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Real Estate

Before and After: How a $1-million reno turned this cramped Roncesvalles semi into a contemporary gem

Goodbye, clutter, dingy corners and ’90s decor. Hello, hidden storage, skylit ceilings, tiled walls and maple floors

Before and After: How a $1-million reno turned this cramped Roncesvalles semi into a contemporary gem
The place

A five-bedroom, two-bathroom Edwardian semi in Roncesvalles Village

The project

In August of 2020, the owners of this house were expecting their second child. The family wanted larger, airier rooms without the entire home being rendered open concept. They also needed more play space for the kids and office space given the pandemic’s shift to remote work. So they hired interior design studio Boychuk Fuller for a renovation. It would involve basement underpinning, a main-floor extension, straightening the roofline, reframing the interior, and installing new insulation, electrical and HVAC. Rooms were also upgraded to increase storage and natural light. The kitchen, however, had been recently renovated, so it would be left untouched. Demolition began in June of 2021, and work completed in October of 2023.

The tour

The family widened the front hall slightly to partition the foyer from the living room. “Vestibules are often pinch points for families,” says interior designer Alana Boychuk. “During the winter, everyone crowds the front door to stand on the patch of tile to avoid getting wet, salty boots on the floor.” In the living room, the original fireplace mantle and ornamentation were stripped back for more space. Also added: maple benches, built-in shelving and floors to match the kitchen.

The owners commissioned design firm Boychuk Fuller to complete this Ronces reno.
The reno cost $1 million and took just over two years to complete.

Past the living room is the dining area, flanked by the central staircase. A built-in maple storage unit serves double duty by hiding the ductwork. That handrail is made of white-powder-coated steel.

The team hid the dining room's ductwork using a maple storage unit.
That railing is white-powder-coated steel.

Moving to the rear of the home reveals the six-foot mudroom extension. It’s equipped with a coat closet, a floating bench, a glass door to the backyard (which lets in more light) and a staircase to the basement.

The new mudroom extends the rear of the home by six feet.
The transom window and glass door add much needed light.

Now for upstairs, home to two kids’ bedrooms and a playroom. The second-floor staircase was entirely rebuilt. Its new partial-wood railing helps both sound and light traverse all three storeys. 

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This staircase was entirely rebuilt.
The partial wood railing allows light to seep through.

This reverse angle highlights the playroom, which has a space-saving pocket door. The old bay window remains. 

The old playroom.
The new room has a hidden pocket door.

The team rejigged the bathroom layout, moving the tub under the window and the toilet and vanity to the opposite wall.

The tub was moved under the window in this bathroom.
Now open, it functions as a shared family bathroom.

A dormer wall on the top floor significantly reduced the usable space, so the designers literally raised the roof. Today, this room is an elegant office lined with more custom maple frills. 

Boychuk Fuller literally raised the roof here to mitigate the dormer wall.
The new office is maple all over.

The third floor lacked a bathroom, so Boychuk Fuller carved out this space to create one. Its nine-foot rainfall shower has porcelain tiles and a skylight above. 

The third floor used to have no bathroom.
The rainfall shower comes with a skylight.

There’s also a white-oak vanity with a double sink here.

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The tiles here are porcelain.

The owners transformed the main bedroom into a vision of white and light by adding more height plus storage embedded in the walls. “One of the clients is quite tall,” Boychuk says, “so he was very happy about that.”

The team also added ceiling height to the main bedroom.
They hid more storage in the walls.

Underpinning the basement boosted the ceiling height from six feet to more than eight. That’s the mudroom in the background. 

The north end of the basement once forced the owners to crouch.
That's the mudroom just beyond the stairs.

The basement features heated, polished concrete floors along with a new rec room, built-in closets that conceal the mechanical room, another workspace and a floor-to-ceiling wine fridge. 

Not much to look at here.
The basement has polished concrete floors and a wine fridge.

Stoked about your staging? Recently finished a renovation? Send your story to realestate@torontolife.com.

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