Today I share with you some inspiration photos for the front facade of my purpose-built 1960s Riverdale duplex. If you're new to my blog, this is the tale of my newest journey, where I'm transforming a 55 year old property into my future Home Sweet Home. After tackling Rejuvenating The Button Factory (my first loft conversion), the Tales Of Upper Hillsborough (a vintage triplex in Charlottetown, PEI), and Renovating The Movie House Loft (my third loft conversion), here's the link to the Tales From Tennis Crescent which I began a year ago – starting with the renovation of the Ground Floor 'Garden Suite'. Next up is a substantially more significant undertaking, where I'll be sharing the trials and tribulations of adding a two-storey addition at the rear plus a third floor, nearly doubling the size of the house.
Here's a photo of my semi-detached property as it currently appears.
Yup, it's fugly.
And here's a concept drawing of what the exterior is going to look like, though it ultimately isn't going to appear like this once I'm done, outside of my reconciling the box bay windows. Truth be told, I find this a bit too 'Dwell'.
Know what I mean?
I love a box bay window. The idea of stepping into a cantilevered glass cube with a cocktail to survey the streetscape is one of the unexpected ways I've come to define 'chic'. I have no idea where this compulsion stems from – maybe all those New York movies of rich people sipping martinis from their penthouses with their panoramic vistas – but I gotta say, the view from my future living room is pretty spectacular. It looks directly at the facade – and red door lobby – of the charming vintage 4-storey apartment building situated directly across the street from my house.
Here's a snap in the bleak of winter and a close up at night:
To segue for a moment, how's this for serendipity? As I was reconciling that – given the substantial renovation will require the entire duplex to be vacant for several months and I need to live somewhere for that duration – I got the idea that living across the street from the house in this apartment building would be sensible. After all, what better way to keep 'on top' of a renovation? As the idea took root in a conversation with a pal, I pointed up at the top floor apartment directly facing the house and proclaimed “How about I live up there, where I can attach a time lapse camera and record the transformation?”. The next day I called the property management for the building and asked about rentals, specifically the top floor apartment overlooking my house. The manager laughed, sharing with me that two bedroom suites rarely come available, and the one I specifically liked hadn't been on the market for rent for years. I left my number and, lo and behold, a few weeks later the manager called me up and said “This is bizarre, but the tenants of that apartment just gave their notice to vacate. We're going to renovate it first, so if you'd like to rent it with possession in 2 months it's available.”
Yup. The universe provides.
I just moved into that apartment. Here's the view of my house from the living room window taken the first time I checked the apartment out:
Back to box bay windows, here's the images I googled that captured my fancy and serve as inspiration for the treatment of my own imminent box bay window.
Check 'em out!
Sorry, I can't find the source of this English manse addition to give appropriate credit.
Contemporary Exterior by (and photo courtesy of) Reverse Architecture
Photo courtesy of freshome.com
Photo courtesy of Architects Jack deLashmet and Associates
Aren't they gorgeous?
These all probably cost a zillion dollars to make, but they serve as direction for how I'm hoping my own box bay window might appear.
Will it? Right now the construction drawings are underway as the team help steer me into creating my 'vision on a budget'.
Let's see what happens, but fingers crossed!
~ Steven and the urbaneer team
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Tales From Tennis Crescent