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This cozy 1920s-era Arts & Crafts home had a quaint and small kitchen that needed some TLC. Our design team opted to remove a wall between the kitchen and dining room, and the kitchen was expanded to a more open-concept design. The kitchen was also completely replaced, and while the renovation was not huge, the changes have made a significant difference in the layout of the home. It feels warm and welcoming, as well as stylish and comfortable.

What made this beautiful project unique?
This charming home is reminiscent of the house your grandparents lived in. We did not want to lose the Arts & Crafts heritage look of the Douglas fir trim and original doors, including French doors, and original hardwood flooring.  

Were there any challenges the team faced during the reno?
The client’s goal was to get a lighter, brighter space with a modern kitchen and replacing the outdated heating, electrical, and plumbing. The family wanted to have an area in the kitchen for their two daughters to do homework or eat snacks while dinner is being prepared. It was also imperative to match the ambience and history of the home while maintaining a fairly tight budget.

What was going on with the heating, electrical, and plumbing?
The heating, electrical, and plumbing were original from the 1920s when the home was built, and therefore outdated.

The main heat duct ran through the wall that was to be removed. We were able to relocate heat ducting to one area of the upstairs, but not to the bathroom upstairs. The client chose to wait to put electric-in floor heat in that bathroom at a later date.

Galvanized piping had to be replaced, but other than that, the plumbing stayed where it was. As for the electrical, the kitchen had to be completely rewired to code, and a new panel was installed. Under-counter lighting and more spotlighting were added to make the kitchen brighter at night, with safely grounded outlets.

How were structural elements dealt with?
The wall that was removed between the kitchen and dining room meant we needed to add an engineered structural beam to replace it. In keeping with the Douglas fir trim in the house, we clad this beam with stained Douglas fir, as well which makes it look as though it is a timber-frame beam. With the wall removed, the natural light from the existing kitchen window makes the entire space brighter and more inviting.

This space was tight, so were there any limitations due to its size?
We were delighted to get creative with this reno. The space was very small, so exact measurements were needed to fit the new peninsula in between the opening of the back door and the opening of the French doors in the dining room. The peninsula was made more shallow than normal, but it still provides seating at the counter for the two girls, as well as storage space on the kitchen side. We could not expand it too far into the dining room to allow for room for eating and walking. To allow for a set of pot drawers, we moved the refrigerator slightly into the dining room.

What were some of the most interesting and captivating design choices?

We chose a blackened maple simple shaker-style wood door and pewter hardware. A burgundy-flecked granite countertop brings in the deep red colour of the original Douglas fir trim, and neutral tile complements the existing hardwood. In making a seamless transition between tile and hardwood, the kitchen floor had to be completely removed, including the original planking. It was re-sheeted with plywood to prep for the ceramic tile. The kitchen now includes glass doors, a wine rack, and a lot more storage space.