Today, we’re touring a heritage renovation for a fun-loving family of 5 in Victoria, BC. Bidgood + Co worked with the family to reconfigure the floor plan and inject the space with personality. Fortunately, the clients (Alex and Susan) weren’t opposed to thinking outside of the box. “They wanted a comfortable home with wow factor that reflected their fun-loving family while seamlessly tying into the original character of the house,” Principal Designer Kyla Bidgood shares.
When Kyla and her team, including Senior Interior Designer Kristine Hageland, first stepped into the space, they recognized that the family was a lively crew. “Music blaring, kitchen bubbling, kids on the go and everyone full of laughs,” Kyla says. “But like many of Victoria’s heritage homes from this era, the kitchen and bathrooms were small. The layout was compartmentalized and enclosed, meaning there were no sightlines from the kitchen to the living and play areas. The home did have some beautiful character, including stained glass, original built-ins, inlaid hardwood details, beams and crown moulding, which had to be maintained.”
Another priority was avoiding anything that could be labeled “cookie cutter” or boring. “[Susan’s] ideas included being able to bathe al fresco, with windows that opened up right above the tub so she could breathe in the cold fresh air as she soaked,” Kyla recalls. “She also wanted to incorporate plants and a slide for the kids at the front door. Susan was drawn to rustic textures, everything she leaned towards had a handmade feel or natural aesthetic.”
They started by opening up the kitchen and dining room, and relocating the powder room. “The entrance needed enough room for everyone to come and go fluidly, with space to unload and be the working cog of the home,” Kyla recalls. They added custom millwork, including cubbies for each kid, and closed storage for seasonal items. An awkward toilet room was removed from under the stairs and transformed it into a cozy workspace.
The kitchen called for more counter space and storage, which the Bidgood team achieved by designing floor to ceiling built-ins along the interior walls to house most of their appliances including the refrigerator, beverage drawers, double wall oven, coffee station, baking mixer and dry storage. The lower millwork contains spice drawers, large pot drawers, recycling, compost + trash pullouts, and a magic corner unit. Keeping the vertical elements at the inner core of the kitchen allowed for clean, open upper walls above the counter with tile up to the ceiling. “We selected a subway tile by Fireclay with a subtle rustic surface and a great handmade look,” Kyla explains. “They were the perfect choice to balance the character of the home with Susan’s rustic taste.”
Upstairs, they converted the previously enclosed balcony into usable floor space for their master suite, adding square footage for a more spacious retreat and room for a mater ensuite. “One of Susan and Alex’s wishlist items was a steam shower and soaker bath, which we were happy to cross off,” Kyla smiles.
Since the kids are close in age, the couple wanted to create a shared room they could all hang out in and read stories together. Bidgood + Co had a custom bunk bed built in with space for everyone, and storage below for toy and linen pullouts.
The project was a challenge, as the changes had to be seamlessly tied into the existing heritage of the home. “Every detail, down to exposed beams and the original floor inlay had to be taken into account,” Kyla says. She concludes, “The changes worked out flawlessly as if the house had always existed that way.”