New beginnings

by Jude Kamal
After kitchen image

Photos: Bruno Belli

Interior designer Jude Kamal and her team at Sansa Interiors transforms an outdated 1970s nunnery into an Scandinavian-inspired family home

This young family wanted to transform their traditional home in the heart of the Junction – once home to six nuns – into an updated open concept house with a modern, Scandinavian aesthetic. We knew the best approach was to open up the interior to take full advantage of all the available space and impart a timeless design.

Like with any total house renovation, we encountered some of the challenges that arise when dealing with unique buildings and site conditions. When you start designing a home, you typically have a very general idea of what's lying behind the walls, ceiling and floors. However, when the renovation begins, that's when you really discover what surprises await you.

Since this home was built prior to 1979, we prepared ourselves and our contractors for possible asbestos. However, even coming in prepared, we did not expect the project to be delayed by a full four weeks. After getting samples tested, awaiting the results, finding out the drywall samples contained asbestos, and getting all of it professionally removed from the home – we were finally able to break ground on this renovation.

Even with that four-week setback, we ensured this renovation was still completed on time.

This project started just after the Toronto area was hit with a second wave of COVID-19, causing major delays and shortages in building supplies (with all retail and home hardware stores closed).

We responded to these challenges quickly – replacing certain materials with duplicates that were readily available and didn't sacrifice quality. Despite these additional challenges and delays, we were still able to fulfil our client's vision and complete the project on time.

With a reconfigured main and second floor, new bathroom, extra bedroom, and a more fullsized master bedroom with an ensuite, this full house renovation gave our clients the space they deserved with the look they desired.

Once finished, this home became completely unrecognizable. We delivered the fresh yet functional look our clients were seeking, and made this open space feel closer to the outdoors by using natural materials and earthy tones and finishes.

Once finished, this home became completely unrecognizable