written by:
January 25, 2012
Originally published in Inspired Renovation

A dim Toronto Tudor gets an airy new look, thanks to a top-level remodel and some bright ideas.

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  A dim Toronto Tudor gets an airy new look. The home’s second-story hallway, which serves as an open office and library, was suffering from a severe lack of light. Lifting up one side of the old pitched roof made room for a linear skylight, which faces south to allow in as many rays as possible, and the modification transformed the top floor into a loftlike double-height space. Inexpensive detailing then added texture and scale: Simple plywood panels attached to cold-rolled-steel frames serve as guards along the stairs.  Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.

    A dim Toronto Tudor gets an airy new look. The home’s second-story hallway, which serves as an open office and library, was suffering from a severe lack of light. Lifting up one side of the old pitched roof made room for a linear skylight, which faces south to allow in as many rays as possible, and the modification transformed the top floor into a loftlike double-height space. Inexpensive detailing then added texture and scale: Simple plywood panels attached to cold-rolled-steel frames serve as guards along the stairs.

    Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
  • 
    Courtesy of Finn O'Hara.
    Courtesy of Finn O'Hara.
  • 
    Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
    Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
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  The plywood stair guards give a sense of stability and transition to this brightened tudor home in Toronto.  Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
    The plywood stair guards give a sense of stability and transition to this brightened tudor home in Toronto. Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
  • 
    Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
    Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
  • 
    Courtesy of Finn O'Hara.
    Courtesy of Finn O'Hara.
  • 
    Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
    Courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.
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Halllway interior with red cord ceiling light

A dim Toronto Tudor gets an airy new look. The home’s second-story hallway, which serves as an open office and library, was suffering from a severe lack of light. Lifting up one side of the old pitched roof made room for a linear skylight, which faces south to allow in as many rays as possible, and the modification transformed the top floor into a loftlike double-height space. Inexpensive detailing then added texture and scale: Simple plywood panels attached to cold-rolled-steel frames serve as guards along the stairs.

Image courtesy of Copyright: Finn O'Hara.

When Levitt Goodman Architects tackled the renovation of a turn-of- the-century Tudor-style house in Toronto, they decided to take it from the top. The home’s second-story hallway, which serves as an open office and library, was suffering from a severe lack of light. Lifting up one side of the old pitched roof made room for a linear skylight, which faces south to allow in as many rays as possible, and the modification trans- formed the top floor into a loftlike double-height space. Inexpensive detailing then added texture and scale: Simple plywood panels attached to cold-rolled-steel frames serve as guards along the stairs and extend down through a slim gap that cuts through the corridor to the first floor. Overhead, hanging fixtures made from Ikea extension cords and wire bring color and knotty visual interest. The most significant element of the redesign, however, was the least tangible. “In this home,” says Janna Levitt, “the light was like a liquid building material.”

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