When to use LVT instead of Hardwood

Vinyl flooring has come a long way. Improved manufacturing processes have given birth to really spectacular looking products. Referred to as LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) or LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank). As a designer I always trend to natural materials & products but they aren’t right for every scenario. In the project displayed here, there’s a couple factors that made LVT a vary attractive option.

First, we were replacing the majority of the floor throughout the entire main floor. There was quite a lot of floor to replace & the cost savings of the this rustic LVT versus a real hand scraped hardwood allowed for extra funds to be allocated to other parts of the project. The rustic modern look called for a real weathered look which is can really add to the price of the hardwood.

The second reason is it actually looked good. Good enough to be mixed with real wood details. Good enough to be with the real deal is a huge compliment. Real wood was used on the beams, cabinets, furniture & fireplace details. For a long time putting faux wood beside a real wood would make that faux wood look really cheap & fake.

Third reason, probably the most alluring to the client, was the durability of the floor. With three active young kids & a large energetic dog having a floor that would standup to the wear & tear was essential. This particular product has a 20 year commercial warranty. The durability also gave us the ability to lay the floor from the front door to the backdoor without concern. Laundry room, back entry, powder room, kitchen, dining room, family room & bedroom.

I still love real hardwood & will continue to favour it over LVT but when needed there’s excellent vinyl options.

2017 MHBA Renovations Awards

Check out this gold award winning project by clicking on the photo. Complete gut of the master suite. Project started with relatively small closets, a spread out bathroom & a really large bedroom. We distributed the spaces so the bathroom stayed about the same size but became a bit more compact & efficient. The big change was the bedroom got smaller (still large) & the closets got a major upgrade. To top it all off the fixtures & finishes were exquisite.

Unfinished Basement becomes Boldly Modern Lower Level!

In this project the challenge was to turn this 800 sqft of unfinished basement into a multi-functional space that could accommodate entertaining, game night, office work, physical fitness, overnight guests & a piano. Part of the entertaining portion of the design was to incorporate a wine room that could store 200+ bottles which ultimately became the focal point for the entire renovation. The wall to wall cabinets on the one wall, allowed for a Murphy bed to be hidden away & provide ample storage. These cabinets blended right into a sleek little office area that was decorated with custom artwork & floating shelves. You won't see the piano in any of the photos because it's hidden in a discrete closet behind some floor to ceiling panels that match the cabinets.

The lower level is primarily comprised of 3 spaces. Wine room, gaming/sitting area & gym. Colours, cabinets details & materials all blend seamlessly between each room to create a unified design. Glass panels were used so you could visually tie the spaces to one another yet allow the rooms to be their own, as well as keeping cool temperatures in the wine room & the gym equipment noise in the gym. The Artwork in the wine room & the modern aesthetic of the main floor inspired the entire colour scheme and character in the Winnipeg lower level.

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All the Bells & Whistles

This dated kitchen did not match the timeless elegance of the remainder of the residence. The client wanted to dramatically update her kitchen & after living 30+ years with a kitchen she never really liked, no expense was spared to do so. First step was to create a layout that created not only adequate storage but the appropriate type of storage. The original kitchen had a layout that prioritized counter space & minimized storage. One item that we really wanted to give the client was a really functional walk in pantry to solve the bulk of the storage issues. This was no easy task as the house shape is laid out on a triangular grid. Since the dinette area was surrounded by large windows & brought in tons of natural light, we actually removed & covered up a window to make room for some tall cabinets. This also allowed us to create a cooking side of the kitchen & an entertaining side of the kitchen. The cooking side of the island has a fairly tight work triangle considering the kitchen size & the entertaining side has an eating bar & walk up coffee bar with a plumbed in coffee maker.

The custom cabinetry, like in most kitchen renovations, is the bulk of the workload. These cabinets really take the cake. Every drawer & flip up door is motorized, meaning with a simple touch, a flip up doors raise to the ceiling & then come back down just as easily by touching a tiny button on the cabinet interior. The cabinet interiors have a stainless look with stainless drawer boxes & are all individually lit with led lighting. The cabinets are also outfitted with lots of useful accessories, like pull down shelving & step ladders in the toe kicks to access high shelves where pulldown shelving wasn't possible. Every detail was carefully planned from the almost invisible switches & receptacles to the completely hidden computer desk.

The appliances are all beautiful stainless steel & fully integrated into the kitchen. A cook & hostesses dream with double ovens, warming drawers, 72 inches of fridge/freezer, large gas cooktop, plumbed in coffee centre & wine fridge. The range on the island has down draft fan that raises from the countertop with the touch of a button that's elegantly set into the quartz countertop. The island sink is the ultimate prep sink, a integrated rinsing feature sprays water over the entirety of the sink to that make food disposal easy.

