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.

View from mudroom to dining
New addition and renovated dining room

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.

Corner window
Bamboo magnet board

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

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.


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

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
Bamboo key bowl
New opening through to the garden

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