story by Janice Henshaw | photos by Nunn Other Photography –
The only thing harder than living in your home and struggling with your own renovations is to live in your home while contractors are busy at work, hammering, drilling, sawing and creating drywall dust. Dawn and Charlie are veterans of this process – this is their third renovation in 18 years. For this renovation, they emptied the contents of their Deep Cove house into a storage unit, packed their bags, and moved to The Cedarwood Inn & Suites on Lochside Drive where they enjoyed two-and-a-half months of peace and quiet and a lovely ocean view.
Meanwhile, their three-bedroom, 2,400-square-foot, one-level home became a hive of activity as workers moved in and tore things apart, gutting the bathrooms, kitchen, living room and laundry room. The textured ceilings were scraped, sanded smooth and repainted. Crown mouldings were added to make a dramatic visual upgrade. Walnut-stained engineered wood floors replaced the previous multi-coloured wood flooring.
Ceiling pot lights now brighten the kitchen area, and a stunning globe-shaped LED chandelier is displayed over the dining room table. Dawn says she was making a half-hearted attempt at being frugal while she shopped for light fixtures at Illuminations but when she saw this light, she knew it was game over. “It’s a piece of art, that’s what it really is,” she says, and, when Charlie arrived at Illuminations to check out it out, he agreed.
Seaside Cabinetry & Design from Sidney installed the beautiful maplewood cabinets and quartz countertops in the bathrooms and kitchen. Bi-colour cabinets in the kitchen are finished in two serene colours, Rain for the perimeter cabinets, and Cascade for the island. “It is one of my favourite finishes,” says Jessica Kwasnica, senior designer and co-owner with her husband Tony Rechsteiner of Seaside Cabinetry & Design. “It’s a solid opaque stain in which the woodgrain peeks through just the right amount.”
Lighting mounted under the cabinets adds to their elegance, while also helping improve visibility for cooking. Grey glass tiles provide a clean looking, light-reflecting backsplash, and there is a handy pot filler faucet behind the stove. Brushed nickel hardware adds to the classy modern look. There is generous storage space for everything, including a pantry area with convenient pull-out shelves. Strategic pull-out inserts provide order for knives and utensils. Another has racks for spices and oils, and a third insert holds a convenient two-bin recycling unit.
Tucked beside the wall unit is an unexpected drinks area with gorgeous mullion glass doors and a criss-cross wine rack. “We added glass knobs on these two cupboards to make them really stand out,” says Jessica.
The new island is glossy and rich looking, and luxurious in size at 10 by three feet. The Caesarstone quartz countertop is called Statuario Maximus and has warm grey veins running through the soft white base colour. The edge of the island is finished in a decorative Ogee curve (an “S”-shaped curve made out of two opposing arcs) while the other countertop is square edged.
Stylish white leather bar stools snug up to the island, which contains a microwave and bar fridge. All of the kitchen appliances are new, including the wall oven and fridge. “I loved working on this home with Dawn and Charlie,” says Jessica. “I had a great connection with them, and we spent a lot of time going over our options to make each room unique.”
The renovated bathrooms have the luxury of heated tile floors (Decora) and a towel warmer from Flush Bathroom Essentials in Sidney. The main bathroom has a shower/tub combo outfitted with new glass, an under-mount sink in the new cabinet and large wall mirror from HomeSense. Clean lines, contrast and limited colours – it all fits so well.
The ensuite is stunning, with two under-mount sinks, white quartz countertops and dark cabinetry that divides the two sink areas (Cherry wood with Old Grown Stain). Two mirrors and crystal knobs reflect the light and add sparkle. The original small corner shower has been replaced with a spacious glass-walled walk-in shower that has a rain shower head and a centre strip of contrasting dark wall tiles.
The expansive den is a fun space where Dawn says everyone likes to hang out. An electric fireplace adds warmth to the dark leather couches and large TV screen. A small office opens off of this room. All the furniture in this room along with the dining room table and chairs was bought at The House Dressing Company.
For warmth during winter power outages, Dawn and Charlie have a wood-burning heatilator fireplace in the living room. A new heat pump was added during the latest renovation, and Dawn and Charlie are very pleased with its performance. Other features of the renovation include solid exterior wood doors, and, in the great room, stereo cabinets installed by Seaside Cabinetry that stylishly take care of audio equipment. The cabinet doors are vented to keep the components from overheating.
New Hunter Douglas motorized blinds adjust for light control with the touch of a finger. Wider mouldings make the windows look new in the great room and the whole wall of windows slides open to an expansive wood deck. Glimpses of Patricia Bay can be seen through stately trees. The landscaping is largely natural and, although Dawn once had an abundant vegetable garden, she now takes it a bit easier, growing perennials like rhubarb and raspberries.
Dawn is an accomplished cook, baker and canner. She places a plate of her home-baked goodies on the island and offers espresso drinks to Jessica and me. “We spend a lot of time around this beautiful island.” It’s a great place to have a good chat.
Dawn nods to Jessica. “Throughout the whole renovation project, I was really comfortable with Jessica, she was so helpful, and her knowledge and experience greatly assisted in the makeover. She was recommended to me by our neighbours and various contractors who said that Seaside Cabinetry provides a superb product that will stand the test of time. We are absolutely thrilled with the renovation. Now I have the kitchen I always dreamed of.”