Location: Canada

Construction: Cooper Handy Custom Building 

Photography: Mike Chajecki

The luxurious modernist home located on a large private country lot surrounded by conservation land, was designed and renovated by Douglas Design Studio. The renovation transformed the once mundane suburban bungalow into a sophisticated, mid-century to contemporary inspired home. The finished home exemplifies how a skilful renovation of an existing property can minimize the environmental footprint of luxury interior design.

The property boasts a meandering forested driveway that leads to a motor court inspired by classic stately homes, allowing for unobstructed views of the renovated property from the inside of the house. A newly added garage is hidden from view yet easily accessible, and the spacious main entry area sets the tone for the entire home, with high ceilings and rooflines giving the space an open, airy and uncluttered feel.

The main level features communal living spaces of the living room, dining area and kitchen, which form the central element. The principal bedroom suite on one side, and a separate wing housing the children’s and guest bedrooms on the other, subtly ensure privacy without interrupting the flow of space, movement, and light. The lower level comprises entertainment areas, including a home theatre room, a guest bedroom, gym, and spa washroom with a steam room, centred around the outdoor pool, jacuzzi, and cabana. 

Throughout the architectural story, plants are incorporated to echo the home’s natural surroundings. Local lichen and moss are featured as part of an art piece in the gym and exercise room, while the main staircase sits on a platform with cut-outs and growth lights, creating a lush and luminous miniature biome that infuses the transitionary space of the stairwell with life, light and oxygen.

The studio chose a natural palette of materials for the home, including wool, leather, and walnut, to keep the connection to its surroundings intact. Each furnishing element was selected to directly contribute to this central theme, avoiding nonessential flourish in favour of clean, functional and uncluttered lines. 

The exterior features a charred wood façade, providing the house with durable insulation, using the traditional Japanese method of wood carbonisation known as “shou sugi ban” or Yakisugi. The demising wall separating the entry hall from the kitchen received much thought, and through extensive light studies, the studio established the angle of the sun and light penetration at various times of the year, carefully optimizing the height of the wall for uninterrupted views of the sky and natural light flow throughout the changing Canadian seasons. 

Douglas Design Studio successfully integrated the natural surroundings of the property into every aspect of the renovation, creating a harmonious and sustainable luxury home.