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Award Winning Home

Award Winning Home

Harwood Design Builders continues to rack up industry awards for excellence in home renovations bestowed by the Manitoba Home Builders Association. For 2015, among its other three gold awards, the company won Gold designation in the whole house renovation category for a Victoria Crescent project that highlighted their range of skills and expertise. The 4000 square foot two-storey house was built in the 1960s and the current owners decided to embark on a full-on transformation that would put their home squarely into today's leading design aesthetic.

Wayne Sage, Harwood Design Builders president says, "These were extremely good clients to work for because they really appreciated the expertise we brought to the table to bring this house up to the modern era with unique materials and clean lines. That was especially true for doing things right including energy, insulation and re-framing of the roof."

The whole house renovation included main and upper floors, a complete exterior facelift and original garage conversion. The exterior facelift included a new roof trusses, acrylic stucco, manganese-iron brick, cherry aluminum longboard and stained wood columns. All of the window and doors were replaced with energy efficient products.

To set the stage for an open-concept on the main floor, the walls between the kitchen, living and dining room were removed. A full island was added along with an easily accessible bar station on an adjacent wall.

Two windows on the kitchen wall were enlarged and re-located to a more central location over the new cooktop to take advantage of the flood of natural light. This feature created a lack of upper cabinets and reduced storage so a six foot high bank of pantries was added, all equipped with roll-outs for easy access.

In-house designer advised the clients on finishing options and the results were stellar. The shakerstyle kitchen cabinets are a combination of off-white paired with charcoal espresso delivering a dramatic contrast. Bright angular Cambria Torquay counters and the definitive subway tile backsplash work together reinforcing clean lines within the space. The modern under mount kitchen sink, wall oven and convenient serving counter contribute to the new contemporary style of the home.

The removal of the supporting wall created the challenge of where to accommodate venting of the plumbing stack and mechanical. In the traditional vein of 'form following function,' two wood-clad columns were strategically added as endcaps for the new serving area between the kitchen and living room.

Hand-scraped hickory hardwood flooring was chosen for its durability and beauty throughout the room and also provides a solid foundation for the mini-Ledgestone gas-burning fireplace on the TV feature wall.

The upstairs master bedroom received custom treatment with floor-to-ceiling wall cabinetry eliminating the need for furniture and promoting a calming, seamless profile. The ensuite continues the luxurious theme with a defined water closet, double vanity and glass shower enclosure.

The original garage was converted into a large, practical mudroom with storage cabinets to match the charcoal espresso cabinetry in the kitchen. A floating seating bench with storage and handy hooks, powder room, laundry room and TV room for the kids was also accommodated in the old garage.

Wayne notes that the design for the renovation featured a really great use of the space because "we didn't do any additions to create extra square footage. We added space through problem-solving, like in the master bedroom through the use of built-in cabinets and in the kitchen with an entire cabinetry wall with roll-outs. And of course, unifying the living, dining and kitchen area into one open space was extremely effective."

"Going into an older home you never know what you're going to find," says Wayne. "The house was completely gutted and there were some surprises as to framing practices in the 60s and how to make it work with the way you want it to look now. And it has to be brought up to present day codes and standards which can sometimes be complex, but that's what we do."

Not only did the renovation attract a MHBA Gold Award, but it also got a lot of attention in the neighbourhood resulting in two new projects. Wayne says, "It all turned out very well."

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