A Humber Valley Village family home is a labour of love enjoyed well beyond the holidays
Photography by Valerie Wilcox
To move or to renovate…this tends to be one of the tougher questions Toronto homeowners are forced to ask themselves when their current house fails to meet their current, much less their future needs. Our clients in Humber Valley Village were faced with this very dilemma, when the love for their charming, corner lot home was overshadowed by its dysfunctional layout and size. The decision was one that certainly took much deliberation, but ultimately, the homeowners loved their house, property and the neighbourhood all too much to leave it. With the decision made, it was now our job to deliver a home that retained the charm and character of the original house, while creating functional living space fit for today’s modern family.
The wish list
The ultimate goal for this project was to expand and update the family’s living space, and to create a flow within the house that allowed them to utilize their backyard. There were a number of delicate design iterations that were thought up before settling on the final plans. The final scope included adding an addition, and remodelling both the main and second floors to be more functional. Some of the changes included relocating and rebuilding the garage, adding a rear, two-storey addition to accommodate relocating the kitchen and second floor master bedroom, and adding a fourth bedroom and laundry room on the second floor.
In terms of interior design, the homeowners wanted a clean, contemporary look that felt warm and inviting. It was designed for a family of four to easily live and grow into, while the open-concept main floor and extra guest bedroom allowed the homeowners to comfortably host parties and overnight guests. Large sliding doors were added along the west wall of the newly relocated kitchen, to allow for a more seamless transition from the house to the backyard. In the kitchen, custom millwork was introduced to add in extra storage and an office nook, and cool neutrals were used in the colour palette to further open up and brighten the space.
One of the key design features in this house is the two-sided fireplace that separates the living room and dining room. In addition to being a design feature, the fireplace acts as structural support to the main floor living space. After opening up the main floor and adding the rear addition, the house needed interior support to bear the open-concept design. The large, two-sided fireplace was a good solution to the structural issue, plus it acts as an interesting design feature that adds just the right elegance to the space.
This particular project stands out for our team, because it’s further proof that using an integrated design-build method is the most efficient and effective way to execute a renovation. We faced a number of challenges throughout this project that forced us to be creative and collaborate amongst each other, and in the end, the homeowners were left with a beautiful and functional house, in a neighbourhood that they love to call home.
Jessica Millard joined Men At Work Design Build in 2017 while studying at Ryerson University.
The Toronto-based firm offers integrated engineering, design and professional construction services for addition and major renovation projects on old Toronto homes.
Jessica has been involved in various internal departments within the firm,and is currently the company’s Project Coordinator.