A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of OUR HOMES Region of Waterloo p.20. Find local businesses in our Waterloo directory.
“In this home, there isn’t a wall we haven’t touched,” says Joy Stewart of Royal LePage Wolle Realty, Brokerage. A house isn’t a home whey you buy it. Rather, it becomes a home once you make it your own. Joy and husband Brian Santos (Peak Realty Ltd., Brokerage) definitely know their local real estate. They’re on top of what’s available and both have the keen ability to see past what a house is and envision what it could be. Their own home is proof of that.
This is the third home Joy has renovated and lived in. The previous owner was a chef and had built an addition on the back of the house to accommodate a larger kitchen. It became the starting point for the reno. Joy and Brian ripped out the cherry cabinetry and installed fresher white and grey cabinetry and new appliances, including the must-have wine fridge.
Tall windows run along the back wall and look out to the backyard and skylights top off the slanted ceiling of the addition, so the kitchen is truly filled with natural light.
Glass doors on the wall unit behind the harvest table in the kitchen allow the couple to display their favourite dishes, gifts and collected keepsakes.
Joy and Brian opted to paint the dining room dark blue to create an intimate and cosy space for entertaining, a nice juxtaposition from the grand and bright kitchen space. A stained-glass window adds extra ambience. Buying, selling, planning and decorating homes is where she thrives, but Joy’s also very hands-on. She and her dad made both of the dining tables in the home together.
Joy and Brian both work from home a lot, so building a home office and workspace into the layout was crucial. Just off the side door between the foyer and the kitchen is a little work nook. Around the corner at the front door, Joy says she got her “dream Pinterest foyer.” Tony’s Complete Tile Contracting Ltd. installed the patterned ceramic according to her vision.
Similarly, Joy had seen a formal living room on Pinterest she just couldn’t stop thinking about – so she emulated it. Joy got every detail how she wanted it, working around the existing fireplace and french doors and created an elegant living room. Palm trees flank the fireplace, which add life to the space. They also remind Brian and Joy of the palm trees from their recent wedding at a seaside castle in Portugal. The rich blues are a nod to both Brian and Joy’s roots in Portugal and Scotland.
To help with wainscotting in the foyer, dining room and powder room, as well as with installing new trim, Joy and Brian called on Jorge DaCosta. She says the biggest mistake people make in other renovations is going “too basic.” Adding detailed millwork, for example, can add character in spades.