Ah, the "plus den" condo floor plan -- sure, that extra room may look great on paper but using this often tiny, windowless space efficiently can be tricky. And the smaller the space, the bigger the challenge. We caught up with interior designer Candice Olson to get some tips and tricks for making the most of your "plus den."
Rudi (one of my favourite contractors) and his wife Sue had lovingly completed the renovations on their home when disaster struck. While they were away one weekend, there was a fire in their home. It completely destroyed their basement, and the smoke damage in the rest of the house was so severe that nothing could be salvaged. Since Rudi works so hard on my show, I decided to get my crew together to give he and his wife a beautiful space to come home to.
Harmeen is a fantastic cook, and she was thrilled when her daughter Niki expressed an interest in the culinary arts and offered to take over some of the cooking duties. The problem was the family's outdated kitchen, which was cramped, awkward and completely inefficient in its use of space. While it was barely functional enough for one chef, it was positively crowded with two. My secret ingredient for this kitchen? Demolition!
Christina and Gavin moved from a small downtown condo to a sprawling 1960s ranch style house just outside the city. But, moving from a small condo to a large house has left them shy on furniture -- especially in the dining room. They have a great space for big family dinners, and nowhere for everyone to sit and eat! With a big family feast in mind, I assembled the trades to create the perfect dining room!
Ken and Annette were long-time suburban dwellers, but their downtown jobs and long commutes left them longing to live in the heart of the city. They found the house of their dreams and they bought it with an eye to moving in slowly and retiring there for good. While they wound up their life in the suburbs they let their three grown children become tenants in their new digs. But a whole year passed and the kids were making themselves very comfy -- that's where I came in, to reclaim the space and make it adult-friendly once again!
In order to shorten their extremely long commute to and from work, Barb and Evan moved out of the suburbs and into the city. To save money, the intrepid couple decided to don their safety glasses and sledgehammers and renovate the new, smaller, older place themselves. But after a year had gone by, they realized they had bitten off more than they could chew. Their house was still in shambles and they had run out of money, ideas and patience. That's where I came in.
Chantal and Jeff moved into their 1960s era house a few years ago with two kids, loads of energy, and big plans to start renovating. But soon after settling in they found out they were expecting child number three. When little James came into the world with serious heart complications, renovations were put on hold and all energies went into to supporting their youngest son.
Every girl wants a place that they are proud to call their own and where they can express their own individuality. They want a private space where they can hang out with friends and start exercising their independence without. Add in a private phone line and you've got Teen Girl Heaven!