We go behind closed doors to see how this B.C. couple created their forever home
Open, airy, and clean were the key requirements for a B.C. couple looking to build their dream home in Pitt Meadows. The couple was living in a modern condo in Burnaby when they decided it was time to expand. Their goal was to create a modern space, full of light, with the same minimalist characteristics they’d grown to love in their condo.
To fulfill their dream, they contacted custom home builder Justin Endresen from Alair Homes. His previous work had caught their eye: he had built a custom home for his parents on the Sunshine Coast which incorporated many of the features and attributes they were looking for in their custom build.
“It isn’t every day that you can ask a former client if you can come in for a house tour,” says Endresen. “But I was able to take them there on a walk-through so they could see it first-hand. They loved a number of features in my parents’ place, so we incorporated those in our 3-D rendering for the Pitt Meadows property.”
See the beautiful results below...
Martin Knowles Photo/MediaMartin Knowles Photo/Media“The top priority was to get in as much light as possible, which can be a good call in rainy Fraser Valley. That meant high ceilings, tall windows and tons of open space that could be flexible from room to room.”
“The clients loved the idea of a very open entrance way. That’s why we went with a stringer staircase with a glass railing, and not a staircase that was boxed in. They wanted the treads to match the floor, and everything to be kept neat, simple and open. A large feature light fixture serves as the focal point for the room and a large fir front door completed the sleek modern look.”
Martin Knowles Photo/Media"It was important to maintain that airy feeling in the main living spaces as well,” says Endresen. “The clients wanted to be able to go from one room to the other, but still socialize with people in the other rooms.”
Martin Knowles Photo/Media“When it came to the kitchen/living room area, originally, they were thinking about doing built-in cabinets to create a bar area between the kitchen and the main living room. But to keep things simple and off the floor, they decided to go with three shelves that matched the cabinetry in the front entrance. The floor itself is a high-grade laminate, which is tough enough to withstand the couple’s dog and any potential scratches, wear and tear.”
Martin Knowles Photo/MediaMartin Knowles Photo/Media“In the kitchen, we also took a minimalist approach. They wanted to keep things hidden away, off the countertops, and out of sight, so we had to give them as much storage space as possible.”
“Having a big, central island definitely helped with that,” says Endresen. “What is unique about this one is that the right side is saved for storage while the left still has enough seating to make it practical for entertaining. The other side of the island hides the microwave, dishwasher and other smaller appliances."
Martin Knowles Photo/Media“Having lots of floor-to-ceiling windows was a priority, especially at the back of the U-shaped house. The windows let in so much light. The doors off the kitchen open up onto a covered patio, perfect for entertaining, no matter the weather. Having those big windows and doors also helps make the kitchen look bigger and more spacious.”
Martin Knowles Photo/Media“We kept the bedrooms upstairs quite simple, with one of the key features being the closets,” says Endresen. “The client likes designer clothing and shoes, and she wanted to have things on display, making her closet look more like a store, where things are easy to see and pick out.”
Martin Knowles Photo/Media“Like the rest of the house, her walk-in closet is also open concept. There is a lot of millwork and hidden brackets needed to create this look, but the result is a place for everything and everything in its place. Her closet area also includes a desk that serves as a vanity table, with lots of natural light. His closet area is tucked away in the hallway behind hers.”
Martin Knowles Photo/Media“When it came to the bathrooms, simplicity was key. Vanities can be bulky, which is why we went with floating vanities in all the bathrooms. The homeowners wanted to be able to sweep underneath them. Plus, a floating vanity gives the feeling of space. But we had to ensure that this didn’t take away from the storage options, so there are plenty of drawers to keep things out of sight.”
Martin Knowles Photo/Media“One unique feature in the master bath is the one large trough sink with two faucets. A small wooden shelf dissects the sink and it provides room for soap and other toiletries. It creates the effect of two separate sinks, surrounded by a stone countertop.”
Martin Knowles Photo/Media“To keep the rest of the bathroom looking as open as possible, we went with a glass partition for the shower. Originally, the toilet was going to be out in the open but the homeowners later decided that it should be enclosed. So we put it behind an opaque glass door,” says Endresen. “When that area got closed off, we realized we needed more natural light in the room, which is when we put in the horizontal window in the shower area.”
Martin Knowles Photo/MediaMartin Knowles Photo/Media“The exterior finishings were also given a lot of thought. The clients wanted all the accents to be in a matching silver hue. That included the fencing, the windows, the downpipe, the railing and the garage door. We also focused on lighting, putting in a lot of feature lights for nightscaping, and lots of pot lights throughout the home, all on dimmers. Everything can be adjusted to a nice glow rather than a bright white."