All this was treated with a fairly simple colour palette to be different than the remainder of the house but still blend in. The client loved the teal that swirled through the quartz countertop so that became the inspiration for all the teal accents. The remainder stayed very neutral as not to detract from the accent colour or contrast the rest of the house. Quarter sawn oak with a subtle colouring & low sheen comprised the cabinets. Maple floors were chosen as the lack of graining makes for a nice clean look that wouldn't fight with the more prominent oak cabinets. A light warm grey colour was used on the walls & ceiling. Stainless accents & teal glass finish the space off, including a custom crushed teal glass table.

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Remodeling and Home Design

In Stages

It's great to see a project come together. Renovating every room in your house is a daunting task but slightly less so when split into two projects over 4 years. That's what was done for this project. The first stage was the main floor which included a kitchen, living room, dining room, half bath & sunroom. The second stage was the second floor which included a master suite, bathroom, 2 bedrooms, laundry & office.

In stage 1, we removed some central walls & replaced them with a beam. This allowed for an open concept dining & living room area. The kitchen was completely gutted & relocated to where the old dining room was. This allowed for the fridge & microwave to be placed in the old dining room bump-out, relieving the space of the look of a bulky fridge. By relocating the kitchen, we gained one large dining area used for both casual and formal dining. The new sunroom was them added at the rear of the house. The sunroom is accessed from the dining room through a large sliding glass patio doors. A ribbon style gas fireplace was added to the living room along with some nice new furnishings.

In stage 2, we tackled the more private spaces of the home. In the master bedroom we adjusted the layout by allocating more space to the ensuite & being more efficient with the space in the actual sleeping area. This allowed us to deliver the spa bathroom that the client desired. A custom bed & nightstands in the master bedroom were also constructed to maximize space. In the main bath we used the old office space or 5th bedroom to enlarge the washroom in which we added a full laundry area. The office then was placed in the old guest bedroom. The 2 kids bedrooms each received a new built in desk.

Click on the photos below to see before & after pictures of the 2 stages. Too read more click the Free Press link below. below.

Winnipeg Free Press - Feb 16, 2013

MHBA Reno Awards

We're pleased to say three of our projects won Gold at the 2012 MHBA Reno Awards.
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Musty Basement Becomes Stylish Workspace

What do you do when you need more work spaces & you can't add space? This project took place in an old church that has been converted to offices. Rather than putting on an addition & disrupting the original architecture, we revitalized their basement so they would have some additional work stations, a meeting room, kitchen & a full bathroom. We really focused on maintaining & maximizing the natural light we had access too. Creating a wide open office with a glass meeting room lets the light flood into all areas of the office. We could've ignored the fact that this was a basement by covering the stone foundation walls & hiding the unique curved beam. Rather than doing that we decided to embrace those unique features by leaving them exposed. Using a combination of natural materials with modern furniture & fixtures provides a nice juxtaposition of old meeting new. Rough cut wood post & doors, raw steel desks & slate tile are the primary palette of this project. The goal was to create a basement work space that was just as desirable, if not more, than the main floor. I think in this case the basement may be nicer than the penthouse, so too speak.
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Style Manitoba (Winter 2008) - Amazing Space

Kitchen, Bath & Renovation Show

Planning a new kitchen or bathroom and don't know where to start. Join our intimate design workshop, where Interiors designers, Kim Schroeder & Brennen Bilyk of Charisma Design will walk you through the design process. We will then break into small groups and offer personal design solutions for your project. Come with floor plans, samples & questions. After registering, a preparation package will be emailed to you to help you get the most out of the workshop.

· Friday- Kitchens 1P-2:20P
· Friday- Bathrooms 3:30P-5P
· Saturday- Kitchens 3P- 4:30P
· Saturday- Bathrooms 5:30P- 7P


Inspired by Nature

Every project has a source of inspiration. You can say this basement renovation was inspired by nature. We used a combination of natural stones & woods, along with unique furniture & fixtures to create this look. In the sitting area, we used quartz ledge stone on the fireplace & tv wall. A screen comprised of tree branches was used to divide the sitting area from the hall, which also acted as a unique focal point at the bottom of the stairs. Wood twig end tables & a hammered copper cocktail table complete the look. The bar area received natural stone pebbles on the backsplash & table base. The upper cabinet in the bar has an acrylic door with bamboo imbedded in it & the hanging pendant light, made of shells, resembles lotus flowers. The bathroom was also treated with limestone through out & is topped off with a onyx stone sink. Warm copper & bronze accents are found through out the project, in the barstools, bar sink & bathroom fixtures.

Renovations Magazine - December 2011/January 2012

MHBA Reno Awards

Over the Weekend the 2011 Manitoba Home Builder Renovation Awards were announced. We're pleased to say two of our projects won Gold & one project won Silver. Click on the photos to see more.