Reader’s home – a local reno

Posted on Tue, 17 May 2011 by KiM

I was SO EXCITED the other day when I received an email from Gillian, a local Ottawan who at one time had grand plans to turn a boring 1945 2 bedroom Ottawa bungalow into something modern and spectacular. Sounds kind of familiar. 🙂 Luckily for Gillian her plans were put into action and completed in November of last year – and the results are FABULOUS!! (and I’m totally going to hit her up for advice throughout my renos). Here’s the scoop from Gillian:

The objective was clear: build an edgy, modern, sustainable home. The wish list included: 3 bedrooms; an open concept, chef’s style eat-in kitchen for entertaining and doing heaps of cooking; an ‘urban great room’ across the back of the house to let the sun shine in and provide main floor family space; a custom, “wow” open staircase (none of that pre-fab stuff!); a mudroom; a dog bath; and an exterior that pushes the envelope. And so ensued the design process and renovation by Moneca Kaiser Design Build.

The idea was to be able to stay put, and not be forced to move in future, ‘cause that’s a whole lot of waste.To do this, for example, we put the master bedroom with ensuite on the main floor, which also features an accessible bathroom, at the side entry, that presently does double duty as a dog shower!  The 2nd floor loft style family room on the ‘kids’ level’ can also easily be converted into a master bedroom (for now it’s our family room/gym).

Using sustainable products, like bamboo flooring and parallam beams for the staircase (and it is “wow”), as well as choosing greener options, such as spray foam insulation and a condensing hot water tank (among maaaany others), we aimed to take a practical approach to sustainability.

This forward thinking was carried right through to the decorating, where we opted to make the investment in well-designed pieces with nice clean lines that are totally timeless. With the exception of our One Stools by Magis, we chose an all-Canadian roster of designers, with the help of two amazing Ottawa-based home stores, Alteriors and Blueprint Home. Proudly, our furnishings are among the coolest designs by IZM Furniture, Gus Modern, LucyAu and William—all Canadian. The work of Louis Helbig, an abstract aerial photographer and fellow Ottawan, ups the edge factor, and its organic, context-free composition pulls the interior together in an uncanny way. (Sources mentioned above are listed at the end of this post!)

Below is a before photo of the exterior (bleh), a couple after photos (WOW!), and one peek at the interior (YES!). The rest of the photos are after the jump. (Photos via Gordon King)

Moneca Kaiser Design Build

Louis Helbig Aerial Photography


Blueprint Home


IZM Furniture

Gus Modern


Duro Design

EnviroSense Condensing Hot Water Tank

KTrader says:

Inside is great! Front door area–not so much–looks unfinished!

Unbelievable!! What a transformation! The exterior looks amazing and the inside is fresh and beautiful. I'd love to know how long the whole thing took.

leigh says:

What was the construction budget for this reno?

Joana says:

Wouu! Is perfect!

Amazing house!

Bev65 says:

I just want to know how they got the dog in the shower???? My two mutts would rather die than get a bath. They won't even go outside if it "looks" like rain, forget about if its actually raining!!!

gabriele says:

i'm not a big fan of the wooden construction outside, but the inside is AMAZING!
i love the kitchen tiles and the few color splashes with orange and the yellow in the bedroom!
i also really really love the wooden stairs, they give warmth!
great job!!

Darryl M says:

@ kim,

To be fair, Tom's comment is just constructive and thoughtful criticism. He's not a hater.

Like the saying goes, if everybody loves you, something is wrong.

KiM says:

Darryl, I didn't call Tom a hater. I was just pointing out that he always focuses on the negative and never picks out anything positive. I have absolutely no problem with constructive criticism. I just think it's polite to speak of both sides instead of saying "Yeah it's great but here are all the things I hate…."

reiyam says:

you guys did a really amazing job, now all that's left is to sit back and relax

Shane says:

Thanks Polish Chick, nice to know people are looking out for us (IZM). Beautiful reno Gillian! Also to Tom, thanks for honest comments. The world needs more honesty

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