Little Portugal House
Location: Toronto, ON
Size: 1800 sq.ft
Interior renovation of an existing residence that was original built as a mixed use building in the city’s west end. The main level commercial space had long since been converted to a full residence with extensive alterations to the interior and facade that covered up most of the original charm of the building. The design process involved an extensive discovery phase that allowed us to explore the original qualities of the structure. The pre design discovery fueled a design approach, which focused on uncovering and celebrating the buildings innate qualities. Re-establishing the original storefront was one of the primary goals and facilitated the inclusion of large windows and a glazed entry door for a modern take on a traditional storefront configuration. The extensive glazing on the front facade allowed for the transmission of an abundance of natural light into the home and worked to reconnect the interior with the street. The discovery of exposed brick side walls lead to an interior design approach that placed emphasis on the use of natural materials with, wood, concrete, and brick aiming to create an honest design grammar that allows for a rich haptic connection between the materials and the home’s inhabitants. The massive kitchen counter top is made of a combination of concrete and Corian, with the cabinet faces matching the wood floor to create an uncluttered seamless look to the space. Floor joists above the main floor where uncovered and painted white to create a lofted aesthetic, which enhances the feeling of height and openness throughout the home.
The spatial planning focuses on opening the entire main floor up to expansive site lines, while creating three functional zones with varying degrees of privacy. Intimate spaces such as the kitchen and living areas are clustered in the rear, while a more exposed dining area, with a large multi-purpose table for working and entertaining is located at the front behind the expansive storefront window. The stair core becomes the central focus of the space, where a CNC cut screen and vertical balustrade are employed to create a layered separation that filters light and views between the two zones on the main floor. The existing wood floor on the second floore was refinished and updated with modern trim work. Planning and some minor modifications where also made to allow for a future third floor addition and skylight to be added with very little impact to existing works.
From the clients:
“I cannot say enough good about the incredible work Creative Union did for us and our home. Not only did they far exceed our expectation in every way in terms of the approach, design, and oversight of our new home’s renovations, but the end result was breathtaking and has been far better than we ever envisioned our dream home capable of.
When we engaged Tim and Claudia at Creative Union, we were faced with the daunting prospect of transforming our dated new home purchase into one that would get our home up to current standards and optimize the functionality of its very narrow living space. We had a modest budget, especially considering what we wanted to accomplish, and we were prepared to have to make some difficult compromises from an aesthetic perspective, knowing much of our budget would have to go towards updating structural and other invisible elements, like electrical. Creative Union worked tirelessly with us on our budget and priorities and brought to the table many unique and beautiful creative out-of-the-box solutions to stretch our budget, which resulted in us not having to compromise aesthetic at all. On the contrary, our home is beyond our wildest imagination and we receive compliments on a regular basis.
At the start of the project, one of our biggest concerns was how much time and coordination my husband and I would have to put towards the renovations as we had a new baby on the way, and the project would be in full swing when the baby arrived. We needn’t have worried, Tim and Claudia were incredibly organized, professional, and stayed in close contact through any decision making and the progress of our renovation. When our general contractor had a family emergency and could no longer oversee the project management of our renovation, Creative Union stepped in to ensure it was still completed and delivered within our timelines for our move date.
Their eye for design, out of the box thinking, and attention to the smallest details that painstakingly considered both the highest function and design were so appreciated. Now that we’ve been living in our house for a couple seasons – we appreciate it even more as we often stumble across things we’re glad we followed their recommendation on. We are so thankful for the care and passion Creative Union put into the designs and execution of our house renovations and could not recommend them enough to friends, family, and others.”