July 14, 2024

Architectural Design Kingdom

Home is where the heart is

Renos transform bungalow’s kitchen and refine interior spaces

7 min read

In addition to creating an award-winning renovation, Crafted Edge delivered it ‘right on time and on budget.’

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In 2022, when empty-nesters Nancy and Dan Twidale purchased a bungalow in need of a refresh in the community of Wentworth, they had no idea it would eventually become a design award winner.  

“When we first walked in the door, we could see how much potential it had, it had great bones, but it definitely needed work — there were just so many things that were a bit wonky,” says Nancy, adding that the couple had been living in Watermark at Bearspaw and really wanted to create a family-friendly home (they have six grandchildren all under the age of seven that visit often), with a comfortable and elegant feel. But the real selling point was Wentworth’s walkability to restaurants, groceries and to nature.

The couple interviewed several renovation companies, but for them the hands-down winner was Crafted Edge Homes, a company that they had initially been introduced to at the Calgary Home Show.

“They just had some really great ideas and part of the draw in hiring them was the fact that they had everything under one umbrella; we didn’t have to search for anything. Having a designer seamlessly integrated with the construction was a huge plus,” says Dan.

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The 1,300-square-foot bungalow (2,500 sq. ft. on the main and lower floor combined) was completely redone, some rooms down to the studs, to reconfigure the kitchen, moving a wall for more kitchen space and to create a butler’s pantry. The home’s three bathrooms were also gutted and up-styled with marble and gold finishes and heated flooring. The lower level was also revamped with a wet-bar and entertainment system with deeper window wells with elegant hand-designed wood casings.

Nancy recalls that the previous finishes and appliances were dated and needed a grand overhaul, “starting with the front door, which was purple and just not my style.”

“The layout of the kitchen was just awful. The island was on an angle and it jutted out into the hallway and there wasn’t much counter space. We turned a tiny office into a butler’s pantry and flipped out the living room’s two-way fireplace for something grander — you could see into the bedroom and we didn’t like that,” says Nancy.

Matte wide-plank flooring, plenty of wood and white, along with gold accents in the finishes really makes this home stand-out. The open-concept design takes full advantage of the oversized windows, drawing light throughout the home, while the grand fireplace with herringbone tile surround creates a focal point in the living room. In the dining room, custom glassed french doors offer plenty of elegance, which works well with the moody feel of the wallpaper.

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In the kitchen, an oversized island was added to allow for plenty of seating for family dinners. The vaulted ceiling added some design challenges, addressed through the placement of hanging fixtures and upper cabinets. Risers were added to the top of cabinets for a contemporary, cohesive look.

The home recently picked up accolades for Best Home Renovation (without addition) and for Best Kitchen Renovation $71,000-$130,999 at the 2023 Building Industry and Land Development Association Calgary Region Awards.

A finalist in eight categories, Crafted Edge Homes also walked the stage as a winner for Best Kitchen Renovation $131,000 and Over for a renovation in Riverdale that seamlessly integrated the century-old home’s history and details with a warm and inviting European-styled kitchen with lots of white and gold and a stunning rounded white hood fan. This small volume boutique renovator stood above the rest at the awards, earning the title of Renovator of the Year.

Co-founded by Michelle Lytle and Todd Stringer in 2010, Crafted Edge Homes initially began as a new home infill builder. The duo had met as co-workers back in 2001, when they were both at the now defunct Beatty Homes — Michelle in sales and Todd in project management. When Beatty was sold in 2010, they started their company.

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“I’ve grown up in the industry my whole life,” says Todd. “As soon as I could put a tool belt on, I was helping my dad.”

When he finished high school, he jumped in with both feet, earning his framing ticket and then moving into management.

Michelle says the market has changed considerably from when they first started the company.

“People are really wanting to spend less time in their cars. They want to be closer to amenities, to schools, to mature landscaping,” she says, noting that this draws them to purchase an older home in an established community.

“They are often buying a home with a smaller square footage than what they could get in a new community and most often with none of the bells and whistles of a new build, but then they are really doing it up the way that they want it.”

As one would expect, she says that kitchen and bathroom overhauls are the big renovation drivers.

“Mudrooms are also really big,” adds Todd. Often in an older home, because of the smaller footage, they’ll need to add an addition to accommodate.

“Often we get drawn in even before a client purchases,” says Todd, noting that discussing budget and process before the deal even closes allows the client to make a more informed decision. “We try to get out and in front of costs at the very beginning and having those discussions, about design, about budget allows us to get started on a project right away.”

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The company also uses a tried-and-true approach to processes.

“Everything is picked before we start the project — the design, the blue-prints, the finishes. It just makes the customer’s experience much more enjoyable,” says Michelle.

For Crafted Edge Homes, the shift in focus from new build to primarily renovations happened in 2015.

“It really just blew up,” says Michelle. The company takes on 15 to 20 renovation projects a year, Todd says, but won’t take on more.

“We want to make sure that we are staying in touch and giving each project that personal touch,” says Todd, who is on-site every day.

Certainly for Dan and Nancy Twidale, the process was seamless.

“Crafted Edge just has everything. They know everyone in the industry. They said it would be done in six months, and it was. They were right on time and on budget,” says Nancy.

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