Woodworking couple micro-customize their east-end Vancouver home
by Jane Vorbrodt
family organization station at the Watt house (photo by Jane Vorbrodt)
Over the past six years, Phil and Rebecca Watt have been transforming a once-neglected east-side Vancouver house into a cosy and well organized home through the integration of creative storage and living solutions.
The Watts share their 900-square-foot space with their sons — aged four and eight — and an international student.
“It’s a shame when people rip everything out, unnecessarily, not picking and choosing what is good,” Rebecca says. “I like to work with what is existing, to be thoughtful about it, to make it work.”
It’s easy for Rebecca to see the potential in a building. After all, before the couple chose their house, they had already renovated several other homes, condos and kitchens.
For them, this one was perfect: it had good bones and required little adjustment in terms of layout. Most of the work to be done was cosmetic.
It doesn’t hurt that both Rebecca and Phil are woodworkers.
International influences informed design of split-level laneway house
by Jane Vorbrodt
photo of John O’Regan by Jane Vorbrodt
Tucked behind their 3,000-square-foot Shaughnessy heritage home, brothers and builders John and David O’Regan created a tiny house for their recently retired parents.
With some constraints — including a new garage on the site — they came up with a home measuring 585 square feet. What makes the residence feel more spacious, however, is its split-level layout.
“We spent a lot of time at city hall,” John says. “With all of the bylaws and regulations for laneway houses, the resulting floor plan was limited …
“We went with the split level to take advantage of the slope.”
When you walk in, you can see how the split level works. The main living area comprises a living room, dining area and kitchen. At the end of this space, a small flight of stairs leads to a bedroom. Almost like a tree house, it’s small but cosy, with enough space for a queen-sized bed and a bit of storage.