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Sneak peak – kitchen renovation

Happy Thursday everyone! Where has the week gone?

Today I thought I would share a  ”before and after” photo!

As a professional designer they aren’t something we  put in our portfolios but they do really help illustrate the possibilities of design. I thought I would share this photo from a project I completed earlier in the year.

In the before photo you are looking at the dining room and to the left was a small kitchen in a separate room. I made the former kitchen and dining area one large open concept space. I flipped the kitchen and dining room to allow for clear sight line into the family room (they have a young child) and introduced new large french doors off of the dining room space that could be opened up on warm summer nights. The window over the sink was replaced with a larger heritage window to maximize light flow into the kitchen work space.


Office Reno – King Street

The problem with blogs is finding the hours in the day (or night) to post. When I initially started posting I had planned on putting all my projects up but I soon realized I was too busy to put every project on and my time was best spent focusing on design. That being said, I will be making more of an effort to follow projects as they develop, but at one and five ratio. 

In this post I wanted to share a corporate project I’ve been working on for a while.  Whatever could happen during this project basically did, and I just got word the last remaining item – signage will be complete in less then two weeks! Needless to say I’m thrilled and really looking forward to seeing the final details come together. In the mean-time I thought I would take stroll down memory lane and look at some before shots (well as before as I had available)….

For pictures on the finished project check back in a few weeks!

Cabbagetown House - Delo Interiors Inc.

East End Reno is complete!

So I fell behind on the project updates in a big way, the project finished in July 2011 and it is now April 2012. Whoops! 

The last month of construction was a big push to finish up the tiling, counter tops, refinishing the existing floors and all the other miscellaneous work. When the project was complete we did a walk through to look for any deficiencies and handed back the keys for client move in. After several months they were more then ready to move back into their new home. We came back a week or two later to take pictures. 

** Keep in mind the client hasn’t moved or purchased all the furniture that will be going into the living area in the kitchen or the lighting in the new dining room that is in front of the stairs. The light in front of the stairs was wired but no fixture which is why it looks dark. They wanted to wait for these items and live in the space for a while to get the feel for what they needed/wanted.

Here are a few images of the new space……

Hope you enjoy!

sketch house

East End Reno*****


A lot of work has taken place, the new windows roughed in, all the partition and ceiling framing is up, the electrical rough-ins are well underway, the plumbing work has begun, the new sub floor has been installed and the new stair rough carpentry in place. It is amazing the difference the new stairs have made, they feel so much safer underfoot.

Note: This was accomplished  by adding additional wider stair treads and turning them into a wider staircase. We are happy to say they now comply with building code – while looking good- a designers dream.

Behind the scene there is a lot going on as well. Off site the custom mill work (kitchen cabinetry, bathroom vanity and storage) is being made by the carpenter and we are working out the finish details and fine tuning the design/construction. Like every design project there is constant day to day communication dealing with issues as they arise and working as a team.

Week Two

Week Four

At this stage in the build we have 4 weeks left until completion. Our city inspections are in two days and then they can begin putting on the drywall.

sketch house

East End Reno ****

We have all our permits in the window, the client has moved out of their home and we are ready to start demolition.

Demolition day is one of my favorite days because they (general contractor and crew) are able to remove the existing so quickly and at the end of the day you are left with the bare bones and a lot of potential. It’s always fun to see the layers of finishes  from the years of reno’s and patch jobs. For example, this home had 3 different layers of flooring in the bathroom each revealing the decade it was installed in.

That being said….  Demo day can also be a little bit stressful as well. Anytime you work in an older home there is always the possibility of exposing very serious issues with the structure, or mold and other issues you didn’t plan to spend time or money on.

Luckily I’m happy to report only a few things revealed themselves on demo day all of which did not come to a surprise – the house was built well with no major budget breaking or schedule infringing issues. Great start to the project!

East End Reno ***

Finish selection is a very fun part of the design process but there are a lot of things that need to be taken into account. How will the client be using the space, what level of wear and tear will it need to stand up to (children or pets), what does their budget allow, what is the availability of the finishes and of course what is the over all look and feel we are trying to achieve.

For this client we interviewed and showed images of different styles to try to get a better understanding of their likes and dislikes. After we had a better understanding I created two concept boards will demonstrated an overall look and feel of the space. Shown below is a sample of finishes in the kitchen.

feature image-flat

East End Reno **

A lot has happened since our first meeting we have gained a better understanding of how they want to use their space, their likes and dislikes and generally what they want to get from the renovation.

Loaded with information we moved toward schematic sketches which showed the client potential layouts of the spaces. Then once we  had a clear direction the space plan was created, approved and developed into a full set of drawings which show how the space will be built and the overall all look and feel of the areas being renovated.

Note: Drawings sets are critical for communication  and typically follow a clear path – permit set which you use to apply with the city/then the tender set which you use to get firm pricing from contractor(s)/and last but not least the construction set which is an updated version of permit/tender used by the general contractor to build from.

Schematic Sketches

Basically lots of design details and notes that probably mean very little to the homeowner but are key to the success of the project.

East end Reno*

Our east end reno began back in the fall when we first meet with our new client’s “S&J”. They had recently purchased a Victorian home  in the desirable Cabbage Town neighborhood and were looking to make some renovations to areas of the home they felt needed improving. Like most renovations these areas included the kitchen/dinning room, the staircase leading the the first floor and their first floor bathroom.

Victorian homes are amazing because they have so much character and detailing. This home specifically has gorgeous solid pine plank flooring, high ceilings and great baseboards. The draw back to working in an older home is the element of surprise they bring with them (Like…. surprise, I have NO insulation). Another thing to point out is that most older homes were built before the creation of the Ontario building code. Back in the day when requiring a rope to climb your staircase was acceptable, or lining the pipes and paint with lead was no big deal. It’s a good thing times have changed.

Note: This is a good time to mention anytime you work on an area of your house that doesn’t comply with current code requirements you are obligated to fix it if you wish to renovate that area)

Renovation (Planning Stages)

I think you can see form the images this home is a great candidate for a renovation. It has some really great qualities but also some areas that need improving – …but who doesn’t?

This renovation is a Delo Interiors project. Team members: Dianne Leadbetter & Gavin Berman