Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 - Year of The Renovation

It's on.  I'm more excited than terrified.  And I'm ready to start demolition, like, NOW.

It all started last April, when we exposed the brick.  That sparked an idea to remove the wall between our master bedroom and "sink room" to make the master more spacious and functional.  Which then got us thinking...what if we moved the master to the 3rd floor instead and made it one big room (versus the current two rooms). 

Then summer came.  We left Toronto, spent lots of time away, and stopped thinking about the house.

We came back.  Started thinking again.  And got inspired.

The last four months of 2012 were full of planning.  2013 will be full of doing. 

Excited?  Me too.  Let's go through the plans for our new main floor.

Current Floorplan

In the current floor plan above, you can see the typical boxed rooms of an annex home.  Double door entryway on the left (we're the right side of a semi-detached) with a staircase straight ahead, and then living room, dining room, kitchen in a row from the front to the back of the house.  

The dining room is our biggest problem.  It's a repeat of space for us, since we eat in the kitchen.  The focus of our renovation is to reconfigure the layout to eliminate that dead space. 

New Floorplan

Ta-Da!  I know, lots going on.  But what you don't see anymore are walls.  No boxes.  Just open living space with a new entryway, kitchen, pantry, slider to the deck and....a powder room!  Dream.  Come.  True.

So, how did we get here?  Where did we come up with this plan? 

After deciding the main floor was on the chopping block, we immediately recognized that redesigning it was more than we could handle.  So we called in a pro, Kirsten Marshall, from Palmerston Design Consultants.  Steve immediately took a liking to her style.  And since I was lucky enough to be friends with her before I knew what she did for a living...I was sure we'd work well together. 

I was just happy she said yes.

Her familiarity with old homes like ours is key.  And her ability to come up with fresh, contemporary ideas that are highly functional but aesthetically pleasing is incredible.  Not to mention her love of ikea kitchens and making them look custom...need I say more?

Let's see some elevations.

New Kitchen

No uppers, but big drawers and lots of shelves for storage plus a huge new stainless-steel fridge for a house full of growing boys....

...goes here.  We're saying goodbye to that little window facing the backyards of my neighbors who face north, but we're saying hello to a big 8 foot slider across the back wall (to the left in this pic). 

Now turn around and face the opposite wall.

New Storage

Looking left to right, two banks of built-in shelving and a barn door (that slides across the entire wall) which reveals a walk-in pantry...

...goes here.  No, I won't miss any of this.  Except maybe remembering all the blood, sweat and tears that went into painting those crazy cabinets.  But definitely not that knocking fridge, uneven stove and 5 year old dishwasher that can't clean glasses anymore.

Let's move into the current dining room.

New Dining Area

Although we're eliminating the little kitchen window to allow for the hood and backsplash, we're keeping the bay windows.  In the plan, you can see the built-in buffet along the wall that...

...goes here.  We're parting with our dining room table and chairs this weekend.  Thank you, Kijiji/Craigslist.

The living room will generally stay within its current footprint.  We're still working through an elevation including a fireplace and a TV. 

But as exciting as planning a new kitchen is, the living room certainly isn't an afterthought.  In fact, part of the living room was a sticking point for the floorplan.  My next post will outline the structural elements that go along with our plan to remove all the!

Stay tuned!


  1. Yours plans look fabulous! Thanks for showing us the detail. What a dramatic change!!! You must be very excited.

  2. I agree that your plan looks amazing! You're going to love the open concept and the 8' door in the back. It lets so much more light into these long, narrow downtown houses. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures as you work through the reno. 

  3. I'm excited for the light, that's for sure.  And I'm so looking forward to maximizing as many square inches as we can in this narrow semi...!!