features - small house love



interior design and photography by
Lori Andrews

When Jacelyn Dyck and her husband, Drew, were first married, they would drive wistfully through a beautiful neighborhood in their hometown of Calgary where the streets were lined with turn-of-the century bungalows shaded by canopies of huge elm trees. Little did they realize that a few years later they would be living there.
L I V I N G  I N  900 sq. ft.

Jacelyn and Drew bought their 1914 cottage on that street 15 years ago and have raised their two boys, Aiden and Reed there. As the boys grew, their demands on the 900 square foot house changed as well. The once cozy and manageable space had

to be updated to accommodate the needs of two teenage boys.  Adding onto the house was not an option. and neither was moving – they loved living right in the heart of the city. The alternative was to update and streamline their space.

Jacelyn, a teacher, has always been creative, however, she knew that in order to really make their home work for them, they needed an objective eye with a similar aesthetic to help them find a new look that would suit their family.

Jacelyn discovered interior designer, Lori Andrew, when she saw her home featured in a local Calgary magazine. It was small and colorful with an easy, comfortable feeling. That is exactly what Jacelyn envisioned for their home. She called Lori for a consultation and when the two women met they hit it off immediately. Jacelyn and Drew knew


that redecorating the house all at once was out of the question. Their family was active, the boys play hockey, the piano and drums, both parents work – they were busy. Putting the house in a state of upheaval was not a good idea. For that reason Lori and Jacelyn decided that this re-styling would be a gradual work in progress.

Jacelyn and Drew wove their collection of art & memories into the design of their home

The added benefit was that it would not be a strain on their budget and it would let their design process evolve organically without pressure.  As far as major purchases were concerned, they decided up front to chose carefully and save for items that would last. Jacelyn agreed with Lori’s ethic of  ‘purchasing meaningful objects only’.

The first thing the team did was to paint almost every wall in the house white.

They were able to add Jacelyn love of bright colors back in the way of accessories and furnishings. The all-white kitchen was given a hit of a vibrant yellow floor and a pale blue glass tile back splash.  Subsequently, the entire house immediately had a clean, fresh and open look.

“We wanted to create a space that was timeless,” said Lori, “and Jacelyn has been slowly building her layers of history throughout her home with art and artifacts

that she purchased from her travels around the world.”  Each item was incorporated into the new design where they would be able to enjoy them and live with them on a daily basis.

Since space was the main commodity, every inch of the house was utilized and decisions were made such as using three comfortable deep retro-deco leather chairs in the living room instead of a couch that would take up a block of space.

The trend of bigger is better has passed
Smaller with attention to detail and style has taken its place

Originally, the house sported an open porch which previous owners had enclosed.  Jacelyn set this space up as her get-a-way from the men. A hutch filled with her favorite collection of shoes sits in a corner and she can

relax on the love seat facing the street. Drew loves to cook and claims the kitchen as his domain where in the milder weather he enjoys the deck off the back kitchen door.  Odd nooks and crannies were found to fit in the working

of their lives . Aiden’s piano sits against the staircase wall in what was originally the dining room but now functions as the piano/computer room and Reid’s drums have a place of their own downstairs in the basement.

(above) The kitchen was revitalized using all white appliances, counter tops and cabinetry.  The pale blue glass tiles on the back splash and bright yellow floor are their two pops of color. Lori cleverly designed storage in the base of the kitchen table.


(above)For the master bedroom, Lori chose a high tufted white leather headboard contrasted against the charcoal wallpaper. There was not enough floor space for conventional end tables and lamps, so Lori cleverly mounted them on the wall.

For the Boys Room…

Jacelyn knew she had to find a smart solution to give each boy space and privacy in their shared 9’ x 14’ room. She had an idea for a bunk bed and contacted architect, David Parker of Parker Architects in Calgary to brainstorm and design the concept.

The bunk bed is built in the middle of the room with each side having a solid wall instead of an open bunk above or below.

The top bunk is cleverly fitted with climbing footholds so son, Reid, can quickly hop to the top. The chest of drawers that are individually wall mounted, double as steps.

Aiden has the bottom bunk on the other side giving him the added benefit of a spot for a side table and a chair.


Lori’s  Lessons

Small House Face Lifts

Living the Small House Ethos

♥  always have a consultation first.  Sometimes small changes can make a big impact and you might be able to manage doing those on your own. This helps especially if you are on a budget.

♥  make a list of your priorities. In Jacelyn’s case we wanted to create a feeling of openness and space while keeping the design highly functional, young and fun. We also wanted to highlight Jacelyn’s eclectic collection of art and artifacts and play off of her love of mixing modern with a European flavor.

♥  keep structural changes to a minimum. Do small things, such as a sparkly new backsplash and bright yellow floor in the kitchen. A mirrored wall was added in the living room and an amazing dual bed was built in the boys bedroom

♥  start fresh! All of the jewel-toned walls were given a fresh white coat of paint which instantly made the home feeling spacious

think big. The white walls opened up the space visually. Adding that mirrored wall in the living room doubled the perceived space of the room.

L O R I   A N D R E W S

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Lori Andrews is an insanely happy and talented Interior designer and photographer living in Calgary, Canada. She resides with her husband, Ken in a tiny bungalow in the middle of the city. In her free time you will find her roaming the back country of the Rocky mountains or travelling to inspiring places the world over. Lori is a modernist with an socially ethical point of view. She believes we should be able to track every item purchased back to it’s origins. Lori is crazy about bikes and you will find both she and Ken on their city cruisers any month of the year. As a self portrait artist Lori’s work is narrative based and explores notions of identity, voyeurism, feminism, obsession, and ego. You can learn more at the 10centdesigner.com or view her instagram @theoriginal10cent for daily self portraits, design finds and fashion.

Twitter: @Designertweets
Instagram: TheOriginal10cent