Peek Inside This Young Couple's Fixer Upper


A dynamic duo converts a dated Oakville bungalow into a Muskoka-style retreat.

OUR HOMES Oakville-Burlington-Mississauga Fall 2018A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of  OUR HOMES Oakville Burlington Mississauga, p.68. Find local businesses in our Oakville directory. 

Jon and Isla Kuronen had just settled into a home with no plans of moving any time soon when opportunity knocked. Both are home specialists of sorts – Isla is a busy real estate agent with Avis Team Real Estate Group and Jon owns renovation company Kuronen Construction. When she stepped into a home that her clients planned to sell, however, Isla told them immediately, "I might want to buy this!” she says.
Perched within the natural setting of Sixteen Mile Creek and a short walk to the shops and restaurants at the heart of downtown Oakville, the couple knew the home was a game changer. From the outside, the pretty bungalow is small and unassuming, and snaps snugly into the landscape. 
Though plenty of older south Oakville homes are often knocked down to make way for larger custom builds, the couple focused on maximizing the existing 4,000 sq. ft. footprint to make it bright, functional and beautiful. Together, they finalized the design, and then the house was stripped back to the studs and entirely redone inside and out.
Jon and his team carried out the majority of the work, from demolition to carpentry. Now, large format windows in every room provide natural light. Upgraded trim with oversize moulding and 84-inch solid core interior doors add architectural elements throughout.
Furniture and accents layer colour and texture throughout for an elegant, yet relaxed and cosy result. The main floor was modified to create an open-concept space perfect for entertaining. White oak, seven-and-a-half-inch hardwood from Wüd Floors were added throughout, a choice the couple says is durable, as the grains and knots hide the dirt and debris often found in the common areas of a home.
The centre of the new layout features the heart of the home: the kitchen. Here, a shiplap ceiling adds architectural detail. Custom cabinetry from Liberty Custom Cabinetry in Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White helps create the modern farmhouse look the duo were after. A custom wine cellar in the dining room features a shiplap wall treatment, a glass enclosure and wire cables.
In the great room, a vaulted ceiling and exposed beams add character. Accents, like an area rug from Imperial Rug Galleries complete the space. Wall-to-wall sliding doors create seamless indoor-outdoor living. Toward the back of the property, 64 steps descend to Sixteen Mile Creek where the couple can take a canoe or kayak and float toward the yacht club or the lake. “We basically have a cottage in the heart of downtown Oakville," says Isla.
For Jon and Isla, doing the project together was just as rewarding as the end result. “We have very similar tastes and styles, which makes decision making easy,” says Isla. “When there are so many options and decisions to be made, you need to be decisive and trust your gut when selecting products for your project.”