Builders design and decorate their spec homes to suit as many people as possible. (The term “builder’s beige” says it all.) It’s a sensible approach but one guaranteed not to please at least some potential buyers. Witness the purchasers of this recently built house in Dunbar-Southlands: They liked the house but wanted to change some of the finishes.
Walk into Natasha Koifman’s Toronto home. There’s a hint of contradiction in almost every room. Some are a result of design, others a reflection of the owner herself, an impression that she has instinctively embedded throughout her living space.
If one were to make a movie of Rose Barroso’s life, the title would be “I love what I do.” The owner of Barroso Homes is enthusiastically hands-on, whether it’s during the design of a new house, the renovation of an existing home, or the creation of an interior. She has a zest for contemporary design and a practised eye that’s alert to hidden possibilities.
Essential to the look are plenty of pale surfaces. Walls, trim and ceilings are the same pure white in varying finishes. Played against this snowy backdrop is wide-plank engineered oak flooring in a white oak finish throughout the condo.
Marie-Eve Dufour and Claude-Etienne Fournier never tire of the nature that filters through the expansive windows of their unique home in Val d’Or, Quebec. “We live in a regular suburban neighbourhood, but our densely treed lot gave us the privacy to be able to invite the beauty of all those trees into our daily lives,” Marie-Eve says.
It was a former retirement home, a quadruplex on a block of similar buildings in NDG, most of which were in better repair. But Endrée Villeneuve of Vision enVert knew it could be turned into something special, four smart-home condos with flair.
Buy the worst house in the best location – it’s one of the mantras of real estate for those with constrained budgets. The owners of this home in the Caulfeild neighbourhood of West Vancouver took heed and couldn’t be happier with the results.
It wasn’t exactly a horrible house; it was quite liveable, but it did have only a small balcony, too many rooms for good flow, one floor and an unfinished basement.