story by Janice Henshaw, photos by Andrew Bradley, Itty Bitty Sign Shop –
What is the best thing to do when your home is looking tired and out-of-date? Put up a “For Sale” sign and move to another home? Ignore the faded colours and saggy furniture and be happy that your bank account doesn’t have to take a hefty hit? Or renovate? This can simply mean a fresh coat of paint, a new couch, fresh flowers and new pillows, or … a major makeover.
Susan and Richard had lived in their three-bedroom, one-level home on Lochside for 18 years and decided it was time to make one of these choices. They first looked at homes for sale to the north and, although the views were great, most of the homes they were interested in were situated on very small lots. When they looked south, they saw that the ocean view consisted mainly of looking towards James Island. It made them appreciate their own view even more because they can see Sidney and the surrounding islands, San Juan Islands, and south down to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
After looking at various homes, Susan and Richard realized that if they moved, they would want to renovate a new house to get exactly what they wanted. So, instead, they decided to stay and renovate their own home. As many homeowners know, progress is slow at first as they go through the process of hiring the right people to bring their ideas to reality. Plans are made and changed, new drafts are created and reviewed, and permits have to be taken out. Susan and Richard know that it is essential to check references and hire people who do quality work, not just people who happen to be available. They hired Hook and Hook Renovations & Design to be their project manager.
Structural changes were in order; the kitchen was moved from the back of the house to a new location on the ocean side to take in the stunning view. Three load-bearing exterior walls were bumped out so they match up with the existing exterior. To carry the roof load over the new patio doors, three LVL (laminated veneer lumber) beams were installed. Custom-built Douglas Fir windows by Oakridge Windows were added to the new kitchen and dining area and all the other windows and doors were refinished. The exterior stucco of the home was painted in a warm gray colour called Iron Mountain (Benjamin Moore).
Two interior walls that separated the original kitchen from the living room, entry and dining room were opened up. The old kitchen space is now a new bar area with custom face frame in-lay cabinetry with solid wood dovetail drawers (an ancient fine woodworking technique used to make strong joints in cabinetry such as attaching the front of a drawer to the sides) by Hook and Hook. The renovation has created a new living room and dining room, dispensed with a family room and changed the third bedroom into an office.
In the new great room, LED rope lighting was installed above the crown moulding as the homeowners did not want pot lighting of any kind. Incorporating the rope lighting meant dropping the crown moulding one inch from the ceiling. The lighting adds a lovely, serene glow that is reflected off the ceiling. Hook and Hook also added under-cabinet lighting and lighting to create glowing shelves. The kitchen has all new cabinetry and the expansive island has lots of storage and a convenient microwave drawer. The high-end Wolf & Viking appliances were purchased from Lansdowne Appliances.
Elegant quartz stone countertops (Britannica) produced by Cambria are a “creamy marbled background of neutral white that provides a stage on which gray islands and peninsulas meander among intertwining ashen veins dotted with veiled charcoal speckles.” Cambria describes quartz itself as “one of the hardest materials found in nature, even harder than granite and it is maintenance-free, which means that, unlike granite, quartz never needs to be chemically polished or sealed.”
The backsplash is formed from white subway tiles and, behind the propane cook-top, there is a black and white marble mosaic. White split face stacked marble highlights the fireplace and wine rack wall. Norstone – a stone veneer manufacturer – defines split face as “a stone that has been broken or split to show a rougher finish. A split face is desirable as it provides natural texture and stratification that is hard to duplicate outside of nature.”
New paint has been applied throughout the home, says Andi, the principal designer at Hook and Hook. The walls are painted in Balboa Mist OC-27 and the ceiling and trim in Decorators White CC-20. The main cabinets are in Revere Pewter HC-172, and the kitchen island provides a dramatic and joyful pop of colour in Roseate 2078-10, a shade of pink-red (all Benjamin Moore).
All the old flooring was removed and replaced with gorgeous 12- by 24-inch honed marble tiles. Honed marble is more porous and less buffed than polished marble. Under-floor propane heating was added throughout the home to replace the previous heating system, which had been located in the ceiling. Susan found the prior heating system completely ineffective: every room used to be cold. “The new heated floors are wonderful. It’s the best thing ever – they provide such a nice heat. And because of the in-floor heat and new appliances, our hydro bill is now half of what it used to be.” Susan says that Colin Gill of District Plumbing and Heating and Aaron Lohr of Sitka Electric, both local companies, “went above and beyond with many repeat visits at our request – they provided prompt and efficient service.”
Other quality features include a built-in TV with custom face-frame in-lay cabinetry. Larry Hook loves to build furniture and he does beautiful work,” says Susan. He did all the millwork (woodwork) and custom-built the 7.5-foot dining room table, the glass-topped metal coffee table, bar table, the fireplace surround and headboard for the main bedroom. “He is a perfectionist, and very meticulous in his work.” Larry, for his part said: “I enjoyed being able to plan out my day watching the sun rise over the ocean. And I liked working with Susan and Richard because they appreciated all the custom features that we were able to provide.”
Andi Hook “did a ton of research,” which Susan found very helpful in narrowing down choices. Andi also helped source all of the area carpets and helped with furniture shopping. At first, Susan had tried ordering furniture from a popular online home décor website but she became frustrated after numerous delays, back order notifications, and shipped items that arrived broken. Susan next ordered furniture from One Stop Furniture Shop in Sidney and appreciated their helpful and timely service.
All the work was finished in September and Susan and Richard are very happy that they went ahead with the decision to renovate their home. Susan says: “The best thing is that we’ve always had a nice view, but now when we walk in our home there is a wall of windows and a panoramic view to enjoy; it gives our home a whole different feel.”