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Hillside Home Opened Up with a Post and Beam Makeover

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Originally built in the 1950s, this hillside home consisted of a series of small rooms and small windows. AB Design Studio gave the home a much needed makeover by wrapping the view walls in new floor to ceiling glazings and removing many of the interior walls to create the open plan social zone that is now in place. The architects needed to replace the walls with support structures and they chose to do so with a post and beam construction created from natural wood. With the concept of wood firmly incorporated into the redesign, they took it one step further and clad the floors, ceilings, and some built in features in wood as well. Layer into the renovation, the panoramic views exposed through the large expanses of new glazings and the home has left its mid-century origins behind and instead has taken on a contemporary woodsy cabin aesthetic of warmth and coziness – all within a large open plan.

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With an open concept social zone on the inside and large glazings exposing the outside, AB Design Studio created a larger connectivity to the outdoors by running terraces along the complete length of the home on both the 2nd and 3rd floors.

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The 3rd floor is ground level at the top of the hill and access to the entry is via a series of concrete pavers separated with loose pebble grout lines. The geometry of the pavers is repeated above by the creation of repeating voids in the walkway overhang allowing natural light to flood through during the day and stars to shine through during the night.

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The walkway continues down the side of the home before it eventually meets up with the uppermost terrace. In the evening the view of the sunset peaks down the walkway enticing all who visit to head for the terrace rather then the front door. On the way to the terrace a tri-level water feature creates a sound ambiance as peaceful as the views.

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The terrace is deep enough for a complete outdoor lounge area and the roof overhang is designed to create both exposed and sheltered zones – so even when its raining, the view can be enjoyed from outside.

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The terrace continues all the way around the home and back to the street just like a wrap around porch.

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If its too cold to be outside, the large glazings allow the views to permeate both the social and private volumes.

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With panoramic vies on two sides of the social zone and with an interior cladding of natural wood, the home offers the cozy atmosphere of a cabin in the woods, but with all the necessary amenities – and space.

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The living zone is separated from the kitchen by an elliptical bar mounted on two of the post supports. Having the kitchen bar located this way rather then on the end of the island means that the views can be enjoyed from the bar stools, the dining table or the living room seating. It can also be enjoyed by the chef as both the stove and sink are located on the island – as is the dishwasher positioned on the end of the island.

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The wall ovens are located in a bank of floor to ceiling cabinets, next to a window overlooking the water feature next to the entry and the fridge is positioned on the only kitchen wall with no view.

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Behind the fridge wall is the foyer and hallway that leads to the stairwell and to private zones within the home.

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There are two washrooms on this level; the first features a large skylight and a stunning multi shade blue mosaic in the bathtub zone.

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The second washroom on the 3rd level overlooks the terrace on the left side of the home. This washroom does not have a tub but does have a large walk in shower complete with bench seating.

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Downstairs on the 2nd level is where the Master Suite is located and the slope of the hillside offers the room privacy. With a view of stone retaining walls holding the slope in place, the architects continued the look by introducing a stacked stone headboard wall, complete with wood niche and floating bedside shelves that where installed as the stones where layered up the wall. The Zen atmosphere of this room is complete with all the natural elements both inside and out.

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The ensuite to the Master Suite leaves the Zen vibe behind in favour of a Spa aesthetic. This room has it all – views, spa tub, large walk in shower, stunning mosaics on the wall and so much more.

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The ensuite even has a steam shower, AB Design Studio thought of it all.
AB Design Studio
Photography by Jim Bartsch and Ciro Coelho

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