Light-filled, cohesive, pure, and unfussy: that, in essence, is how our clients on this project wanted their home to feel. They sought versatile, clean-lined, clutter-managing space for themselves and their two young children, with better views of, and access to, their back garden.

Most of the big moves PLANT made were at the rear of the house, where we replaced a small tacked-on mudroom with a highly functional yet polished space that combines ample open and concealed storage (for toys, boots, and outdoor gear, etc.) with bench seating, in-floor heating, and a slate floor. In the dining room, the retained window opening in what was previously the rear exterior wall provides an expansive view through the mudroom to the garden. The mudroom opens onto an outdoor dining area, which steps down to a new Eramosa limestone patio.

New addition and renovated dining room (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
New addition and renovated dining room
View from mudroom to dining (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
View from mudroom to dining

At the breakfast room the existing garden-facing window was replaced with a larger window that extends the glazing around the corner. Bamboo veneer wraps around the former exterior wall that now partitions the breakfast room and mudroom. On the breakfast room side, the veneer is laminated over metal, enabling the family to use magnets to pin up an ever-changing display of the kids’ artwork.

Bamboo magnet board (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Bamboo magnet board
Corner window (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Corner window

The bench seating is bamboo plywood, new window and door frames are Douglas fir, and a deep slate blue is the accent colour that ties the entire composition together.

Storage at dining (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Storage at dining

PLANT designed the breakfast room table, which echoes the lines of the owners’ mid-century modern furniture collection and has a wipe-clean Corian top that is ideal for family arts and crafts sessions.

Thoughtful precision contributes to the versatility and amenity of this seemingly simple project. To cite two examples, the freestanding mudroom bench is sized to slot in between the breakfast room’s benches when additional seating is needed around the table, and the slight angling of the breakfast room’s slate-blue seating nook creates a comfortable backrest and an agreeable sense of enclosure.

Mudroom (photo: Steven Evans Photography)

On the second floor, the mudroom addition created the opportunity to add a walkout balcony play area to one of the children’s bedrooms.

Bedroom and deck access (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Bedroom and deck access

We also renovated the front entry, adding a new slate floor and in-floor heating and replacing an undersized closet with a more open storage unit on one side of the front door and knobs for hanging coats on the other. The former closet had concealed a small leaded-glass exterior window. This window is now visible inside as well as out, through a painted, mirror-backed open compartment. A key dish hollowed into the bottom of this compartment exposes multiple layers of cross-laminated bamboo plywood below the painted surface.

Entry closet (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Entry closet
Bamboo key bowl (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Bamboo key bowl
New opening through to the garden (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
New opening through to the garden

project index

  1. A Conversation of Views
  2. Admiral Road Garden
  3. Airdrie Road Garden
  4. Airdrie Road Residence
  5. Albany Avenue Residence
  6. Alexandra Park
  7. Aporia Records
  8. Asphalt Poetry
  9. – Poem
  10. Baby Point Gardens
  11. Beach Garden
  12. Beach Village BIA Master Plan
  13. Beaty Residence
  14. Bennington Heights Garden
  15. Berkeley Street Residence
  16. Bin-Scarth Garden
  17. Blink and you miss it.
  18. – Poem
  19. Block 22 Landscape
  20. Bloor St. Apartment
  21. Blue Note
  22. Booth Avenue Residence
  23. Boustrophedon Garden
  24. Braemore Gardens Residence
  25. Browning Avenue Residence
  26. Brunswick Avenue Residence
  27. Camp Arowhon Offices
  28. Canadian Firefighters Memorial
  29. Channelled Buried Moved Lost
  30. Chocolate Loft
  31. City Instrument
  32. Clarendon Garden
  33. Conversation Piece
  34. Cortleigh Boulevard Garden
  35. Creemore Farm
  36. Danforth Mosaic BIA Master Plan
  37. Dickson Park Garden
  38. Dilworth Residence
  39. Don Landing Revitalization
  40. Dublin Grounds of Remembrance
  41. Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden
  42. Dupont-by-the-Castle BIA
  43. East Point Bird Sanctuary
  44. Eglinton Ave Forecourt
  45. Eglinton Park Master Plan
  46. Elizabeth Fry Society
  47. Ellsworth Residence
  48. Face to Face | Tête à Tête
  49. First Avenue Garden
  50. First Avenue Residence
  51. Flyover Canada
  52. Foote’s Pond Wood
  53. Forest Hill Village Streetscape
  54. Gaze, Glimpse, Glance
  55. Global Affairs Monument
  56. Goldring Landscape, University of Toronto
  57. Gormley Garden
  58. Governor's Bridge Lookout
  59. Greener P
  60. Greer Road Garden
  61. Greer Road Residence
  62. Guelph Bridge
  63. Head in the Clouds
  64. Helena Ave Residence 4
  65. Junction Craft Brewery
  66. Kelpies Competition
  67. Kew Gardens Streetscape
  68. King's Landing Apartment
  69. Kipling & Islington Developments
  70. Le jardin du repos
  71. Lenticular Curtain
  72. Leslie Slip Lookout Park
  73. Liberty Village Parkettes
  74. Liza’s Garden
  75. Lynwood Garden
  76. Macroscape
  77. Markham Garden One
  78. Markham Street Residence Two
  79. Midtown Yonge Streetscape
  80. Mulock Park
  81. Nathan Phillips Square
  82. – Streetscape
  83. – Peace Garden
  84. – Podium Roof Garden
  85. Octane Medical Campus
  86. Orchard View Garden
  87. Osgoode Atkinson Green Competition
  88. Owl Cottage
  89. Paperstone Scissors
  90. Pendrith Residence
  91. Peripheral Sitings
  92. Pottery Road Crossing
  93. rare
  94. Ravine Forecourt
  95. Ribbon of the Lower Don
  96. Riverside BIA Master Plan
  97. Roxborough Garden One
  98. Roxborough Garden Two
  99. Schulich School of Business
  100. Sheridan College
  101. – Trafalgar Campus Master Plan
  102. Spadina Quay Wetland
  103. St. Anne's Road Garden
  104. Stratford Market Square Competition
  105. Stratford Patterson Theatre Competition
  106. Superkids Dental
  107. Superlegible
  108. Sweet Farm
  109. Sweet Farm Pond House
  110. Swift Medical Offices
  111. The Meadows Reconsidered
  112. The Red Sash
  113. Thick & Thin
  114. Thistletown II Townhouses
  115. Tipping Point
  116. TMU Centre for Urban Innovation
  117. TMU Science Building
  118. Tranby Garden
  119. Tree House Residence
  120. UBC Okanagan – The Commons
  121. UHN Tunnels
  122. University of Toronto Mississauga Welcome Centre
  123. Venice Biennale 2012
  124. Vermont Square Park
  125. Vernon Avenue Garden
  126. Walk the Walk
  127. Walmer Road Residence
  128. Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial
  129. Wellesley Cottages Garden
  130. Wells Street Residence
  131. Westminster Residence
  132. Weston Village BIA Masterplan
  133. With Words as Their Actions
  134. Woodlawn Avenue Residence
  135. Woven Stories
  136. York Park