Bungalow Home Renovation

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Bungalow Home Renovation

Love it or list it?

That is what my sister Karen and her husband Jason were contemplating a few years ago. They live in a sweet little bungalow in a mature neighbourhood in Burlington, Ontario and are just a 10-minute drive from my house.

Bungalow Home 1 1

In nearly 10 years of living in their 3 bedroom bungalow, they had literally done no renovation work whatsoever. I mean, other than the roof being redone, everything else was pretty much untouched.

Now that may not seem so bad if the house had been renovated and updated at any point before they moved in, but it hadn’t. So major work was needed if they chose to stay in this home.

Being in Interior Design, I advised my sister to renovate as opposed to move. The 3 main reasons that I knew this would be the best decision for them were:

1. Location. Location. Location.

Karen and Jason live in a nice neighbourhood in the town where we grew up. They have a large yard with plenty of privacy and distance between neighbours. That is hard to come by these days!

2. It’s not cheap to move!

The commission for a realtor, moving costs and re-connection fees alone would have been somewhere between $20 – $30k. This is money that can be invested in their dream home.

3. Nothing was ‘Move in Ready’

Every house they looked at on the market within their price range needed a lot of work. They were not interested in buying a brand new property, as that would have meant them having very little in terms of a backyard, plus new homes tend to be very close to each other which they also did not fancy.

(Maybe there is a 4th reason…because by staying where they are now, they would still be close to me!)

So, big sister listened to little sister and it was then my job to turn their current bungalow into their new dream home.

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My sister and I many moons ago!

This video was filmed just before renovations started and 1.5 years after I created new interior design plans for them. The new plans involve a complete demo of the main floor, relocating every room with the exception of their bedroom and the front entry.

Take a look at ‘Behind the Design’ with me as I take you through my thought process and a tour of their Burlington bungalow, just before the demo.

The Bungalow Before

My sister and her husband do not have kids, nor do they want kids. The size of their 3 bedroom home was not the issue, the problem was that it did not function for their lifestyle.

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On her big day, my sister Karen with my two lovely kids, Adley and Elise.

In the past few years, Karen and her husband Jason have become culinary enthusiasts. They enjoy trying new recipes as well as batching meals, both for work lunches and dinners. Their small kitchen was not designed for more than one person to be working in that area at the same time.

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Here is a before photo of their kitchen.

Below is a rendering of the new design that I did for them to make it a much more open and better functioning layout.

View From Front Entry To Kitchen 1
Kitchen rendering in Chief Architect. Design by Claire Jefford.

To say that my sister is super organized is an understatement. She is a bookkeeper who likes to schedule everything and fills out budgeting spreadsheets regularly.

Karen is also a shopaholic. Where I would much rather spend money on buying items for my house, Karen is obsessed with fashion.

Enter – the ‘Girly Room’. As you can see from the before images below, my sister has A LOT of clothes, jewellery and fashion accessories.

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The wardrobe is covering the side patio doors which in the new design, will be in the kitchen.

Below is where you can see the patio doors that will be in a much more convenient place off of the kitchen. There is an old deck just outside which Karen and Jason will eventually update.

In the meantime, they will be able to use it for their barbecue which will make it way more functional than their current set-up of going through the other side door and around the back.

View Of Pantry Wall With Some Base Cabinetry 1
We also added a wall of custom cabinetry that will come in very handy for much-needed storage.

In the new design, this room below will no longer exist. I turned their 3 bedroom bungalow into a 2 bedroom home.

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This was my sister’s old office which you can see was also an overflow for her clothes and shoes.

The ‘Girly Room’ is not going to be inexpensive. With all-new custom cabinetry, we will maximize the space and ensure it can function for my sisters’ ever-growing wardrobe.

The corner cabinet that you see on the right is going to house a spinning shoe rack that will hold 50 pairs of shoes. Fifty pairs!! I am lucky if I have 10! LOL

Girly Room Revision With Karen And Shane Dec
The cabinetry design changed from the original plans, but this gives you an idea of how it will look.

Here you can see the overall layout of their new bungalow design.

Dollhouse View Updated Plans Hertel 1
A much more open feel to the main living space in the new design.

We have made some tweaks along the way which is not unusual when designing a space.

One of the changes included an addition to the banquette. We redesigned it to be an ‘L’ shape because it looked more finished and provided extra seating at the table, as well as a couple of stools by the window.

Updated Kitchen Design 1

Here is their banquette before. Ugh, I’ve always hated it. If you think it looks uncomfortable, I can tell you that it absolutely was not a pleasure to sit here for long periods of time.

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How uninviting was this space?! I can say that my sister knows I could never stand it!

When you have a cosy seating area that brings in soft furnishings and colour, it makes all the difference.

Here’s an example of a clients banquette that I brought to life with a faux leather custom bench seat, lots of accent pillows and pleated window treatment for their Hamilton home. See more of this client project in my Interior Design Portfolio.

Kitchen Banquette View From Kitchen 1
Orange accents with contrasting dark gray custom bench seat cushion.

I hope you will follow along with my sister and her husband’s Bungalow renovation series, there is more to come as we progress with the renovations.

Bungalow Home Remodel Episode 1 Pinterest
Pin it for easy reference!

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(20) Comments
  • Lisa Peck
    | 2 May 2020

    Looks like this is going to be a wonderful remodel. Can’t wait to see more.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 2 May 2020

      Thank you Lisa, we are excited to see the progress to the finish line as well!

  • Linda
    | 2 May 2020

    Claire, this is going to be so amazing. Your sister is so fortunate to have your help. The floor plans make so much sense. I’m very far from a “girly girl” myself but having a well organized closet is pure joy. Great job!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 2 May 2020

      Thanks Linda! I am no ‘girly girl’ either, but I think I’m really going to enjoy visiting my sister in her newly renovated home and having a glass of wine in that room!

    | 2 May 2020

    What a GREAT project! I can’t wait to see it done, especially that closet!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 2 May 2020

      Seriously, right Wendy? This has been my sister’s dream for a long time! Her husband is eager to please as he knows that Phase 2 is the basement. Hhe does not want us to hold back on the man cave! LOL Thanks my friend.

  • Mary Ann Benoit
    | 2 May 2020

    Looks like a great design! Look forward to seeing the finished product!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 5 May 2020

      Thank you Mary Ann, the series will reveal a little more with each new episode. Stay tuned!

  • I love this and can’t wait to see more!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 5 May 2020

      More coming soon! Cheers Christina!

  • Jillian
    | 2 May 2020

    I love what you did with the island. Banquettes are so cozy, and this one looks like the perfect place to hang out.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 5 May 2020

      We can’t wait to all hang out here and have some wine. Cheers Jillian!

  • Ilse Benard
    | 3 May 2020

    Looks like a fun project! Can’t wait to see the end results!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 5 May 2020

      Thank you Ilse, it’s been great working with my sister and brother in law.

  • Shannon
    | 4 May 2020

    You are the best sister ever! That will be fabulous and the banquette is soooo good!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 5 May 2020

      The banquette is one of my favourite parts!! Cheers Shannon!

  • Suzi Rugg
    | 4 May 2020

    This is going to be a beautiful transformation! Can’t wait to see the afters!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 5 May 2020

      Thanks Suzi, this update is long overdue!

  • Janet R Lorusso
    | 8 May 2020

    What a fantastic project, Claire! Lucky sister to have YOU!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 12 May 2020

      Cheers Janet!! I’ll tell her you said that. LOL

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