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Sarah Richardson shows how to juggle renovation and real life

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Looking for the right home in the right neighbourhood at the right price is a challenge. Combining ownership of your first home with embarking on your first renovation and welcoming your first-born child into the equation all at the same time is like a house hunting triathlon, and it’s exactly what my clients were going through. The goal was to score a family home in an established neighbourhood, and the mandate was to turn an outdated interior into an open concept contemporary home.

Stacey Brandford

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The top priority for many of us with young families is to have a ground floor with an open flow, and good sightlines. Open concept living appeals to our modern sensibilities about how we like to live and entertain in a less formal way, but it also makes the everyday reality of multitasking work. Being able to cook in the kitchen while keeping a watchful eye on little ones is a lot easier when the ground floor is treated as one big open area (even if the area isn’t so big).

Photos by Stacey Brandford

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Stacey Brandford

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If you know you want an open plan, it’s best to aim big and get the most bang for your demolition buck. If you’re into the game of taking out walls and engaging an engineer, taking out permits, drawing up a new kitchen plan, and generally wreaking havoc on your home, I say you might as well aim high and make a huge change to make it all worth while. The difference between a partial and full wall removal will prove to be negligible when you think about it in the overall context of the costs of your renovation.

Stacey Brandford

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To make the island present a sleek profile to the dining side of the room, I chose to have the counters fabricated with a waterfall edge that creates a seamless profile from counter to floor.

Stacey Brandford

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My clients wanted direct access to the back garden from the kitchen, and by using a Stelrad radiator, we were able to recess a sleek, modern vertical unit adjacent to the new garden door.

Stacey Brandford

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Stacey Brandford

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Instead of gutting the dining room after removing the wall, I opted to leave the original wood panelling in place and utilize it as the backdrop for wall mounted storage cabinets and a custom installed dining banquette. The storage cabinets are anchored into the original solid wood panelling and appear to “float” on the wall.

Stacey Brandford

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Stacey Brandford

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