Mid Century Modern Makeover

Our clients purchased the original home in the early 1990’s as a vacation home with the long term intent to renovate as a full time residence. The property, located on Gabriola Island is south facing with spectacular views of Pylades Channel, Valdez, Mudge, Decourcey and Link islands.

The original home was built in the early 1970’s as a Mid Century Modern builder’s special. This style of home was very popular in North America during the ’60’s and 70’s. Characterized by the open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, and lots of windows to allow for abundant natural light. In particular, clerestory windows and the low sloped roof are trademark design characteristics of the Mid Century Modern home.

Popularity of the Mid Century Modern home wained in the 1980’s as Post Modern trends favoured neo-traditional styles with historical references. Modernism was considered too minimal, abbreviated and cold. Now, thirty plus years after the fade of the Mid Century Modern era, we are seeing a resurgence of interest.

Architrave Design Build was hired in 2010. We were very excited at the opportunity to revive a classic. Our clients gave us carte blanche regarding the design. They did give us the physical requirements in terms of space, number of rooms and overall lifestyle: maximize the view for indoor/outdoor entertaining and relaxation; add a main floor master bedroom with en suite, and a second main floor bedroom; make the kitchen larger; and maintain the two bedrooms downstairs. Once we had the budget, we set to work. Our proposal accommodated all of the clients requirements, but also what we thought would improve the long term value of the house, namely, an authentic Mid Century Modern renovation to preserve and enhance this now iconic home style.

The original house had been well constructed. It had “good bones”. The original foundation and framing were retained. The siding was stripped, interior walls were gutted, door and window openings were changed and the building was reconstructed with increased energy efficiency and seismic strength.

The 25,000 gallon cistern, originally built in 1970 was in excellent condition and did not need any remediation. Stored rain water collected from the roof is the only water source and services the house year round.

An addition was added to accommodate the master en suite bath and an extra main floor bedroom. The kitchen was extended and opened to the dining and living areas which open to the deck and full, south facing, Gulf Islands view. Other features include arbutus hardwood flooring, a two-sided fireplace, a solid fir, custom built front door. Swiss Pearl siding panels, imported from Switzerland, unique to residential construction were used for the durability, low maintenance and sustainability of the product. The garage was an add-on project, designed to accommodate the client’s RV.

Deign work commenced mid 2013 and construction was completed late 2014. Throughout the project, communication with our clients was primarily by email, with weekly progress photos and monthly budget tracking. The project was a success on many levels. The before and after photos showcase the result.

Before & After Photos

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