It all started with a colour consultation that side tracked onto the homeowner’s fireplace. It soon turned into a whole home interior design and renovation.
The homeowner originally wanted to know what I thought of adding a mantle to the painted white brick on his fireplace and I answered honestly by saying I didn’t think it was money well spent due to the outdated look of the fireplace peninsula. The homeowner then admitted he didn’t like the look of the fireplace and wanted to know what I would do to change it. That conversation was the beginning of a complete redesign to this Ash Street home.
The fireplace was wrapped in Realstone and the original two-sided hearth was removed making it easier to access the dining room on the other side. The old carpeting was removed and new bamboo flooring was installed throughout the main living areas.
The original dining set was kept however the chair seats where recovered, the chandelier was replaced with a marine inspired ball that casts stunning shadows when turned on. A large hand blown glass plate takes centre stage while a bold patterned rug beneath the table is appreciated best from a distance.
Crown moulding was added throughout and on the living room side of the fireplace all the furniture was replaced. The homeowner has an extensive art collection so it was easy to feature and highlight art throughout the home.
The mantle that started the process was built out of fir to compliment the fir doors that pre-existed in the foyer and off of the dining room. Next to the fireplace an antique chair given to the homeowner as a wedding gift many years prior is prominently featured.
The foyer has a slate section in front of the door to catch mud, water and snow. We played up the slate by including a geometric detail pattern between each tile.
to the left of the foyer a stairwell leads to the lower level. I had some fun going through all the homeowner’s art so that I could create an evenly stepped gallery wall.
The steps where replaced with pine veneer that is embedded into the wall, discounting the need for trim. The rest of the custom detailing is solid Douglas-fir.
The posts and rails have all been routered with soft corners before jointing. The posts where made with three 2x6 solid fir boards jointed together.
On the other side of the foyer is the den. Here a second fireplace is featured as part of the new custom media centre. This fireplace is off of the front porch so the homeowner opted to go electric so as not to impede on the porch area.
The new fireplace /media centre was built in our shop using fir veneer. It was then clear coated with a low VOC finish before being transported to the Ash Street Home. The tiles where installed and grouted on site.
I would love to say this millwork went off without a hitch and it almost did. When we arrived to install the units the homeowner broke the news that he had just purchased all new components and a woofer now had to be accommodated. The original plan called for 4 drawers level with the mantle on one side, the new plan lifted them up to accommodate the woofer below. It was a simple fix much to the relief of the homeowner.
Originally the den was only receiving new furnishings and accessories (area rug, coffee table, couches) but that awkward niche would not do justice to any pre-manufactured entertainment centres, the custom millwork on the other hand is now the star of the room.
Off of the den is the kitchen. The kitchen was/is large but laid out poorly. The homeowner has a large deck with a stunning ocean view but to get to it from the kitchen you had to travel through the den, into the dining room and then out the sliders off of the dining room. I redesigned the kitchen so that a door could be incorporated from the kitchen to the deck positioning it where the fridge used to be. I also rearranged the island to include bar seating on only one side rather then on a 3 sided table on the end of the original bar.
The new kitchen layout offers plenty of prep space. The cabinetry is Douglas-fir to maintain a consistency with the rest of the millwork in the house. .
The new bar stools I chose for the kitchen are Canadian made Trica stools with laser cut images of a light house and ships wheel to reference the oceanic view through the windows.
The deck runs the length of the house and the homeowner now finds that in the summer he uses the deck as a hallway to get from his master bedroom to the kitchen and back again. The kitchen and bedroom are on opposite sides of the house.
The master bedroom and ensuite was the last part of the Ash Street renovation and had a separate budget. In fact when the homeowner gave us the budget he insisted that he wanted to be “surprised” with the final result and absolutely did not want to know what we where planning to do. He then went on a one month vacation.
The only thing the homeowner insisted on was keeping the oak vanity, we updated it with copper handles, a new counter, backsplash, sink, faucet, mirror and lighting. We also added a bevelled glass doored cabinet above the toilet for extra storage, installed crown moulding to match the rest of the house and of course repainted and accessorized.
Behind the master ensuite is the second of three bathrooms. We did not keep the original cabinetry in this one but replaced it with a newer “skinnier” 18” deep custom bank of millwork to work with the narrow room. We did however keep the mirror above the sink and simply repainted it a contemporary white.
The new bank of cabinets consists of a vanity section on the left, a storage cupboard in the middle and a storage bench seat on the right. The new lights where specifically chosen because of the detail that matches the curve of the mirror.
A heated towel rack above the bench seat keeps towels dry in the humidity of our spring and fall weather.
For each of the custom designs built for the Ash Street home, sketches where drawn to scale to give the homeowner a concept of the finished function. It also allowed the homeowner to have his own input into the final outcome.
This Ash Street whole home renovation – including new furniture and accessories all began with a colour consultation that turned into a fireplace mantle discussion, who knew?