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Architecture Expert – Main-Floor Masterpiece – Apr/May15

Architecture Expert - Main-Floor Masterpiece - Apr/May15

A Newmarket home gets a much needed update infused with Gothic style and natural elements.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE LOVE STUDIO

THE RENOVATION SCOPE

Resting on two acres and easily accessible to Highway 404, this home’s value had skyrocketed since its purchase approximately 15 years ago. However, the interior was in desperate need of an update—both esthetic and functional. The owners, citing the need for a kitchen renovation, eventually decided to renovate the entire first floor.

The project scope included a new kitchen, powder room and den. The owner is an avid reader, so a library was created off the foyer, offering a lovely respite. Working with the owners’ unique personalities (she, a medical researcher and fan of Gothic architectural style and he, an engineer and lover of nature and music) provided inspiration for the finishes and details. Both love antiques and natural stone and the quest for quality became extremely important.

One of the anchors for the renovation was the oak flooring. Often seen in Ontario homes, this oak flooring is sturdy and value-conscious and, in the case of this home, added within the last few years. Our goal was to use the existing floor, extend it throughout the kitchen and dining, while choosing colours and finishes that downplayed its ubiquitous nature.

THE KITCHEN

The original kitchen impeded the flow of traffic across the back of the house, which offers breathtaking views of wildlife and nature, so it was moved to the side to make room for a large dining area for entertaining. As a nod to the owner’s love of Gothic icons, custom cabinet doors were created with a Gothic arch as an accent. While we chose to use a light colour for the solid maple cabinets, as a feature we added a charcoal colour.

Since the owners are amateur chefs, they really desired appliances that allowed them to foster their passion for cooking. Thermador appliances were chosen; a 36-inch gas range, built-in fridge and freezer columns, wall oven and microwave were installed. The island features a Blanco sink, wine fridge and a Thermador dishwasher. Delta’s oil-rubbed bronze faucets complete the look.

The massive island counter is leathered Titanium granite and its distinctive finish quickly became the central feature in the kitchen. For the perimeter countertop and backsplash, we chose LG quartz because it’s stylish yet recedes into the background to further emphasize the island.

THE LIVING AREA

To modernize the look of the interior, the oak pickets were removed and a knee wall was added in the living area. Ceiling lighting was added to brighten the spaces throughout. Builder-grade doors were replaced with solid-core, single-panel shaker doors. Custom millwork added storage and allowed us to hide a plethora of audiovisual equipment.

A custom leather sofa and chair were created to provide a relaxing atmosphere for this space. The use of cowhide adds a bit of quirkiness to the space, while artwork is emphasized in the millwork niches.

THE ENTRY

Dated ceramic tile was replaced with an elegant silver travertine. Oil-rubbed bronze was used for the doorknobs, faucets and cabinet hardware. The oak stairs were painted a refined shade of blue/black and a carpet runner was added.

THE LIBRARY

One of the most interesting inspirations for the renovation came from a trip to a St. Jacobs’ antique market, Artefacts. During my visit, I discovered a beautiful ornate fireplace, dated 1913. After discerning that it was the original fireplace from the Elmira library, the decision was made to use it as a feature in the homeowners’ new space.

After an exhaustive search for a gas fireplace that met the clearance requirements for the antique mantel, we decided that the mantel was too precious to risk and chose the Dimplex Opti-Myst electric fireplace instead. The Opti-Myst uses a revolutionary ultrasonic technology to create a lifelike flame and smoke effect. The owner’s beautiful handknotted Persian rug was used as inspiration for the colour choices and, to soften the room, silk drapes flank the new front window.

THE POWDER ROOM

To make the powder room a unique conversation piece, we decided to utilize an antique washstand that the owner inherited from a family member. After refinishing and coating it with matte polyurethane, we added glass and a simple vessel sink. During the refurbishment process, I discovered (courtesy of The Door Store) that the piece was from France and the original hardware was unique to French furniture of that time period. A silver travertine herringbone floor completes the powder room.

SOURCES: DESIGN Samantha Sannella Urban Retreat Homes; samanthasannella.com; CARPENTRY AND MILLWORK Kevin Jackson precisioncarpentry.ca; COUNTERTOPS stoneedge.ca; FAUCETS deltafaucet.com; HARDWARE emtek.com; APPLIANCES appliancecanada.com; TILE thetilestore.ca, marbleclinic.ca; DINING ROOM FURNITURE restorationhardware.com; ELECTRIC FIREPLACE dimplex.com; CUSTOM LEATHER SOFA AND CHAIR rawhideinternational.com