“This is our seventh house we’ve lived in as a couple,” she says. Two homes ago, they lived in a pre-approved historical house in Glenora, and toyed with the idea of making it permanent. But, “after we crunched some numbers, we realized we could save enough money to put our kids through university if we moved in North Glenora, plus now they can walk to school.”
From a sustainability perspective, they were hoping to find an existing bungalow to renovate, but couldn’t find the right fit. And they knew Timber Haus had subdivided a lot in north Glenora, intending to build two skinny homes. “So we asked, ‘Hey, what’s up with those properties? Are you interested in putting them back together?’
The couple drew up blueprints, asked Timber Haus if their plan was possible within their budget and, as is often the case with first drafts, were told no. “But I was specifically looking forward to working with them for that reason: They don’t sugar coat things — with me, or the tradespeople. If I was making a choice they knew was a bad idea, they’d tell me.”
Together, they developed a second draft while the couple lived in a temporary abode (the soon-to-be historical home sold in eight days). And then a third draft… and on until both parties were happy with the layout and style — especially Timber Haus. “When we did the pre-possession walk-through looking for little nicks and dings, they were pickier than I was!”
Being on a lot designed for two skinny houses means the house has length — two lengths, in fact. The longer runs all the way to the garage with the crafts room, boot room and breezeway along the main floor, and the bedrooms upstairs. The shorter length hooks off the longer like the curve of a J, and contains the kitchen outfitted by Gem Cabinets with handle-free push cabinets and a custom-made bookshelf ladder that slides along an upper rail to reach the extra china and wine glasses.
And then there are the lighting choices, made from Park Lighting & Furniture’s vast inventory. But that doesn’t mean it was easy. “You kind of go down a wormhole looking at all these options, and suddenly you’re so out there — there was a lot of back and forth laughing at each other being like, ‘You’re joking, right?’”
One thing they agreed on was bringing stylistic touches of the historical home they loved into their new build, most notably with brick details in the living room. “This is the exact footprint of the old house plopped into this house, with the fireplace in this direction and the mantel going across the bottom. We just made it better.”
Ballet Edmonton’s Home Tour successfully took place on September 18 & 19, 2021. This annual fundraiser allows patrons to see inside custom homes while supporting the arts in Edmonton.
This article appears in the September 2021 issue of Edify
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