Rob’s Renovation in Calgary Part 2

John and Matthew reveal their redesign ideas for Rob in Calgary’s home.

Today’s Slides:

  • Rob P

    John and Matthew,
    I posted a few questions on Facebook. One of them related to using variations in ceiling height to define living space. I have made a couple of sketches incorporating your new design and a floating ceiling. I am sure your changes alone will drastically alter the feeling of our home. Do you think the ceiling is design overkill?

  • Bradw

    J+M, I agree with the fireplace move and really like the built out wall concept. The entry is fine but maybe a little complex. I would lose the angled shelf and expand the closet into that space. The millwork to divide the entry from the living room would be at most shoe/boot depth to allow for storage of said items down low and display above (on the entry side you could put a row of coat hooks if you like). Basically, the your solution at a lower cost and maybe saving a little space in the living room.

    Rob P, as for your suggested ceiling detail I would not do it. The ceiling height and room size do not really lend themselves to this design. If you want to detail the ceiling maybe do some interesting cove detail and include lighting. Of course, it is your place and you should do what makes you happy but sometimes simple and straightforward is better. If you really want to work on something else get rid of the corner pantry in the kitchen. What is it with the western provinces  home builders and these corner pantries.

  • Matthew North

    Hi Rob – your perspective sketch is really good! I’m not sure the ceiling detail is necessary if you do the fireplace change – I would spend the money on a sectional sofa instead!

  • Matthew North

    Hi Brad! I think there is enough space between the front door and the window to add a full depth millwork closet – Rob – maybe you can measure this…….do we have tow feet, three inches? If not, then I would agree with Brad and not do the closet on that side. But, I still feel strongly that there needs to be some sort of an architectural element that creates a plane division between the entry and living room to give the sofa a back edge. I do not like the fact that the sofa is exposed to the front door without any separation.

    I also could go on about corner pantries for hours……colossal wastes of space and kitchen design ruiners.  I’m not sure they are exclusive to western home builders…..never thought of that before. They are just gross nonetheless.

  • Rob P

    I agree with you about the corner pantry….it is an eyesore. In our floorplan at least the corner pantry and corner fireplace can stare at each other all day. The house is only 6 years old so a kitchen reno will have to wait, but the pantry would be the first thing to go.  Regarding the space at the front door, the distance between the edge of the door and the edge of the window is 3′. Even with an allowance for window casing etc, I think there is enough room to fit the millwork closet

  • Rob P

     Thanks for the feedback. As a homeowner, it is easy to get lost in thought regarding one idea (a ceiling change) so it is great to get another perspective.

  • Matthew North

    Ok – three feet is perfect to fit the closet!  I noticed in your sketch that the lower detail piece that wraps around the back side of the free standing  front entry closet was touching the ground. One thing to lighten that up might be to have it float off the floor at least a foot. I think the height shouldn’t be more than 32″ – it would be a good idea to set this with the height of the back of the sofa.

  • Steve in Seattle

    the entry is a great idea, and a free-standing closet would do that. But
    I’m concerned about the impact on the living room by a full-depth closet (plus
    wrap-around shelf) and a wide fireplace shelf (with built-out wall).  These are well integrated pieces but leave less
    space for furniture placement and circulation within the room itself.  Again, it feels tight to me.


    [At the same time, I see a lot of designs where the dining room seats about twice as many people as the living room can comfortably accommodate (as here). Maybe people don’t use living rooms as much anymore and a den-sized space is sufficient.]

    with Brad on keeping the interventions narrow. 
    I’d keep the closet where it is now and use an open room divider in a
    sympathetic style to separate without taking up
    valuable living room space, physically or visually.