Olde Oakville Saltbox Gets Splendid, Efficient Update


Performance and efficiency are at the heart of this saltbox reno.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of  OUR HOMES Oakville Burlington Mississauga, p.74. Find local businesses in our Oakville directory. 

Minutes from Lake Ontario, Olde Oakville's charming historical homes and cottages are a sweet backdrop for this saltbox-style home. Owned by Aaron Miller, owner of HummingbirdHill Homes & Construction, the home’s original bones exuded character, but it needed a facelift to transform the more traditional design into a marvelous modern farmhouse.
For a contemporary take on the New England saltbox design, the exterior transformation included adding stately columns to create a grand entrance, and custom painted lap siding. 
Inside, the home was taken back to the studs. “Being a saltbox blueprint, it was really about achieving the modern farmhouse idea inside,” says Aaron. “Clean lines, but with enough detail to show the quality of the build." A big believer of connecting the outdoors to the indoors, a floor-to-ceiling window at the back of the home provides a dramatic sightline from the front entrance. In the backyard, artificial grass was laid. “One of the greatest things about this home is that the backyard is completely maintenance-free. Everyone is busy these days, so maintenance-free is key.”
To the right of the entrance, floor-to-ceiling shadow-box mouldings and a linear, two-way fireplace add a dramatic focal point and separate the hallway and the adjacent family room. New white-oak flooring throughout was left unstained and treated with a natural matte finish. In keeping with the farmhouse feel, the staircase by Amber Stairs & Railings Inc. is adorned with white risers and linear white balusters.
Luxe details can be found throughout the custom kitchen by Liberty Custom Cabinetry. Simple, white, shaker-style, face-framed cabinetry is adorned with burnished gold hardware. Oversize pulls lend to the farmhouse feel. A striking grey island topped with Statuario marble adds visual interest and dimension, while providing a practical space to prep or dine. The subway tile backsplash is a fresh, timeless addition. Antique brass Zanadoo chandeliers add drama.
More than just a curbside beauty, as a builder, Aaron’s improvements also focused on the overall performance and efficiency of the home. The interior was sealed with spray foam, and rigid foam board was installed on the exterior to ensure an unparalleled home seal to deal with thermal bridging. The home uses natural building materials and paints, stains and glues free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). All the lighting is LED. The improvements add up to big savings, as Aaron estimates that the home now costs 60 per cent less to operate.