Unionville Rejuvenation

18 Inches Closer to Cloud 9

LOCATION: Unionville

OVERVIEW: Our objective for this project was to update our client’s house and make it a home. Originally a cottage with slab-on-grade construction, it was cold and in need of many updates that would still maintain the character of the house. As this was a heritage house backing onto the Rogue River, getting the permit and satisfying the Heritage Committee, TRC and the MNR were the first set of challenges.

The other challenge was the second floor addition that was added many years before its current owners came along. We discovered it was just put on top of the first floor ceiling joists, which were not meant to support a second floor. Fortunately, we worked with our clients to uncover the best solution—raising the second floor, building up the main floor walls, lowering the second floor back down, and finishing it off with 9-foot ceilings!

FEATURES: When we work with our clients to design additions, we aim to have the new space fit with the old so the addition doesn’t look like it was just “put on”. This house was no exception. We replaced the old single-storey with a two-storey addition. The new windows and dormers are now in line with the original placement of the windows and dormers, so when you look at the front of the house, you’d never know there was an addition. The staircase has two south-facing windows so there’s a lot of natural light in this area, on the beaded walls, as well as on the upper floor.

The kitchen, originally in the southeast corner of the house, was moved to the northwest corner with a beautiful view of the creek and natural surroundings. The main floor laundry room was moved to the second floor—and features natural light from one of the original two skylights (only the new one doesn’t leak). The other skylight provides natural light in the new study.

While the old master bedroom barely fit the bedroom furniture, it has now been replaced with an open library and study area. The new master bedroom quarters is an extra 574 square feet that the house didn’t have before, and provides our clients with something they were not expecting: a view of the creek in the backyard. The master ensuite is complete with a stand-alone tub and large shower.

The front entrance way is now more spacious and inviting. Although the house still doesn’t have an attached garage, we added a storage area for garbage, bikes, and other paraphernalia.