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Designer Jamie Banfield gives an Ontario family their new West Coast dream home.
Photos by Janis Nicolay.
There’s lots to love about this stunning renovation by interior designer Jamie Banfield: the rich walnut flooring, the matte terrazzo countertops, the penny tiles. But like a true design nerd, he looks beyond form to function to get his thrills. “Space planning is the number one thing,” he says. “We took down walls, moved the kitchen, and it’s so much more functional.”
The homeowners, an Ontario couple, came out West with hopes of finding a house with enough room for their two young kids to run around, and space to host family. They found a 30-year-old building with great square footage—but the awkward layout would need a heavy touch to reach its potential. Banfield took on the challenge with glee, with the help of builder Alair Homes.
Ultimately, every choice made in the renovation was an attempt to find that perfect balance between modern and classic. “We wanted it to have style, but we wanted it to be timeless. We wanted to save where we could, but not compromise on quality,” says Banfield.
So, along with bringing the building up to code, he moved closets around and moved the kitchen from a tiny room in the middle of the house to an open-concept design with storage galore, connected to the living room area to keep the main floor bright and airy. Six people can now sit comfortably around the island. “It was really amazing seeing it go from this dark-and-dingy one-person space to a big open room where we could all socially distance,” says Banfield. Dark elements (the walnut, the black fireplace) contrast against the white walls to make the space feel even lighter. A clever mix of high and low design design decisions made the most of the renovation budget. Furniture from CF Interiors hits that sweet spot between modernism and comfort.
High quality walnut flooring runs throughout the home, a change from the mixed-material flooring the home originally had. “There was hardwood and tile and vinyl, so one of the most important things we did to connect the space was change that up,” says Banfield. Likewise, the invested heavily in the kitchen, mixing upscale walnut and white cabinetry with Caeserstone countertops.
Banfield’s storage solutions are plentiful. There’s cabinetry galore, a pantry area, and an appliance garage to hide mixers and blenders. Plugs are built right into the countertop to keep the walls looking sleek and seamless. There’s more storage to be found in the family room: a built-in cabinet on the wall also works as seating or a space to showcase holiday decorations.
The designer credits the elegance of the finishes to the skilled installers. “The fireplace is just a simple white tile from Julien Tile, but because it wraps the corner so expertly, it looks super sleek,” he says. Similarly, in the bathroom, a simple ledge built in to the wall behind the vanity, expertly finished with mitered edges, offers a high-end look with the simplest of material.
It’s a house intended to look just as beautiful another 30 years from now—and a West Coast home-sweet-home that will last this family a lifetime.
Originally published October 2, 2020
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