Design Project: a split level home has gone from cramped and dated to spacious and connected

A design overhaul means this split level home now feels cool, casual and connected

split level home
(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project)

THE PROPERTY

A 1960s split level house in Vancouver, Canada. Although, 3,500 square feet of living space, the two storey property shifted to four levels in the centre and was divided up into small rooms, making it feel dark and cramped.  

The space was remodelled by Falken Reynolds who have opened the space for casual, twenty-first century living for a young couple and their son.

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

THE KITCHEN

West coast modern architecture from the 1960’s and 1970’s was the starting point for the design. Both the designers and the owners wanted the house to be true to its roots since the original structure was built really well and was still in excellent condition. 

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project)

A generously sized kitchen is now the centre of the home. Quartz counters for the kitchen island and cooktop area make the high traffic area incredibly durable.

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

The West coast lifestyle is very casual and active so the house really needed to feel like it supports life both outside and in. Practical and functional spaces were key, and especially important in the kitchen, where typical Canadians do a lot of informal entertaining – the extra large island and sliding doors to the back garden make it easy to entertain and for guest to feel at ease.

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

Once the designers started working on the space planning they found opportunities to use the split-levels to help connect the spaces. 

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

The kitchen and dining area are now visually connected to a play room for the owner's young son, but the play area is still contained so it doesn’t feel like it overflows into the kitchen.

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

LIVING ROOM

The travertine fireplace is the original fireplace from the sixties – the owners and designers agreed that it was a strong beautiful element that should stay, so the rest of the palette was built from it. 

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

Light oak hardwood flooring brings the lightness of the travertine throughout the house while medium toned oak millwork added warmth. 

To balance the wood, white walls give the spaces a sense of Scandinavian minimalism. 

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

MASTER BEDROOM

Warm colours in the bedroom give the space a calm and soothing feel.

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

MASTER ENSUITE

An all-white backdrop in the bathroom is juxtaposed with graphic black brassware.

The skylight brightens the space during the day and cove lighting in the skylight well createSa calming ambience in the evening.

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project)

KID'S BATHROOM

Puzzle tiles by Mutina make a playful statement in the son's bathroom.

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

STUDY

Vitsoe shelving designed by Dieter Rams in the 1960s in the study is a nod to mid-century modernism.

split level home

(Image credit: Falken Reynolds project / Photography: Ema Peters)

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