Change your layout?
When you’re planning a renovation, does it make sense to change the layout of your space? With many homes in Bloor West Village, what previously worked for people when these homes were built, doesn’t necessarily ring true for us today. If you’re going to update the cupboards for example, think about the general layout of the space. Is it worthwhile to switch some things around?
For this particular renovation our plan was to update the kitchen and remove the wall in between the kitchen and the dining room. Take a look at the pictures below. Full disclosure, these aren’t pretty, high-resolution photos. But guess what? Renovations are ugly and messy!
Now, if we had decided to keep the configuration as is, this would have left us with 3 awkward windows in the dining room, a walk out from the kitchen, and a window directly in the corner. This didn’t work for us in terms of functionality and it definitely didn’t fit into my design for the kitchen!
Looking at the dining room specifically, the shape, size and placement of the windows were all wrong. They were narrow, provided little light and absolutely no view of the backyard. It didn’t make any sense for us to update them and keep the same configuration.
However, even though we weren’t big fans of the windows, the bonus was they were there! We decided to take advantage of the window spaces and make some adjustments to the layout.
Instead of the windows, we made this entire wall a 4 panel sliding door. We recycled the existing brick to close up the walk-out from the kitchen and move the window so it was centered on the kitchen wall. Reusing the brick allowed us to keep the existing exterior brick colour. It can be challenging to say the least, to find brick that’s the same colour as a 100 year old home!
Of course these types of changes don’t come cheap; however, they were a worth-while expense to get us the layout that worked for our family. The amount of natural light we get from the back sliding door is amazing. Closing the walk-out from the kitchen to the deck provided us a space for our feature wall. Removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room really provides an open field of vision, which always helps in these smaller Bloor West homes.
If you’re thinking of a renovation already, think about the overall layout of the space. What’s your end goal and what’s the best way to get there? There are times when you’re able to complete projects in stages and sometimes that makes sense. In this particular renovation, that would have been a terrible idea! Taking down an interior wall and cutting in to brick are extremely messy projects. I definitely don’t recommend tackling these tasks is separate phases. If you can, try to take care of these types of changes at the same time.
Want to see what the space looked like with all the finished details? Stay tuned for pictures on how we put the space together.