Our lovely Lakehouse clients came to us in the early months of 2019 looking for help in updating their custom, built-for-them bungalow. They were very hands-on throughout the entire design process and, since their project has finished, we have to admit that we miss talking to them every day! The existing interior of their Alberta lakefront home was in pristine condition, but the finishes were outdated, leading to our biggest design challenge: deciding what to keep and how to work with it. Our clients and design team both agreed that there was no need to scrap everything and start over, so we got to work making decisions on what should stay and what could go.
Project Name -Lakehouse Residence
Studio Name -Reena Sotropa In House Design Group
Completion date– 2020
Location– Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Photography– Phil Crozier
The colour scheme for this house was kept fairly neutral as our clients had a colourful personal collection of art that needed to be shown off – like the Slim Aaron Poolside Glamour print and vast collection of Italian glass sculptures seen in one of their two home office spaces. Any colours we brought into the design were inspired directly from their collection of art to ensure a sense of harmony within the space.
The kitchen is drenched in natural light that spills into the room via the floor-to-ceiling windows and three grand skylights, allowing us to achieve a light and airy space while still incorporating a few dark finishes. The original layout still worked well for this family and the cabinets were in excellent condition, but our clients were looking to tame the large expanse of cherry wood. Our solution was to strategically paint portions of the existing cabinetry in a beautiful and modern mid-toned grey, Benjamin Moore Overcoat CC-544. We chose to leave just the island and a portion of the sink elevation in the original cherry to break up and balance this new dark millwork.
One of the most unique features of this kitchen is the existing double-sided fireplace that connects the kitchen with the adjacent living room. There were existing pantry cabinets flanking either side of the firebox that provided much used storage for our client, so removing this central structure between the two rooms was simply not an option. We opted to keep the existing firebox, but added a fluted millwork detail that wrapped around all sides of it. This provided a subtle texture that allowed us to completely obscure the location of the pantry doors, minimizing the visual clutter on this elevation and creating the perfect accent against the dramatic fireplace stone – one of our favourite marbles, Pietra Grey! We then carried both the fluted detail and the stone from the fireplace onto the custom design of the new range hood.
Another major upgrade in the kitchen was the new installation of honed Calcutta Namibia countertops – a beautiful natural quartzite stone consisting of white and cream tones. We then brought the whole look together with a counter-to-ceiling Calcutta marble hex tile backsplash. To balance the space and provide an element of softness, the kitchen is peppered with brass and gold accents, from the hardware, to the lighting, to the faucet selections. We were also able to integrate the original hardwood floors into the new design by refinishing them to tone down the yellow and modernize the home. We then chose beautiful grey velvet kitchen counter stools to finish this fresh space.
We opted to update the columns on either side of the dining room with the same fluted millwork from the kitchen to unify the home. We also added beautiful new dining furniture, a sculptural Kelly Wearstler light fixture, and soft grey ombre walls – custom painted by a friend of our clients’ who specializes in auto body painting! By dividing the oversized family room, we were able to add a chic and masculine second office to the floor plan that also doubles as a guest room with a super cool, concealed murphy bed, maximizing both the functionality and look of the room. Likewise, the addition of iconic Merimakko wallpaper, a soft blue ceiling, and crisp white millwork in the bright and airy laundry space adds a refreshing flair to the home.