Renovation Transformation: Glebe home’s ultra-contemporary interior embraces the light

Joanne Hall spent five years on the hunt for a new home. Her only non-negotiable term was that she remained in the Glebe, where she had spent the past 20 years.

For one reason or another she never found a house that fit the bill, but as it turned out she didn’t need to. Hall was already living in her dream home — it just needed a makeover.

Hall’s biggest concern was the darkness of her home. With other houses situated mere feet from both sides of the house and a large front porch, any available light struggled to find its way inside.

It didn’t reflect the personality of either Hall or her husband who both work in fields where human connection is vital. The home felt dark, isolated and outdated with its traditional layout of separate rooms and many private spaces.

“I had this feeling of being alone all the time. I really wanted it to be a gathering space so that when people were over, or even if it was just my husband and I, that it was comfortable,” says Hall. So they hired Linebox Studio to transform the home.

After a lengthy year-long renovation Hall confidently says it was the best decision they ever made. “(Now) our home is both a place to gather and be connected with family and friends and also a place for just us, to recharge.”

While the interior is now ultra-contemporary, the exterior still nods to the home’s historic character with red-orange brick and a matching wooden door and deck.

“This home is charming and familiar and yet clean and refined, like the boy next door wearing a new, finely tailored suit,” explains Linebox architect Jennifer Jabs. “It wasn’t about being loud or in-your-face modern on the exterior, it was about hinting that something a little different might be happening within.”

Perhaps the most significant change is the kitchen. What was once isolated in the back of the home now looks like a chic, cozy café taking up the majority of the main floor.

A lengthy communal table with plush booth seating on one side and modern chairs on the other mirrors an extended island with bar stools.

Near the back door is a comfy lounge area and near the front door is a television nook that overlooks the new deck— this one without an overhead cover, allowing natural light to flood the space. Some avocado green-coloured accent walls offset the fresh white interior.

The contemporary design continues throughout the three-storey home with a see-through glass-paneled staircase, subtle colours and bare floors.

Essentially, the entire first and second floor were gutted during the project where new walls, windows, plumbing and stairs were installed. Only the basement and third storey were relatively untouched with a few cosmetic upgrades.

“What makes the project sing is the “Glebe” shell with the contemporary interior. It’s a delightful surprise when you walk in and meet the modern, poppy and approachable interior,” says Jabs.

This project was a finalist in two categories at the 2018 Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association design awards, Custom Kitchen —Contemporary $75,001 and over and Renovation $500,001 and over.