How to renovate without losing the character in your home
There's something to be said about a home that's been lived in for decades. It's as if the walls still radiate the energy of the families that have resided there over the years. Part of that warmth and character is what draws people to mature homes. Sometimes, however, the outdated style of the home far trumps the character to some when it comes to deciding whether or not it's time to renovate or start over fresh with a new home.
What many people don't realize is the potential in their existing home.
"I wish I knew we could have done that to our home!" This is a common reaction we hear from friends and family of clients who've chosen us to complete their large-scale home renovation projects.
The fact of the matter is, you don't have to sacrifice character for style.
Let's face it. When mid-century slid into the 1970s, home designs took on a bold new look. While floor-to-ceiling browns, wood veneer and rainbow motifs may now make you cringe, there are plenty more details from the '70s era to love, as well as clever ways to give some of these less obvious ideas a fresh update.
In a recent renovation project we completed in Sherwood Park, it was evident that the original home designer didn't miss a beat. The placed screamed of 1970s style. If you could tear your eyes away from the layers of dusty rose and sea foam green paint that were starting to chip away on the corners of the walls and behind where the picture frames once hung, your eyes were drawn up to the ceiling where playful Charub mouldings surrounded cascading shiny brass and crystal light fixtures. Grand white columns welcomed you into the formal sitting area. If brick was popular in the '70s, this home builder certainly knew what style was.
Surprisingly, while we removed the outdated features from this home, we successfully incorporated some of these particulars into the renovation -- losing the tackiness and making it tasteful.
We kept the wainscoting, the sprawling dark wood floors. We removed the old, delapidated solarium and were able to keep the overall layout of the home in tact. Where the solarium was, we framed in exterior walls and blew out the master bedroom upstairs, making it twice the size.
After we removed the solarium and framed in some new walls
Directly above the old solarium is the master bedroom, where we were able to double its size with the newly framed exterior addition.
We kept the brick theme alive and kept the full-wall brick fireplace in the living room.
Speaking of brick, when it came to gutting the basement, a curious brick feature was uncovered behind some drywall. We weren't sure what the original purpose of the structure was, but we really wanted to keep it for nostalgic reasons. However it would have impeded on the space we had designed for a large bedroom and workout area, and it just wasn't feasible.
Brick structure we discovered behind some drywall in the basement
To compensate, we found matching brick and installed it on the new basement bar wall and carried it on throughout the TV room. After we were finished, you'd think the new brick wall was original.
Because we couldn't keep the brick structure that was hiding behind drywall, we kept the theme alive by building a new brick feature to look original.
Believe it or not, we actually kept the Charub mouldings. Not only are they a great conversation piece, we've actually made them work with the current look. We even salvaged some of the crystal light fixtures, removing the crystals and spraying the brass with a more modern oil-rubbed bronze.
We were able to salvage the original chandelier, removing the crystals and spraying over the brass frame.
Of course, we completely removed the dark and dated kitchen cabinetry and expanded the space slightly.
Some of the original spaces were a little questionable in regards to their functionality. So, we fixed that. We added in a new window to the kitchen, which was originally very dark, and only made more dark by the somber looking cabinetry.
Lastly, we updated the garage from a dingy storage space to a functional man zone with tonnes of cabinetry to keep all the clutter organized. The original floor didn't have a drain so we were able to plumb that in as well.
Here is the garage post-renovation with shiny, new floors, a new floor drain, and lots of new storage space to keep everything organized.
You'll also notice we were able to keep the brick theme flowing through here behind the sink.
The outcome of this project is amazing. The result: a classic, mature home in a beautiful mature neighbourhood with a fantastic facelift. The bottom line is you need to think outside the box when it comes to revamping your home. Once you do it, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.