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The Globe and Mail

Old frame a good place to start a new Oakville home

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Oakville home renovated by designer Darren Sanger-Smith. An ordinary postwar house in a middle-class suburb, it became something better.

Peter A. Sellar

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The Oakville home before renovation. The detached dwelling began its career, in 1953, as a $22,000 back-split. The unknown architect clearly admired the then-fashionable open-plan approach to the distribution of interior space but some concessions were made to traditional demands, for instance for a dining room. The abruptly formal, dark, little room on the main level, positioned at a distance, both spatially and psychologically, from the kitchen.

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The present owners bought the place 18 years ago (for $274,000) and set about raising a large family in it. They also began to reshape it to suit their needs and inclinations, sharply increasing the rate of renovation only in 2011. Now that the overhaul is done, the residence is again on the market, this time for just under $2-million.

Peter A. Sellar

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There are no monster-home furbelows and no pushing out to the lot-line: Though the house has been enlarged, from 2,200- to 3,200-square feet, it has stayed within its old footprint.

Peter A. Sellar

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One conspicuous gesture in the renovation was the exterior cladding - a high-tech, low-maintenance wood product called Accoya.

Peter A. Sellar

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Dining now happens around a big slab in what was once the family room, adjacent to the kitchen on the lowest of the structure`s three levels. The dining area, with its original fireplace of stacked light-coloured stone, faces a walk-out to the patio and the heated salt-water swimming pool

Peter A. Sellar

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The divvying up of the interior area into three different, but closely related floors – the typical back-split configuration – has been retained, but the program of some places have been changed. The formerly disjunct dining room, for example, has become a music room.

Peter A. Sellar

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The kitchen.

Peter A. Sellar

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On the main level, Mr. Sanger-Smith has cut away the opaque wall of the upper-storey corridor and put into the now-open mezzanine an almost invisible glass balcony-front that visually connects the main and upper levels.

Peter A. Sellar

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One wall of the living room was opened up, and the light-coloured stone wall that surrounds the fireplace, which had been shoulder high before, was extended to touch the room`s high ceiling.

Peter A. Sellar

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Peter A. Sellar

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Another change to the upper-storey interior has been the addition of a spacious master bedroom and en-suite bathroom.

Peter A. Sellar

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Peter A. Sellar

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