680 SF
Interior Renovation

Gold Certification – Built Green, 2014

When we first saw the home, we noticed that it had a bit of an architectural ‘mullet’ going on.  The front of the house was a beautiful character home built in 1912, lovingly cared for and restored, inside and out.  The back of the house suffered from a 1988 addition built by a previous owner with a shed roof and poorly integrated with the rest of the home.  The owners described a time-warp that occurred whenever you crossed that old-to-new threshold within the home.

We designed a renovation that would tie the exterior of the addition in with the rest of the character home, and provide more beautiful and functional spaces on the interior.  The 680 SF interior renovation includes a new family lounge area, kitchen, powder room, work space, entry closets, laundry room, office, and a new feature stair to connect the main floor of the home with the previously separated basement level.

“It all looks so fantastic. We are really happy.” – Homeowners

The interior aesthetic is modern, yet timeless.  All design elements serve double duty by contributing to the pragmatic function of the space, while providing a playful and dramatic design, which brings the family together.

 “One SEED has provided creative, sustainable solutions for our tricky renovation.” – Homeowners

This is a project that has focused on sustainability right from the very beginning.  As the whole team (builder Vertical Grain Projects, clients, and One SEED) shares a passion for all things green, it was a lot of fun to collaborate throughout the design process.  We worked together to achieve Gold Certification through Built Green. Read more about the green certification, as well as our exploration of Living Building Challenge here.  Here are a few of the ways we made this renovation eco-conscious:

+ energy efficient  LED lighting throughout

+ energy efficient appliances

+ high performance fiberglass windows (R3.85)

+ re-insulated exterior walls and ceilings

+ passive cross-ventilation through carefully placed operable windows and doors

+ water efficient low flow fixtures (1.5GPM faucets, dual flush toilet)

+ occupant health and comfort through thermal comfort, and improved indoor air quality through non-toxic materials

+ biophilia (connection to the outdoors) through improved views and daylighting.

+ built-in recycling station

+ green materials (durable, local, recycled content, renewable, etc.)

+ salvaged lumber used for floating shelves and wood countertop in laundry, from various sources including demolition of previous garage and an old warehouse, stained with locally manufactured low-VOC stains

+ insulation with 40% recycled content, GreenGuard low VOC Certified, CFC and HCFC free

+ quartz counters that are non-toxic, low VOC GreenGuard certified, non-porous and durable

+ casework made from NAUF (no-added urea formaldehyde) plywood boxes, finished w/ Greenguard certified water based and low VOC cabinet lacquer

+ interior solid core doors made from 100% recovered agricultural fibre,  formaldehyde-free

+ salvaged lumber stair treads

+ reclaimed hardwood flooring, salvaged, then finished with low-VOC non-toxic water based urethane coating

+ rapidly renewable linoleum flooring made from natural ingredients, naturally anti-static and antimicrobial

+ low-VOC Green Seal Certified paint

+ tile made from 70%+ recycled content, lead-free color, carbon offset manufacturing process, manufactured and sourced w/in 500 miles of Vancouver

“I am so excited about how much light there is in the kitchen now.  And that I will be able to see the back yard from the sink! Yippee!” – Homeowners

More about the design: We opened up the entrance of the home by removing the enclosing walls of an interior vestibule and creating an open wood screen to define the start of the new stair to the basement. This screen is a visual reference, in a modern style, to the traditional banister just beyond in the entrance.  New salvaged hardwood flooring throughout ties the old and new together with a continuity in materials and finishes.

A playful palette of materials, accented by the bold Adler light fixtures over the peninsula, and the colourful mix of geometric wave tiles along the backsplash, create a fun space for the family to gather and entertain.  The millwork pieces are designed to double as storage and additional seating for larger get-togethers.

The high vaulted ceilings are highlighted by carrying millwork the full height of the space, drawings your eye upwards while providing some bonus, occasional access, storage.  In addition, an asymmetrical backsplash and mirror design in the vanity have a similar visual impact by extending from top of vanity to underside of ceiling in the powder room.

Storage and work surfaces: They make for a boring topic, but will make all the difference between a space you love, and one you loathe.  The re-imagining of the space incorporates storage of all types and sizes (shallow, deep, wide, narrow, drawers, awnings, open shelves, hidden shelves, pull-out hardware, hanging storage, and even a recycling station).  A small locker-style closet at the back door, which is the most common point of entry for the family, incorporates bench seating, and drawers for storing shoes.  The nearby entertainment unit is a continuation of the kitchen design as far as circulation and planning are concerned, however has a distinct shift in materials and dimensions to identify the beginning of the lounge space in a subtle way. Both pieces double as seating for large gatherings.

A new and much larger entry closet is incorporated in the transition from kitchen to entrance to improve flow within the home.

A long prep counter with several outlets for countertop appliance and ready access to open shelves for cookbooks, provides ample space for group cooking sessions with their Girl Guide group, or for cooking as a family.  The counter transitions into a multi-functional peninsula with sufficient seating for the family of four, or additional counter space for meal preparation or for doing homework. No space is wasted here, with the lounge side of the peninsula providing under-counter storage for the kids’ arts and craft supplies.

Builder: Vertical Grain Projects

Photography: Martin Knowles Photo/Media

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