Before and After: How this post-war Burlington farmhouse transformed into a $2.7-million turnkey

Before and After: How this post-war Burlington farmhouse transformed into a $2.7-million turnkey

Goodbye dark spaces, dated decor and a barren backyard. Hello open-concept brightness, modern luxury and, yes, that’s an in-ground pool in the corner

The place

A 2,600-square-foot five-bed former farmhouse in Burlington’s Elizabeth Gardens neighbourhood.

The designer

Designer and contractor Phillipe Markovic was looking for a pandemic project when he came across this nearly 60-year-old post-war home in February 2021. He and his wife bought the property for $1,451,000 with the goal of transforming it into a contemporary home for their family of six.

The strategy

Markovic conceived of a bright, white home with board and batten finishes and wooden accents. He replaced the wiring, plumbing and drywall; installed more than 100 pot lights; and swapped the rugs with engineered hardwood floors.

“I have a soft spot for modern barns like this one—my family and I almost decided to keep it for ourselves,” he says. “But we liked our current place too much and decided to put the farmhouse on the market for somebody else to enjoy.” The family has listed the home at $2,789,000.

The façade

Markovic stripped the original siding and installed white vinyl panels, underscoring them with a grey stone foundation to create a grand appearance. He added a hand-milled portico and black-framed windows for contrast.

The foyer

Markovic lined the entrance with a sleek storage unit that doubles as a banquette and installed a new door.

The kitchen

The kitchen changed more than any other room in the house. Markovic installed a maple island with a quartz countertop and matte-white appliances with rose handles from the GE Café series. He then raised part of the basement flooring to create a walkway that connects the kitchen to the living room.

The dining room

In the dining room, dated cabinetry was removed. A maple table, lit by large new windows, now anchors the space.

The living room

The built-in cabinetry—which cost $60,000 to install throughout—is on full display in the living area. The black shiplap centrepiece features a large-screen TV and a Napoleon gas fireplace. The new sliding doors lead to the patio and backyard.

The office

Markovic converted the main-floor den into an office with a glass door. The grey cabinetry provides storage and sophistication.

The bedrooms

All three above-ground bedrooms now have heated floors, ensuites and walk-in closets.

The bathrooms

Markovic decked out the main bedroom’s ensuite with matching navy vanities, honey-brown panels and subway tiling. The gold mirrors and Gluckstein lights add a layer of luxury.

The basement

Once dingy and decrepit, the basement can now function as its own rental unit: two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and space to entertain. All that’s missing is a private entrance, which Markovic says can easily be installed by converting the kitchen’s exit to the backyard.

The gym

The basement’s second bedroom (sans the musty carpet and old fireplace) currently serves as a gym.

The patio

Markovic added square footage to the house by building a covered Douglas fir patio as an extension of the living room. The wooden mantelpiece over the fireplace was reclaimed from the Ottawa canal.

The backyard

Markovic then excavated the backyard and landscaped it anew. He installed an in-ground pool, stone tiling, garden beds and a garage with a rough-in for an EV charger, finally enclosing his new kingdom in sharp wood fencing.

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