An urban vacation condo gets a spectacular overhaul

Ovation Awards Finalist
As vacation homes go, you can go rustic, tropical, or urban but these second-home owners chose to make their retreat in the lovely Lonsdale. And when they were ready for their first major renovation, we were there to help them with a full condo renovation that turned out to be no less than spectacular.

The Initial Plan

Our initial plan was a full condo renovation with an emphasis on design. The client wanted everything to be brand new and updated for their extraordinary private retreat. The condo had never been renovated, ever, so there was a lot of work to do. However, the fundamental elements were all in place: it is an upper floor condo, it has panoramic views of Lonsdale Quay, and there are floor-to-ceiling windows in the main living space as well as one of the bedrooms. With those elements in place, we had a good foundation for creating something truly incredible and unique. And of course, that’s what we set out to do.

The Obstacles

What makes this vacation home special is also what gave the renovation project its limitations. A panoramic, birdseye view of the quay is only possible from a high-up condo. However, because this was a condo with concrete construction, we would not be able to move any walls or change the lighting. Also, working on condo renovations often means we have to work with strata — and this was the case with the Alexander project as well.

Other challenges also stemmed from the fact that this was a condo renovation. Getting elevator access is always an added step in the process and often requires coordination with the building manager. Parking was a real challenge as well — the densely populated neighborhood is short on parking spaces, especially ones that are near the entrance to the building. Transport of materials is always a little trickier in an urban project like this.

Finally, the water shut-down would be more of an issue than usual. Again, careful planning and coordination with property managers and/or condo associations is a necessary skill in this business!

The JBC Solution

The most significant challenge was our limitation on improving the internal footprint of the living space by knocking down walls. As removing walls and improving the lighting architecture are some of the most popular ways to create a beautiful home renovation, we had to come up with other ways to improve the space and make it modern and beautiful for the client — hence the emphasis on special design touches like custom doors and a custom walk-in shower.

The custom, white-oak doors served a dual purpose: to elevate the design quality of the condo and to bring about an integration of style. Upgrading your doors is an often overlooked but truly effective way to increase the luxury quotient of an interior living space. In this project, we chose white oak and stained the wood to match the all-new engineered hardwood floors that went in.

The Outcome

The full renovation of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen was enormously successful. The kitchen was masterfully planned with two-toned cabinetry, which is another design technique that adds premium value to the luxury quotient but which is also often overlooked. Here, we did a grayish blue on the lower cabinets and a clean, crisp white on the upper cabinets. Counter tops in the kitchen are made of matching white quartz.

The grayish blue color scheme was a choice directly impacted by the colors of the Lonsdale Quay, visible from all angles of the condo. It also tied in nicely with the white oak floors and doors, which complemented the color scheme with a balancing touch of driftwood brown earth tones.

The master bath is now completely befitting the modern notion of luxury and style. There is a new tub tiled in oversized white tile with built-in ledge for bath products. It has a frameless glass half wall for when the homeowners want to use it as a shower. The second bathroom features a large walk-in shower with custom tile patterns in shades of gray to match the overall color palette.

The focal point of this gorgeous condo will always be the Quay views. But we added a custom mantle built above the new gas insert fireplace that captures the eye should the homeowners ever get tired of looking at the water.