From a bachelor pad to a contemporary family home in a heartbeat

From a bachelor pad to a contemporary family home in a heartbeat

Our client, a busy doctor, purchased a two-storey home in St. Catharines that had beautiful bones but needed help bringing it into the 21st century.  Though the house was in great condition, the outdated 90’s style details throughout - like the golden oak floors, traditional wainscotting, and turned spindles - did not suit his clean and contemporary style.  Our client was looking to transform this house from a bachelor pad into a forever home, fit for a growing family. 

Interior Designer: Jennifer Nickel, ARIDO
Design Firm: Invision Design Solutions
Photographer: Kelly Horkoff

In order to reuse as much of the existing details in the home as possible, we kept the exterior shell and interior layout as is. The fireplace in the family room remained, as well as the immaculate hardwood flooring which was refinished in place.  We strategically chose elements to be changed out that were crucial to achieving a modern style - the textured ceilings were scraped smooth, the traditional trim work was changed out for clean contemporary lines, and the outdated staircase was upgraded with modern metal and glass railings.  The existing kitchen and ensuite were two areas that lacked functional layouts and effective storage and were ready for a total overhaul, so in these areas, we pulled out all the stops and created stunning focal points of modern simplicity.  Throughout the house, we used dark, moody blacks and smoky blues contrasted with crisp warm white walls and rich linear oak grains to create a cozy modern home that didn't feel stark or sterile. 

Modern staircase with a cascading chandelier showcasing the high ceilings above

Walking in the front door of this house, one is greeted by high vaulted ceilings, large dramatic windows and a grand staircase overlooking the living room.  The cascading chandelier showcases the height of the ceilings above the staircase.  On the 10 foot high windows, we used elegant gray-blue ripple fold drapery to soften the echoes in the large room and to control sunlight and privacy when needed.  Denim blue barn doors from across the room mirror the drapery and frame the opening into the dining room and kitchen. 

Modern kitchen with a large peninsula with bar stools and the dining area is visible in the back

In the kitchen, we installed beautiful new cabinetry in flat black and linear-grained white oak. The new cabinet layout created more space for larger, modern appliances, and allowed for more effective storage with plenty of large drawers.  The peninsula was extended into the breakfast nook to increase counter space and was dressed up with modern dark gray barstools for a more masculine aesthetic.  We also added much-needed pantry cabinets, integrated with a beautiful wood coffee station detail that pops against the flat black cabinet doors.  In the dining room adjacent to the kitchen, we placed built-in cabinetry that ties back to the aesthetic of the kitchen and provides not only added storage, but a perfect spot for displaying decorative items.

At the back of the house is the family room that overlooks the backyard.  In this room, we closed off the secondary entrance from the hallway to improve the furniture layout and overall functionality of the room.  A unique feature wall is decorated with a map mural, highlighting several places of significance for our client.  Though we kept the existing fireplace in this room, we modernized the design by removing the traditional mouldings, cladding the surround with large scale tile, and adding a simple wooden mantle and sleek black built-in cabinetry. 

On the second floor, the main bedroom includes an ensuite that originally had a closed 8 foot ceiling below the vaulted ceilings with skylights. We decided to make these skylights the main feature in the space by opening up the ceiling to let the light in all the way through the bathroom to the bedroom.  We designed a frosted glass wall to separate these spaces while still allowing the light to flow through.  This glass wall is integrated into the large 4x6 foot curbless shower surround to create a clean and seamless look.  A floating oak vanity, recessed glass shelving, and large-scale floor to ceiling wall tile complete this sleek and spacious ensuite.

This home has been holistically designed to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate out-of-town family guests and future changing stages of family life.  At the start of the project, our client was single and living with a combination of hand-me-down and dorm-room furniture.  This renovation made his house feel like home - a place that he can call his own, where he can proudly host family and friends, and one that will adapt as he progresses through changing stages of life with his newly wedded wife.

Jen Nickel

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Jen Nickel

INVISION Design Solutions

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