17 March 2009

This is how a renovation should be done

The great and powerful Victoria ran a great post on the blog Design Ties yesterday and I feel compelled to draw more attention to it.

Victoria is an interior designer in Vancouver and her friend Kelly is an interior designer in Ottawa. Together, they write a blog called Design Ties. Between the two of them, that blog is always filled with interesting photos of the projects they work on in their respective practices and neither of them are shy about using their own homes to illustrate a point.

Yesterday, Victoria wrote a post about the floor plan changes she and her husband made in their current home and I was struck by how simple and elegant their solution to an intersecting archway was. Stroll over to Victoria's post on Design Ties and read her frame by frame description.

In rearranging the floor plan of their first floor, they had three rooms that led into one another and in order to open up the rooms, they decided to construct two intersecting door ways. So rather than leaving them as squared off shapes, they looked to the cove ceiling in their existing living room and interpreted the shape. The result is two shouldered flat arches that could stop traffic they're so beautiful. This was a brilliant idea that in the big scheme of things didn't add a whole lot to the scope of their project. But what it did was honor the architecture of their home and it made this renovation uniquely theirs.

It's the perfect tie-in to Sarah Susanka and Marc Vassallo's new book, Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live. I'll be writing more about Not So Big Remodeling this week, but if the kind of detail that this intersecting archway represents interests you, then you really ought to check out Not So Big Remodeling. Susanka's entire carer is dedicated to making homes more thoughtful and human-scaled places. Victoria and her husband's renovated home announces pretty clearly that they thought about what they were doing and that they cared about the results they achieved.

Bravo, bravo, bravo and bravo I say again. Structurally, this hallway of the intersecting archways is a winner and of that there can be no doubt. But the real thrill comes in when she added the paint colors she did. I'm out of superlatives. Really.


  1. Paul, that was an intereting solution Victoria chose for her remodel. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Have you met Victoria and Kelly? Clever, clever girls those two.

  3. Paul... what can I say... wow!! Thank you so much for dedicating a whole post to me, my little project & DesignTies (i.e., Kelly & I) - and to speak of me/us with such respect and praise. I'm humbled, truely. A simple "thank you" just doesn't express enough how happy and grateful I am at this honour! You're a gem, Paul!!
    Victoria: EdinDesign Interiors @ DesignTies

  4. Hey, you're welcome and it's my pleasure! That shoulder arch solution you and your husband used deserves high, high praise and I'm just calling 'em as I see 'em.

  5. We're not just clever -- we're genius!!! ;-)

    Paul, you have to stop with the accolades before they go to our heads!! ;-)

    Thank you so much for featuring Victoria's archway post :-) V and her hubby are doing a fantastic job restoring their little bungalow :-)

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  6. Good work should be praised and the job they're doing on that bungalow certainly qualifies. I can't wait to see what they did with their kitchen.

  7. I found your site through Design Ties. I really flipped for those archways--gorgeous! :-)

  8. Hey! Welcome Julia. I'm with you, I keep coming back here to look at that first photo. It's so simple and graceful. Pure renovation genius!

  9. Hi Paul,

    Heard about you through Design Ties, the arch way redesign looks fabulous!


  10. Thanks Cathleen, Victoria did a real bang up job, that's for sure. I doubt she realized how much attention she'd get for them when she posted those photos on Design-Ties last week!


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