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Reshelved: A home in a former corner store

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The former Ravina Variety, after renovation. In her work as a film set designer Ms. Finn uses VectorWorks (similar to AutoCAD) and SketchUp software, which she employed in redesigning the corner store. ‘If you’re excited by something, you’ll figure it out,’ she says.

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Ravina Variety, before renovation. The owner, Tucker Finn, also an award-winning songwriter, says her new corner store residence is ‘built like a little warehouse, the joists are full-span.’

Tucker Finn

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The master bathroom. ‘I like just clean and simple, you don’t need to do to much to make it a nice space,’ says Ms. Finn.

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While not on display yet in the home, the couple did find some corner store relics, among them a Nelson Ice Cream ‘Double Dip’ sign and a few eras of ‘Ravina Variety’ signs.

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Ms. Finn is hooked on real estate investing as a way to create wealth and, hopefully, to retire early. Every chance she gets, she tells people to read Don R. Campbell’s 97 Tips for Canadian Real Estate Investors.

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The second floor office. Ms. Finn put a ‘whole bunch of bracing’ in the ceiling at the opening to the upstairs rooms so that, in future, she (or new owners) could hang barn doors to close them off. ‘I really liked it open, I liked the light going right through and I liked the bathroom light coming in [to the hallway]; we’re just two people and a dog.’

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To save costs, the couple did an ‘Ikea hack’ in the kitchen: ‘We bought a $5,500 Ikea kitchen and put a $3,000 counter top on it, and it’s beautiful.’

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Ms. Finn acted as her own general contractor, hiring the engineer, trades, ordering supplies and supervised the work on the house.

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“Something like this, it doesn’t need to be over thought,” says Ms Finn. “It’s about windows and how you want to live in the building.”

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What was important, Ms. Finn says, was creating larger openings for light – such as the big sliding door to the side patio or the big windows on the rear façade – and figuring out where people would pause to relax.

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Ms. Finn wanted to change the focus of the building from the street, as all corner stores must be, to the large, private backyard.

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The staircase consists of open, rift-cut oak treads and powder-coated steel stringers.

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Hazel, a four-year-old Australian Kelpie, enjoys the back yard.

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