Ancaster Couple Gets a Home-Relationship Reboot


An overhaul on this Hamilton-area two-storey helps the owners fall in love with their home again.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of OUR HOMES The Niagara Region, p.64. Find local businesses in our Hamiltion directory. 

A new home with all the bells and whistles was appealing, but so was the idea of finding a way to make their older home new again. This Ancaster family has lived 18 years in a two-storey house, built in the 1980s on a quiet cul-de-sac. With kids now at university, the couple found themselves with a whole new set of options about how and where to live.
“You really do have a relationship with your home,” says the homeowner. After more than two decades of bustling family life in the same spot, two factors made them decide to keep that relationship going. One was the oasis of a backyard they had designed over the years – multiple decks, a lounge area, stone patio and small cottage-like stone shed. It boasts lush greenery, a new water feature and privacy wall and a just-built arbour by Kevin Ritskes of Rustic Pines
The second factor was a the leap of faith that if they removed a wall between the kitchen and dining room, the home would have the brightness that they wanted. In the home’s old configuration, “Our house always felt dark to me, except in the dining room,” says the owner. They sought out Shane Van Barneveld, of Shane Renovations. “The minute Shane stepped into the dining room, he saw the potential," she says.
While renovations were under way, the owners stayed in a furnished, short-term rental with King’s Court Rental Homes. What was once the dining room became a new – and important – sitting area for the family. To help with design and functionality, the owners enlisted Anne Smith of Buy the Yard Interiors. They had worked together on other projects and appreciated Anne's flair for creating beauty while keeping it practical.
Kitchens for Keeps gave the family white cabinetry made of solid maple, but grounded the room with an espresso-stained, solid, cherry wood island and a separate wall cabinet near the eat-in kitchen in the same dark shade. Marble-look tiles from Eden’s Tile-It add a bit of pattern and interest, but keep the colours neutral.
Next to the kitchen, the sunken family room was given new life with maple hardwood in a dark, matte finish. They also added maple built-in shelving in white by Kitchens for Keeps.
The owners feel they made the right call deciding to stay in the family home. “I came in one night to vacuum, before we had moved back in, and it was kind of surreal,” the owner says. “I was downstairs vacuuming my house like I’ve done a million times, but it was new at the same time.
“It was so special, it kind of took my breath away. We do have a connection with this house, a history, and I felt like we’ve given it a whole new life.”