CIRCA 1954, UPLANDS OF VICTORIA
The Uplands neighborhood was originally developed in 1907, the leading landscape architect John Olmsted was hired to design the neighborhood with elegant estate – sized lots, serpentine streets and signature globed ornate lamp posts. The houses are built to impress and the sprawling gardens are carefully manicured.
The original home had been slightly updated in the 1970’s.
This transformation took place in 1997 and was completed within nine months. Although the home was solidly built, the layout was less than desirable, and the exterior lacked the charm of the stately neighbourhood. The original foot print of the home was 4300 square feet with walk out basement. Additional space was not needed, the layout just needed to reworked and the home more conducive to its surroundings.
The original entry to the home was small, with the stairs immediately leading to the lower level. The entry from the garage was by means of a covered walkway.
With the transformation the new entry has vaulted ceilings a custom armoire and a powder room. The original 42″ solid oak door was retrofitted with custom side lights and an ellipse window, matching the glass from the existing French doors which remained in place between the adjacent living and dining rooms.
The original layout of the home consisted of a warren of small rooms with long narrow hallways. Most of the windows were placed so high that they didn’t maximize the views of the mature, private garden. During the renovation that took place in the 70’s, drop ceilings that had been put into place down the hallways, these were now removed, exposing beautiful coved ceilings. The existing halls were widened to and expansive four and a half feet across, giving a much more luxurious feeling to the now stately Uplands home.
Eating area off kitchen Great room
There was a small eating area off the kitchen with a laundry room which overlooked the garden. This may have made sense to the original builder to have the convenience of the laundry room close at hand. In my eyes it made so much more sense to maximize the view of the mature garden.
By relocating the laundry room to the lower level, the powder room to the entry and the main bath closer to the children’s bedrooms. Then extending the back wall a mere five feet to square off against the South wall. The home now has a twenty four by twenty four foot great room, which overlooks the mature and very private garden.
The new windows in the great room are placed eighteen inches above finished floor and painted black. Now the room is bathed in sunshine and in the evening the outline of the majestic Gary Oak tree which takes centre stage in the garden feels as though it is part of the inside space.
The existing kitchen had been updated in the 70’s and certainly showed it. There had been some inexpensive wide plank flooring installed that was buckling up due to a leak in the roof.
A completely updated kitchen was in order. Traditional cabinets, stainless steel appliances, a built in china cabinet as well as a walk in pantry were all installed. Oak flooring now covers the entire main floor with the exception of the bathrooms.
The existing decks off the kitchen and master bedroom were stripped off, and an expansive twenty four by twenty four foot deck was placed off of the great room. Palatial steps were built off the deck dropping down to a lower landing with a pond at the base of the steps. The roof line was changed from a low hip style to a nine/twelve pitch, giving the new home a much greater appeal and more conducive to the neighborhood.
Original rear of house Transformation
DECK & LANDSCAPING
Original deck New deck
Side yard with storage under deck
In the living room the original fireplace was surfaced in honey onyx. This was replaced with a concrete casting from “Suquet interiors”, the cast reproduction was taken from a 300 year old Mexican bank. A log lighter insert was placed in the firebox making it a breeze to light a wood burning fire.
Original Living room New fireplace
Dormers where placed on the new roof line not only for aesthetic reasons but to drive natural sunlight into the newly positioned powder room and main bathroom, which are both centrally located in the inner portion of the home.
The large concrete Corbels that flanked the entry set the stage, and were incorporated throughout the home to show continuity in design.
Corbels at entry and in living room
Corbels on Island and in Ensuite
Corbels on Deck
Not only was this home updated for aesthetic reasons. The heating system was changed over to radiant in floor heating. The entire plumbing and electrical were all completely updated. This home now looks like it belongs in the stately neighborhood of the Uplands of Victoria.