The Little Italy house represented Roundabout’s first design/build project. The previous owner had lived in the house for 50 years, and substantial updates were required throughout.
To achieve a sense of space without losing the intimacy that made the turn of the century house so inviting to begin with, the main floor was completely opened up, and spaces were more subtly contained with built-in furniture and colour: A peninsula to divide kitchen from dining room; a lowered ceiling at the front entrance to create a sense of entryway and a detailed guard rail for the stairs all formed spaces rather than rooms. Opening up the space, and rebuilding the back of the house to create a more light-filled kitchen all help to create a cohesive main floor space.
Material choices throughout are warm, overlaid upon a basically contemporary palette. A rich brick pattern of dark brown tiles are interspersed with small, randomly-placed coloured glass blocks in the kitchen backsplash. Similarly, the warm white walls are occasionally broken up with a deep, intense colour. The kitchen cabinetry features glass windows of different sizes which hint at its contents. The peninsula countertop was made from wood reclaimed from the old stud walls of the house. Custom marine grade plywood details are carried throughout the house, everything from the custom closet at the entrance, to the cozy upholstered benches along the stair railings which lead up to the second floor, and through to the custom millwork in the second floor bathroom. These details, while interesting by themselves, also serve to tie together the elements that make a house a home.
Builder for rear extension: Superfly Design Group
Millwork: Seth Coyle
General construction: Andre LePage
Electrical: Syncord Inc.
Photography: Matthew Foley