A one bedroom apartment remodel
In the beginning, The client knew he did want to improve the space with more light, a better kitchen, better storage, a more efficient master bathroom and bedroom. He also knew what he liked when he saw it.
At our initial meetings we discussed colours and styles and concluded he lived a lifestyle that was comfortable in the downtown environment but loved the outdoors (he is an avid mountain biker and gets out at every opportunity).
The original 30 year old floor plan had a long hallway from the front entrance to the living room/dining area, which is where the exterior windows and patio are. The kitchen was in the same location but was surrounded by walls separating it from the hall and living room dining space. There was also a closet in the corner of the kitchen space that housed laundry and humidifier units, leaving a large empty floor area in front of it unused. The master bathroom had a huge bathtub in a tiled deck which went largely unused and a very small shower which of course got use all the time. The bedroom had closets that had no doors, because once you put a bed in the room it made them difficult to open.
Apartments mostly have concrete floors and ceilings, not to mention firewalls. So any changes or alterations must have permits and are reviewed by condo committees and building managers. Mechanical and structural changes are challenging and expensive. Budgets can cause limitations on plans, so we try not to alter the placement of mechanical or structural things by too much. And after, We chose colours and materials that were natural, in a style that is clean and modern to suit the client's lifestyle. The closet wall was extended outward to encompass the floor space in front. This separated the laundry from the kitchen, creating a walk in laundry, pantry and a small office space. Rather than using passage doors to access these spaces, pantry cabinet doors that matched the kitchen were used. The right and left double doors are entrances to these spaces and the double doors in the middle are a standard pantry cabinet utilized as a wine and bar storage (with wall to ceiling shelving behind separating the pantry/office space). The curved wall to the right (office space) was added to soften the look and make access from the front hall a little easier.
The walls closing in the kitchen were removed to open it up to the living and dining rooms, flooding the whole area with its natural light. With every wall removed you regain 3 to 6 feet of area, because a wall needs aisle space on both sides of it. This allowed for ample space for a large island with eating bar with room to spare. What was a long dark hall became a perfect display wall open to the kitchen. Adding the right lighting is always crucial, even with natural light it gets dark at 4:30 for half the months of the year. That is why I always recommend lighting over skylights, unless you have a budget for both. Not being able to drill into the concrete ceilings, we built bulk heads down to place pot lights anywhere we wanted them and painted them the same as the ceiling to blend in. The bulkheads also do double duty as vent chases to extend the heating and air conditioning (an added value). Using curves on the bulkheads is very appealing and really adds to the aesthetic.
The client later commented that most of the complements he's received on the renovation were on the curves in the space. There's something about curves that really appeals to people.
The wall between the bed room and living room was moved slightly but more important the closets in the bedroom on that wall were eliminated. The small shower in the master bathroom was also taken out and the space was extended further into the bedroom (incorporating the old entrance to the bedroom). This created a space big enough for a decent sized walk in closet, and a second curved wall. The bedroom was given a new double entrance door with frosted glass panels, to let more light filter into the living room from the outside window there.
The angled wall in the living room is made of plywood, which is easy to paint and easy to screw in brackets for TV mounts. The space behind is accessed from the bedroom for storing components and other paraphernalia as well as giving easy access for electrical hook ups. A window seat was added to better utilize the space with custom cushions.
The bath tub deck in the master bathroom was removed and replaced with an oversized glassed in shower and steam room. The steam room mechanical unit is housed in a tiled bench seat with access from the bedroom side. A striking vanity cabinet that is made with white doors is cut through with a book matched Makassar ebony which makes up the drawer fronts. These drawers have a touch open system made by Blum Hardware called Servo drive, eliminating the need for door handles. Custom built & designed by Ben Kuypers.
Thank you to our trades and suppliers.
Kitchen cabinets are Merit Kitchens 'wenge natural horizontal grained'; Kitchen counters are Alberta Marble & Tile; Tiles were supplied by Stone Tile West; Vanity counters are Corian, Cameo White by Contour Counter Tops; All Plumbing was supplied by B.A.Robinson; Flooring supplied by Contempa Carpets; A.N.A. Electric; A.M.I. Plumbing.
A special thanks to, Ian & Dan at Velao Projects for their 'kid gloved' project management; Wilma Kuypers for her ongoing support, and her handy work on the custom cushions; And to Patrick a dream client, who had the good taste and sense to hire us in the first place.