This once-beautiful example of the Vancouver Early Craftsman Style home had been subdivided, compartmentalized and overbuilt beyond recognition. This glorious relic, built in 1912, was a prime candidate for demolition after over a century of weathering, wear and tear. Happily the ownership of the building contacted custom home builders Kitsilano Construction and Design to revitalize and preserve this unique piece of the city’s architectural history.
Due to the incredible size of the home, our lead designer on this project, Simon Boisvert made the wise decision to not only restore the home to its original Early Craftsman style, but to split it into two family sized dwellings. Taking care to incorporate period-appropriate design elements that had been lost such as yellow cedar siding and wainscoting, existing design features like the gorgeous stained glass windows were carefully preserved and restored.
PRESERVING AND RENEWING
Our demolition crews set to work painstakingly reducing the house to its structural base and delicately removing antique components for restoration and later re-installation. The irreplaceable old-growth framing, still sturdy after a century of curing was retained to form a superstructure to rebuild around. New space plans were drawn up for each unit, and interior elements were carefully planned to fit with our design philosophy of marrying the classic with the contemporary.
The interior design details were carefully based around retaining the classic style of the original home. A dramatic fireplace flanked by detailed architectural columns and mantle provides a focal point in the living room that takes one’s breath away. Coffered ceilings with recessed light fixtures, heated hardwood floors and detailed wainscoting provide custom high end solutions to this once forgotten home. In a coup of conceptual home design, the crown molding added ceiling detail with a sense of grandeur when paired with the wide trim around the windows and doors.
We made the bold interior design decision to modernize the bathrooms with bright lighting, granite countertops and under-mount sinks. The sleek fixtures including a rain shower were intended to create a peaceful, spa-like atmosphere. The living-room adjacent powder room was designed to add a touch of drama with dim lighting, a cast stainless steel vessel sink and rich wallpaper that provides a feeling of intimacy.
The kitchen redesign was planned with convenience and space efficiency in mind. French door refrigerators and a top-loading microwave recessed into the kitchen island were chosen so as not to disturb the period-appropriate cabinetry’s ownership of the room. A modular gas range was chosen to serve the needs of the most discerning home chef. Our home builders and subtrade teams installed a diamond pattern tile backsplash to offer a touch of muted colour to the white cabinetry and marble countertop. The integrated fridge and dishwasher work in unison with the cabinetry to maintain a seamlessness to the look of the room. Pendant lighting was used to highlight the peninsula and sink work area in the space.
The neutral interior colour scheme of the home was chosen for this home renovation to provide a fresh and inviting look that would coordinate well with any new home furnishings. Lighting elements such as fixtures, sconces and dimmers highlighted the character and usability of the home. Wrought iron railings and natural wood staircase rails exude strength and durability, befitting a home of this venerable age. The detailed white columns flow with the kitchen cabinetry into the main living area and provide a sense of continuity heading to the second level.
Basement areas were designed with the intent of versatility and flexibility of use. Appropriate as a family room or semi-independent suite for family members, there are few limits on what is possible with the space our designers planned.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Careful planning of the exterior landscaping provides a pair of front yard patios and a heated front porch for entertaining, comforting and relaxing spaces for residents to enjoy Vancouver’s pleasant spring and summer weather. Spacious outdoor-accessible storage areas were provided for each home to offer the height of convenience.
Exterior design required deep, extensive research that Kitsilano Construction and Design specializes in as character home renovators. A paint scheme of deep red with cream trim was chosen in order to not deviate from the Early Craftsman architectural style and fit with the neighborhood character. The delicate trim draws the eye up the staircase right to the front door. Exterior elements and paints were chosen to resist Vancouver’s occasionally harsh weather, combining durability with our paramount concern of respecting the heritage of the building and its surrounding homes. Carefully chosen paints and yellow cedar shingles were combined with lighting intentionally placed to provide a striking evening visual, intended to draw attention to the breathtaking craftsmanship and design.
PROPERTY DETAILS –
BLENHEIM SIDE OF THE DUPLEX
Status: Sold at $2,835,000
Area: 2,052 sqft
PROPERTY DETAILS –
WEST 7TH SIDE OF THE DUPLEX
Status: On sale for $2,380,000
Area: 2,036 sqft