The house’s open-plan layout encourages the entire family to hang out together, even while partaking in different activities. The durable area rug, made from carpet tiles by InterfaceFLOR, is the ideal base for both reading and playing with trains, as Luka, three, demonstrates.
The courtyard is an extension of the house, with a big table that hosts parties, a stage for impromptu performances, and part of an old loft overhead that will one day become a treehouse for the children. Photo by Stacey Brandford.
In the downstairs bathroom, John chose a “potwasher” fixture by Encore that’s often used in restaurant kitchens. Its double-jointed arm lets it reach every corner of the custom Corian sink, where all five family members wash up—sometimes at the same time.componenthardware.com
To continue the spare lines of the kitchen cabinets, John designed and built an “appliance garage” by cutting up Ikea drawer fronts to build hinged doors that enclose an area beneath the cabinets, hiding a toaster, microwave, breadbox, and electrical outlets.ikea.com
The light fixture hanging over the stairs to the playroom is another Ikea hack: The hanging hardware is actually for curtains, and the six Grundtal lights are meant to be hung under cabinets. They’re mounted on a horizontal three-quarter-inch-thick piece of pine, and two other slats hang vertically along the two sides. “It’s really an afternoon project,” says John.
To display the children’s artwork in a fun and flexible way, John designed a four-foot-high lightbox, custom-built by Geron, and installed it above the staircase. The front panel is non-glare acrylic held in place with magnetic strips; low-voltage LED strips provide the backlighting. “We’ll change out the art at least at every holiday and birthday,” says John.geron.ca