Local designer helps Dilworth residents love their home again

Okanagan Life Magazine, May 2011
Laurie Carter

When Al and Jay Cosar went looking for advice on renovating their 5,000 sq. ft. home, Habitat Interiors designers Andrea and Paulette Harte found “good bones” in the 1990s era home. Andrea says all that was needed was to address outdated finishes and deal with the awkward use of space in some areas, although creating a modern aesthetic in a structurally traditional home did pose some challenges.

To a large extent, the existing footprint remains unchanged, but new materials and fixtures like the bowl sink and glass shower enclosure in the guest bath and the twin sinks and free-standing soaker tub in the master ensuite transform the spaces from oak dominated traditional to minimalist modern. An imposing three-sided fireplace that trimmed the useable area in the great room has been replaced with a fireplace alcove, creating a riveting focal point, an open living and dining area and energy efficient gas heat.

To make room for Jay’s dream of a large kitchen island where people can congregate while she cooks, a poorly located closet was reconfigured to accommodate a bank of sleek cabinets and free up room for the super island. The bow window dining nook offers a great view of the Black Mountain ridge and deer feeding in the backyard, while the adjacent family room provides another comfortable seating area in the home’s major gathering place.

Banks of windows, the vaulted great room ceiling and two-storey open foyer create a sense of light and space. As the sun goes down, dramatic fixtures and subtle lighting accents add to the warmth of the earth-tone colour palette. Jay confides that Andrea faced some challenges in this respect as well, since the colours she chose had to complement flooring the couple bought a couple of years previously. Less obvious are the energy efficiency improvements including low voltage lighting, infloor heating, dual flush toilets and energy star appliances.