Before & After: A Young Family’s Craftsman-Style Home Makeover
Making space for those soothing moments had filled homeowners Paul and Jenneh Kearns’ dreams since they moved into the four-bedroom house on a family-friendly, tree-lined street in Vancouver back in 2012. With two young children, a reno wasn’t in the cards, until Paul and Jenneh enlisted designer Stephanie Brown to reimagine the space to better suit the family’s busy lifestyle, and they wanted the house to feel modern, minimalist and uncomplicated.
To give the house an air of quiet serenity, even when children are racing through the halls, Stephanie kept to clean lines, uniform white walls and simple oak flooring. The seamless flow from basement to bedrooms is further emphasized by a muted palette of white and grey punctuated by soft hits of pink and dusty green. “The openness of the main floor and all the natural light coming in is so calming,” says Jenneh. “It makes the house feel peaceful even when energy levels are high.”
Step inside this serene family home and see the impressive before & after!
White tone-on-tone shingles combine with black-framed windows to create a crisp, modern exterior. “It looks fresh and new even though we didn’t change the outside dramatically,” says Stephanie.
Paul and Jenneh and their daughter, Brooklyn, 8, and son, Jacob, 4, happily spend time in their tranquil new kitchen. Stephanie opened up the main floor to create a serene space punctuated by stainless steel accents and black hardware.
In the kitchen, Stephanie had an eye-catching partial wall of white oak slats installed instead of the usual railing.
Oak cabinetry bookends the built-in bench and does double duty as concealed storage, discreetly housing coats and shoes next to the patio door.
In the dining room, Stephanie slipcovered Jenneh’s old chairs in a washable indoor-outdoor fabric to establish a casual, modern look. Two moulded-plastic armchairs add soft curves and colour. Jenneh’s big splurge was the statement light fixture. “It feels sophisticated and joyful,” she says.
“The family room’s original fireplace had layers of granite in unusual shapes and an inset mirror,” says Stephanie. “It was definitely outdated.” She replaced it with a streamlined gas fireplace surrounded by two kinds of marble, both from Vancouver Island. The TV above is framed in the same oak millwork used throughout the house.
A new wrought-iron banister gives the stairway a graphic quality. A cozy reading nook at the top of the stairs makes an ideal spot for bedtime stories. “My brother recently found a book that my mother used to read to us called The Book of Giant Stories,” says Jenneh. “Reading that with the kids feels pretty special.”
Stephanie designed the principal bedroom as a serene getaway, incorporating a grey wool carpet and upholstered headboard to soften the space. Instead of a formal grouping of artwork, smaller clusters over the side tables set a relaxed tone.
In the principal bathroom, marble-look porcelain floor and wall tiles coupled with a large skylight overhead enhance the room’s spa vibe.
Jenneh sourced the black marble for the dramatic backsplash wall from a local quarry. “I love the white veining and the antiqued finish,” she says. “It creates a subtle visual dimension.” The shower and toilet disappear behind frosted glass doors, making the space feel clean and uncluttered.