed to open the space without any obstructions. Luckily we where able to conceal the new beam in the ceiling creating a bright and beautiful open space with no interruptions.
"The end results are more that we hoped for, a four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an open kitchen with a huge island, a full living room, three balconies and a ensuite laundry room for all the family needs. Jessica’s skills really shine during the planning phase, when she was able to show us the different layouts and options in a 3D model, to allow us to better understand the future space."
connection between the 2 apartments
Kitchen and dining room before and after.
The connection on the south part of the apartment allowed a distinct separation between the Day and Night parts of the house, keeping the bedrooms very private.
Since the kids bedrooms were just a place to sleep, they didn't mind if they were quite small, but a big request was to be able to accommodate a king size bed in their Master Bedroom.
As in every family house storage was also a big deal and we tried to optimize every small corner with custom millwork to achieve the maximum storage solutions.
The old fireplace turned in a built in closet.