The perfect place doesn’t always have the perfect residence. This former two-bedroom bungalow at the Altadore neighborhood of Calgary, Alberta, is close to schools and dog parks, but the closed-off layout and limited bedrooms didn’t make sense for Jennifer and Derek Stuart’s rising family. Jennifer, an interior designer, redesigned the house along with Copper Brook Homes. By gutting the main floor, focusing on ecofriendly attributes and including a second level, they left a place that feels spacious, bright and family prepared.
at a Glance
Who lives here: Jennifer and Derek Stuart, their two sons and two puppies
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Size: 2,600 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
The house was remodeled by Jennifer Stuart around its living room that was original. Because it had the most ordinary light, she took advantage of its own orientation and turned the space into a two-story space with massive windows. Double-paned glass using an SPF coating minimizes the heat gain and loss, as well as the fading effects of the sun.
She incorporated many eco-friendly features, but the family’s budget didn’t allow for the solar panels they had hoped for. Instead, Copper Brook Homes prepped the house for them by conducting a tube from the roof into the electrical panel, so they can one day be installed with minimal interruption.
Lamp: EQ3; coffee table: Florence Knoll
Instead of investing in a costly sofa, Stuart bought an Ikea Karlstad sectional and replaced with the telltale wood legs with metal ones. Affordable sea grass rugs from Home Depot help specify the living and dining areas. “With a young family, it simply does not make sense to sink a lot of cash into rugs and upholstery,” says Stuart.
Vintage dining room seats were reupholstered in Ultraleather — a more durable and easy-to-clean leather alternative.
Mirror: Pier 1 Imports
Marble tile on the fireplace adds a luxe touch; utilizing tile instead of slab cut down on cost. Stuart used the exact same Benjamin Moore Natura paint for both the walls and trim to make touch-ups easy.
Fireplace surround: Ames polished marble; hearth: concrete, Caesarstone
The house’s clean appearance continues in the kitchen with custom cabinetry, the exact same marble tile from the fireplace on the backsplash and Caesarstone counters.
The oak flooring on the primary floor includes a vegetable oil finish. Not only is the end nontoxic, but it provides the floor a matte appearance, so scratches aren’t as noticeable. “The idea is that the floor will create character as we reside on it,” says Stuart. “It can be hard to keep in mind that as the dings and scrapes are actually happening, though!”
Backsplash: Ames polished marble; countertops: Caesarstone in Blizzard; cabinetry: Huntwood Custom Cabinets; light: Carrington Lighting; pub stools: Emeco 20-06; range hood: Roma, Zephyr
A custom serving and storage area for wine and other beverages only off the kitchen’s work area helps keep guests from the cook’s path.
Beverage storage area: Calmark Cabinetry and Woodwork
Stuart chose materials and finishes together with as many green and nontoxic characteristics as possible. These endings will also be designed to alter and earn patina over time, so the house will grow together with her family. “For me it is worth it to invest a little extra for the healthier option,” says Stuart.
Much like the rest of the house, Stuart’s house office feels easy, clean and fresh. “I am trying to cultivate my house decor — finding paintings here and there and bringing them home,” she states.
Bookshelves: Billy, Ikea; desk: Ikea; seat: EQ3; chandelier: Carrington Lighting
The restrained palette of white walls, gray tiles and wood tones enables Stuart to experiment with attachments. A very simple background within this sitting room makes method for seahorse pillows along with a zebra rug.
Rattan seats: Caban (currently closed); zebra rug: Home Sense; coffee table: classic; mirrors (left to right): Pier 1, Home Sense, classic
The nursery sticks into the easy palette with a couple blue accents.
Dresser and altering station: Oeuf; crib: Nursery Works
Aimee Wilder Pigeon wallpaper adds graphic interest in the older kid’s room. “I had wallpaper and a chair railing in my bedroom as a kid, and I believe I needed to replicate that for my own son,” Stuart says.
Stuart re-covered a classic chair from her husband’s grandfather in gloomy Ultraleather to get a sentimental but functional touch in her kid’s room.
She had a bit more fun with colour in the kids’ bathroom. Red industrial lights, light blue walls and playful prints and fabrics add simple style which can be readily updated as the boys grow.
Lights: Barn Light Electric; wall and accent tiles: DalTile; print: John W. Golden, Etsy; wall paint: Polar Sky, Benjamin Moore
Most of the wall artwork in the house appears in this bedroom. While she occasionally gets remarks about her relatively bare walls, Stuart wants to choose things she actually loves instead of fill the room with random pieces. “I am only waiting to stumble across the ideal thing,” she states.
Bed frame: Caban (currently closed); light fixture: Cartwright lighting; trunk: Pottery Barn; bedside tables: Caban; bedside lights: Home Depot
The master bath feels soothing. A contemporary chandelier and industrial mirror lights add cheap visual impact.
Lighting fixture: Carrington light; floor tile: Euro Habita; wall tile: Euro Planks; mirror light: Barn Light Electric