House & Home

BUNGALOW PERFECT

It may be the most modest of all houses, but look who’s laughing now.

- Design by BRIAN McCOURT and MICHAYLA CAUGHLIN | Text by WENDY JACOB | Photograph­y by PATRICK BILLER

WWe’veall passed by (or possibly lived in) a humble mid-century bungalow, home to an enviable lawn but also sad little windows, drab brick and a boxy silhouette. In Mississaug­a, Ont.’s Clarkson neighbourh­ood, a threebedro­om bungalow owned by Carlee Keeler and Will Mulqueeney fit the stereotype, and yet it had been their home for the past 11 years. They loved their lakeside community, the park across the street where their two daughters played every day, and even the size of their house. They just wished it was an open, airy space, with lots of storage and a cool, contempora­ry feel. Not much to ask, right?

For many homeowners, that ask means either moving — not a great option in a crazy real-estate market — renovating or razing their bungalow to the ground in favour of a new-build. But Brian McCourt of HGTV Canada’s Backyard Builds had other ideas. Will and Carlee knew they didn’t need more space, just a better use of it — and more built-in storage. “We wanted an airy feel without the expensive foundation­al work,” says Carlee. Brian and his firm’s designer, Michayla Caughlin, laid out a dramatic plan to bring light, space and style to the dated house — without the added expense of bumping up the footprint.

Brian’s first inspired move fixes a common bungalow shortcomin­g: eight-foot ceilings. He opened up the attic to vault the ceilings over the kitchen and installed two skylights to bring in natural light. “Unused attic space is a huge missed opportunit­y,” he says. “Even if you raise the ceiling six inches, it can feel like a totally different space. The cool part is that we changed the architectu­re without changing the exterior.”

For a contempora­ry spin, budget-friendly vinyl windows are designed to mimic ironwork. “We had the manufactur­er integrate vinyl grilles between the panes of glass,” says Brian. “They look convincing because the window frames are white and the sash and grilles are black. We also used a thinner profile instead of a super-bulky black vinyl frame. It was our inexpensiv­e way to get a high-end look.”

And when the walls dividing the dining and living rooms came down, it changed how the family uses the space. “We let go of needing a formal dining room,” says Will of the new, smaller table and bench seating in the kitchen. “We can accommodat­e six adults at the table and four kids at the peninsula — it’s a more casual, modern way of entertaini­ng.”

Brian admits that when he first walked in to this bungalow, it felt so small he wasn’t sure how he could improve it without enlarging the footprint. “Vaulting the ceiling and taking out walls made a massive difference,” he says. “I’m so happy we didn’t do an extension.” The homeowners agree. “We have light coming in from all angles and it just floods our house,” says Carlee. “Now the kids and Will are baking all the time; we all have a chopping space and they love eating at the bar. It’s just a different life.” And a whole new bungalow.

 ??  ?? H&H SEPTEMBER 2021 35
H&H SEPTEMBER 2021 35
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 ??  ?? ABOVE: A custom mantel and electric fireplace give the living room a focal point. Sofa, LD Shoppe; custom coffee table, Wood Cut by Carl Holtz; rug, Wayfair Canada.
ABOVE: A custom mantel and electric fireplace give the living room a focal point. Sofa, LD Shoppe; custom coffee table, Wood Cut by Carl Holtz; rug, Wayfair Canada.
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 ??  ?? Before
Before
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LEFT: The banquette conceals a bulkhead to the basement stairs while an interior window acts as a safety barrier without blocking the light. Pendant, Crate and Barrel; dining table, LD Shoppe; dining chairs, Elte Mkt.
Before LEFT: The banquette conceals a bulkhead to the basement stairs while an interior window acts as a safety barrier without blocking the light. Pendant, Crate and Barrel; dining table, LD Shoppe; dining chairs, Elte Mkt.
 ??  ?? LEFT: When the door panel was delayed due to the pandemic, the fridge was painted a matte white to blend in with the uppers. Tile, Euro Tile & Stone; faucet, Roman Bath Centre.
LEFT: When the door panel was delayed due to the pandemic, the fridge was painted a matte white to blend in with the uppers. Tile, Euro Tile & Stone; faucet, Roman Bath Centre.
 ??  ?? BeBeforefo­re
BeBeforefo­re
 ??  ?? ABOVE: The kitchen was the biggest splurge (see page 37 for costs), but it’s completely transforme­d the house, bringing more light into the space, courtesy of cleverly positioned windows and skylights. Fridge, range, KitchenAid; counters, Caesarston­e.
RIGHT: Will Mulqueeney, Carlee Keeler and kids Lou (left), 5, and Liv, 9.
BeBeforefo­re
ABOVE: The kitchen was the biggest splurge (see page 37 for costs), but it’s completely transforme­d the house, bringing more light into the space, courtesy of cleverly positioned windows and skylights. Fridge, range, KitchenAid; counters, Caesarston­e. RIGHT: Will Mulqueeney, Carlee Keeler and kids Lou (left), 5, and Liv, 9. BeBeforefo­re
 ??  ?? TOP RIGHT: A neutral palette creates a calm and serene vibe in the principal bedroom. Bed frame, Silk & Snow; drapery, Pottery Barn.
TOP RIGHT: A neutral palette creates a calm and serene vibe in the principal bedroom. Bed frame, Silk & Snow; drapery, Pottery Barn.
 ??  ?? BOTTOM LEFT AND RIGHT: The bungalow’s only bathroom has a modern graphic look, thanks to a punchy blue vanity, matte black fixtures and long, skinny tile set in a simple pattern.
BOTTOM LEFT AND RIGHT: The bungalow’s only bathroom has a modern graphic look, thanks to a punchy blue vanity, matte black fixtures and long, skinny tile set in a simple pattern.
 ??  ?? H&H SEPTEMBER 2021 39
H&H SEPTEMBER 2021 39

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