a new footprint
A Vancouver, British Columbia Designer Makes Smart Use of a Small Space
This ranch-style home is surrounded by trees, hiking trails, glacier-fed rivers, and mountain vistas. The idyllic setting is also in a desirable neighborhood, which is located just twenty minutes north of the bustling downtown of Vancouver, British Columbia.
When the homeowners found out they were expecting a baby, they decided to sell their condo in the city’s Yaletown neighborhood and buy a house to better accommodate their growing family. The couple purchased this 1,500-square-foot, circa-1960 house that they knew would require some updating. The subsequent renovation would result in a new office area, a large kitchen, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Initially, the couple felt their needs would be best achieved by an addition to the home. But when they discussed their ideas with Andrea Rodman, interior designer and owner of Vancouver’s Andrea Rodman Interiors Inc., she presented an entirely different approach.
The builders, Vancouver-based Tavan Group, originally provided a floor plan for an addition, but when Rodman reviewed the design and met with the owners, she quickly saw potential space within the existing walls. “The house had a lot of wasted space with a bad layout,” explains Rodman. “I felt the original floor plan could easily be changed to not only achieve, but even exceed their requirements.” She sat down with the owners, pulled out the existing floor plan, and began to sketch new walls that would help achieve their home dreams. “Once they realized how they could live within the 1,500 square feet without doing an extension, they were surprised and excited by the project,” says Rodman.
“We knocked down walls and re-engineered the ceiling, opening it up and vaulting it, thereby giving the rooms a more spacious feel,” explains Rodman. “Vaulting a ranch ceiling is a great way to create a dramatic, open feeling. It also adds a big wow factor, which adds a lot of value to a home and a lot of enjoyment for the owners.” It required some engineering and a structural beam to create the expansive ceiling, but Rodman feels it was money well spent because of the increased home value.
“Simple, clean, and timeless are important aspects to my designs,” says Rodman. “We kept the same color white, Benjamin Moore’s Oxford White, throughout, adding warm neutrals with the finishes,” she says. “Warm colors make people feel happy. Bringing in natural tones, like the wood flooring, dining table, and butcher-block countertop, creates a timeless look, while also connecting us to nature. They create a feeling of calm and peacefulness.” She also used white quartz Caesarstone for the rest of the kitchen countertops for a natural look.
The new family room was originally two bedrooms, and the kitchen was much smaller. “I turned the old family room in the front of the house into the two bedrooms; [I] removed the original bedrooms from the back of the house and placed a new family room there alongside the kitchen and eating areas,” explains Rodman. “This created an open great room concept that embraced [an] indoor-outdoor lifestyle with the large deck directly outside the new family room.” She added French doors to the deck from both the family room and the dining area, and enlarged all the windows in the great room, again making the space feel more open.
Rodman pushed walls back to create a much larger kitchen, taking some space from an oversize laundry room. “We designed the cabinetry and had it custom built. The owner wanted a country home ambience, so we created a look based on her direction,” says the designer. The classic Shaker-style doors, subway-tile backsplash, white quartz countertops, and large butcher-block kitchen island helped achieve that casual country look according to Rodman.
Rodman says her goal is to have zero wasted space and optimal functionality in her designs. “When a home is designed this way, you enhance not only the value of the home but the lives of the people who live inside,” she continues. “A home like this one, that is quite small with only 1,500 square feet, feels like a much larger home with lots of space. Every square foot is accounted for and designed around lifestyle and functionality.” Written by Carolyn M. Runyon. After Photography by Keith Henderson.
As featured in Your Home and Lifestyle Magazine
Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All measurements are approximate. Copyright 2016 By Design Publishing. All rights reserved.