All Hands on Deck for a Kitchener Whole-Home Flip


A whole family works together to renovate an under-loved home in Kitchener.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of  OUR HOMES Region of Waterloo p.20. Find local businesses in our Waterloo directory.

As if running two successful local décor and art businesses – Kathie Jordan Design in New Hamburg and ArtHaus150 in Kitchener – wasn’t enough, the Jordan family – Kathie, John, Mackenzie and Shelbie – recently renovated an outdated and under-loved home close to downtown Kitchener together. And they survived.
The result: a top-to-bottom restoration that has preserved an old home’s former glory while adding modern and desirable new features. Purchased last September, the Jordans worked on the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half storey home for nine months before listing it for sale.
During that time, John (also a licensed electrician) updated the electrical, plus they had new plumbing fixtures installed, a new gas furnace, central air and updated ductwork and replaced some of the windows. They refinished original hardwood flooring, installed new hardwood and matched the colour where it was required, and cleaned up oak pocket doors, trim and the beautiful details the home already had, such as the transom 
windows above the bedroom doors.
It was a huge undertaking, but the family was up for it. In fact, this home was exactly what the Jordans had been after for their first whole-home renovation together. “It’s definitely an age we like,” says Mackenzie of the 105-year-old home. “The style of the house was perfect for our style of decorating.”
Located in Kitchener’s East Ward on a street lined with beautiful trees, the home already offered a long driveway, full front porch, rear porch and partially fenced yard with a garden shed. The interior was what needed the Jordans’ help.
“We looked beyond what it was. The bones were great,” says John. The Jordans’ special touch is evident at every turn in the finished product: painted furniture from ArtHaus 150 and Kathie Jordan Design, a custom stained glass window designed by Kathie and Mackenzie and constructed by Mackenzie, plus art by Shelbie, Kathie and Mackenzie. They scope out Kijiji, auctions, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and other sales. That’s how they acquired everything from the tongue-and-groove pine on the ceiling in the kitchen (which John and Mackenzie installed themselves) to the chandeliers throughout the home, furniture and accessories.
For the kitchen, the Jordans found a full set of cherry cabinetry that would fit in their space – with some to spare – at an auction. They painted all of the woodwork and cabinetry with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, the family’s preferred product for furniture, too. Their wall paint is a variety of custom colours mixed at local Home Hardware stores.
To top off their new kitchen island, the Jordans opted for something a bit different: wood from the lanes of a bowling alley. In the living room, two tub chairs flank the fireplace, one reupholstered by John and Kathie, the other by Don’s Upholstery.
Upstairs, the bedrooms are soft and pretty. The master has its own staircase that leads up to a loft space, perfect for a private sitting room, dressing area or office. Surprisingly, this home also features a finished basement space, which the Jordans transformed into a comfortable family lounge area.
“She’s a quirky lady, this house,” laughs Kathie. And after nine months together, she knows it well and says it’s going to be tough for her to let it go to new owners, but also looks forward to her family’s next project, whatever it may be.