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When I first met this family I could see that time was a precious commodity for them. Working professionals with kids who had a loaded schedule filled with sports and activities meant time was limited. This shortage of time had led them to put off this much needed renovation which would provide them with a more family friendly space.

The project brief was a big one - there would be a complete demolition on the main floor including opening up walls to create an open floor plan. This required structural support and figuring out how to make that look as seamless as possible. In addition we would be selecting all the finishes and furnishings for this main floor.

Lastly, there was an ensuite renovation that would completely update the home. All of these updates would give them a space that felt more like the young family they are. It has gone from a well loved, standard builder home to a unique and well designed retreat.


First up included drafting a plan to reconfigure the space and create an open and airy main floor. This home would be transformed from a traditional centre hall plan into something wide open. We knew we needed to remove some of the walls and the staircase but this required some structural strategy.

Once we determined how to make this happen it was time to get busy on the design details. When a structural beam is added to a home there is no way to incorporate it without adding some cladding or dropping the ceiling.

In this case, we decided to have fun with it. We selected rustic beam cladding that worked together with the wood on the flooring and the staircase. This element adds character to the space and keeps it from being too modern.


This is a young and growing family and there can never be enough storage space. The existing fireplace gave us the perfect opportunity to build storage as well as display space into the living room. The room looks complete with this addition and all the games and tech that the family uses can be neatly stored away when not in use.

It was tempting to take the closed storage all the way up to the ceiling but open plan design means you donít have as much wall space to decorate. In this case, we felt it was best to leave the top portion alone and utilize it for display.


Another area that required some careful planning was the kitchen. The homeowners wanted a space where they could eat light meals or that allowed the kids to do homework. Since the space opened to the living and dining rooms there wasnít an obvious position to incorporate a table and chairs into the space.

We took advantage of some walkway space and built a table into the island in contrasting wood. The material change keeps it looking more like a small table youíd normally find in a kitchen. The advantage to this design is that while a separate table would appear awkward in this space, this addition to the island looks seamless and sophisticated.


One of the benefits of hiring a designer is being able to prioritize what is a splurge and where to save when it comes to spending.

The pricing for the custom vanities we sourced was too high for this project. We made the decision to go for a premade vanity. Once it was incorporated into the space it became impossible to see that this wasnít custom.

A great tip if youíre designing your own space is to think of each room or space as a whole. Not every item needs to be a splurge. Once you blend the materials the overall look can feel elevated without the price tag.


This multi-purpose room is not only beautiful but it functions as both the mudroom and the laundry room. This renovation offered us the opportunity to use a neglected office space beside these custom built coat cubbies. We moved the laundry facilities here so that every inch of this space is functional and well used


Sometimes as a designer I move so quickly between projects that I forget to stop and reminisce about how far weíve come in a project. I think youíll agree that this home looks brand new and almost unrecognizable.

If you love seeing a space come together, take a look at my recently completed luxury Airbnb.


This kitchen went from cramped and dated to wide open with tons of style. By opening up the wall between the kitchen and the dining room we could maximize the amount of cabinetry we included without giving up any dining space.


This room was desperately in need of a facelift. It functioned as a family gathering place but space was limited, not to mention storage. The biggest issue was that it just didnít feel inviting.

Incorporating the additional storage didnít require much space since the fireplace already existed. We just took advantage of space that had previously been unused.

Once we moved on to the furnishings it was obvious that we needed pieces that were also going to feel light and airy. This also allowed the entire family to hang out together without feeling cramped.


My very favourite part of this home is the open concept feel that we were able to create. It changes the way this family lives here and creates a feeling of spaciousness that was impossible to imagine in the past.

And both the homeowners and myself agree that the kitchen is the piece de resistance in this home. The mixed materials gives so much drama while the space increase feels like a new home altogether

Architect: Mark Taylor, Cornerstones Residential Design Inc.
Builder: Prycon Custom Building & Renovations Inc,
Millwork: Absolute Cabinets Inc.
Stairs: H&J Stair and Rail

If youíre considering a renovation, Iíd love to discuss how I can help you with that. Reach out and letís talk.

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    Areas Served:
    Barrie, Orillia, Georgian Bay

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