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Our Best ‘Before and After’ Renovations

Inspired by a lunch-time conversation in the Studio, today we’re sharing a few of our most dramatic renovations. Ready for some night-to-day transformations? Here they are:

Billings Lake


A young family of five was looking to update their cottage on Billings Lake in Highlands East. It was full of hand-me-downs from previous owners and felt dark and cramped. Their dream: an airy, colourful space with a touch of whimsy.


Our entire team was really excited about the potential for this space. Our jumping-off point was getting rid of a ton of dated furniture and appliances then vaulting the ceiling. We also up-cycled the existing table and chairs to make a banquette. These changes made the space feel dramatically larger and brighter. 

We kept the kitchen simple with solid neutrals of white and warm grey and matte black hardware. The bold tile backsplash ties all of the colours in the room together. To finish off the look and add warmth we added decorative items made of natural materials like the wood bowl from Haliburton Forest WoodShop and plant from local florist Country Rose. For a special lakeside touch we made the paddles on the wall above the dining area. (We did the same in the award-winning Willow Beach renovation.) View more images of Billings Lake project.

Bob Lake


A quiet lakeside escape for a busy Toronto professional couple and their guests, this cottage redesign included three bedrooms, a bathroom, dining room and kitchen. The owners were open to re-configuring the layout, but they wanted to preserve the original tongue-and-groove ceiling and the quintessential simplicity of the cottage.


To improve the layout, we closed a doorway then laid dark wood flooring throughout. Adding a peninsula in the kitchen created much-needed storage as well as seating for guests and a comfortable spot to check email and work. To compensate for the lack of light in the kitchen and dining area, we painted the room a light grey and the ceiling white. We also installed under-cabinet lighting and a bright transparent pendant light that’s controlled by a dimmer switch. A beautiful rug, painting and wall cladding added the finishing touches to the dining room. Click here for more images of this beautiful renovation.

Kashagawigamog Lake


This cottage is an escape from the city for its owners. For the renovation, they wanted a larger kitchen fit for entertaining, and an updated look to the main floor. This included installing new floors and larger windows to better take in the gorgeous view of Lake Kashagawigamog. 


To improve the lake view, we reconfigured the space and replaced the single-panel entry door with a massive two-panel 12’ sliding door system. With a country kitchen aesthetic in mind, we laid maple hardwood throughout and installed shiplap paneling on the walls. Painting the natural pine ceiling white and refinishing the Douglas Fir beams instantly brightened it and made it feel current.

To delineate the kitchen and the sitting area we designed a beverage centre across from the couch and painted the cabinets white. The kitchen stands apart thanks to the beautiful teal cabinetry and eye-catching mosaic tile backsplash. The island was custom-made to function as a work space and dining table, with chairs that are extremely comfortable for card games that last late into the night. See more images of this Kash Lake renovation.

Not to be outdone, the master bedroom also got an update. To surprise his wife, our client asked us to transform the dated bedroom in conjunction with the main floor renovation. And to our delight, the bedroom won a design award at the DDA Canada Decorating and Design Competition.

Our vision for the dated room was to create a relaxing escape that echoes the style of the main floor. We began by repainting the brown wall paneling and ceiling. We then installed an eight-foot sliding glass door that opens onto the wrap-around deck. For the décor, the wrought-iron bed adds sophistication. The pendant light made of natural fibers and the soft grey euro-style pillows give warmth to the room. We completed the design with a framed vintage map and textiles in our airy ocean-and-sand palette. See more images of this elegant bedroom update.

These are the team’s picks for our best before-and-after transformation photos. We love a challenge, and even more we love to reveal the finished spaces to our clients. If you haven’t seen one of our reveals before watch this video of our Kash Lake project reveal.


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