When Dawn and Jeremiah Leder married in 2013, they had two choices when it came time to design a new home for themselves and Dawn's three daughters. They could either move to a new neighbourhood and build one from the ground up or they could stay in Dawn's neighbourhood of McQueen and renovate a 1954 semi-bungalow. They chose the latter and the results are a testament to the fact that they made the right decision.
Before deciding on staying in McQueen, the couple had considered other neighbourhoods; they wanted the perfect fit for the new family. The community, however, was very close to the girls' school. “The Queen”, as it was affectionately called, was also in a great location when it came to amenities. Plus, the friendliness of the people that lived there and its delightful walkability made McQueen the right place for them. Now they had to find the perfect home to renovate.
Jeremiah, who works in property maintenance, and Dawn, whose background includes design, had the perfect background for the task ahead of the family. In addition, family friend Jonathan Williams founded and runs the company Ecologic. Using Williams' degree in environmental science, Ecologic strives to design homes that are inexpensive, green, and work with the surroundings rather than against it.
The 60 year old semi-bungalow that they chose was not far from Dawn's home in McQueen. It was chosen in part because of the tendency of homes from that era to be built with strength in mind. Williams explained, “Anything that was built in the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, you’re looking at an overbuilt foundation, in terms of the weight they can support.” With such a strong foundation, adding what the family wanted would be considerably simpler than if they renovated a more modern home or if they built a new one.
If the family had chosen to build a new home in the spot, it would've potentially taken almost a year and cost more than $200,000 more than what the Leder's paid. But they were able to convert the 1,450 square foot single story house into a 2,100 square foot two-storey home in five months.
The interior of the Leder's home was influenced by Dawn's preference for contemporary modern design. The majority of the house enjoys a comfortable range of grey and white shades. Rooms are generously lit with glass lighting accented with chrome while the large open design allows for easy movement and lots of natural lighting. Clean strong lines are contrasted throughout the home with splashes of circular accents. In addition, periodic bursts of colour standout among the palette of greys.
The couple took advantage of every nook and cranny, including converting the previous staircase into an L-shaped design that featured a beautiful glass railing above aluminum aircraft cable. This gave them a larger entrance way and by forgoing a closet under the steps, they kept the design open. But every inch is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, including chrome hooks, shelves, and custom cabinetry built into the landing.
The large open living room features a custom Christopher Clayton semi-circular sofa and a fireplace outfitted with glass crystal embers and surrounded by a gorgeous array of mosaic tiles. The contemporary modern look is continued in the kitchen with counter tops made of Corian quartz and stainless steel appliances. There is plenty of counter space to ensure entertaining large groups is easy. And there is an abundance of cabinets so everything has a place. And the dark wood of the cabinetry is pleasantly contrasted with the light porcelain floor.
The couple's master bedroom is located on the first floor and includes an attached master bath. Like the rest of the home, the master bath was designed to be both practical and gorgeous. The couple enjoys a double vanity and a walk-in glass shower. The mirrored wall and custom tile-work on the walls, ceilings, and floor help give the feeling of a spa.
On the second floor are the bedrooms of the daughters. Each room is decorated in their own vibrant colour scheme, helping to make each girl's room their own space. The brightly coloured designs make them unique in regards to calm and composed grey shades that are used throughout the majority of the home. A full bath upstairs is shared by the three girls.
Also on the second floor is a home office and craft room. And in the loft above the garage is a full gym with plenty of natural light. The family also enjoys spending time in the home theatre they designed in the basement. The theatre is decked out with comfortable seating, bar, projector, and games table. Also attached to the theatre is a full bathroom. Another option for relaxing is in the family's deck located hot tub which seats nine.
When everything was said and done, the home includes four bedrooms upstairs, with one of them being used as the home office and craft room, three and a half baths, a master bedroom, storage space under the kitchen, and more.
The Leders were able to save time and money with the decision to renovate the 60 year old semi-bungalow. With their know how and with a little help from their friends, they were able to have it all. They were able to stay in the neighbourhood they loved and at the same time design and customize their dream home.