Rob’s Renovation in Calgary Part 1

This week’s design dilemma comes to us from Rob in Calgary, who wrote:

“Hi John and Matthew,

I recently developed my basement and added a TV room and kids play area downstairs, and would like to make the main floor more of an adult space, but would still like to have a TV and some storage for a few toys etc. Any ideas on how I can make this happen?

Our home is the middle unit of a triplex so we only have natural light entering from the front (east) and back (west) walls of the main floor. The front of the home has a covered porch while an attached garage takes up 60% of the back wall. Subsequently the kitchen is quite dark and natural light is at a premium.

We really like the feeling of the open living space, but have struggled to find a way to define the entrance, living and dining areas. We have installed dimmers on all the main floor pot lights and have added pendant lights in the kitchen. The biggest obstacle seems to be the support post in the middle of the room. It is very close to the kitchen bar stools and if we add a small wall to hide the post it may block too much natural light, or make the kitchen feel cramped. How can we transform our main floor into a functional living space without sacrificing too much natural light and what can we do about the support post?” – Rob in Calgary

Today’s Slides:

  • Mikefilcor

    Hi all; let me take a crack at this;

    understanding that less is more, as some projects are controlled ie not allowed to move doors and windows;

    one option is to leave front door as is and create a vestibule hiding closet etc. also by re-configuring kitchen layout the post is really not a concern any more

    other option is to move front door over to den area and make that room a vestibule with lots of storage; bench, closet, desk etc old front closet area could be tv or toy storage

    good luck


  • Rob P


    Thanks for the ideas. It would be difficult for us to re-configure the kitchen layout as we have just finished our basement reno’s and all plumbing, gas lines, electrical etc have been enclosed. We currently use the den as an office so it would be tough to give up the dedicated office space (although we could definitely use the extra storage space)

    Rob in Calgary