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Sasen Renovations is excited to be amongst the ranks of our most skilled peers as one of the Ovation Award finalists. We thought we would share some of the story about how this project came to be: Purpose of the project: To turn a tiny spare room that became a haven for junk storage into a usable and magical study land for two sisters. The room is located in the basement of the home and so it was important to make the room cozy and warm in order to make the most use out of it. The Scope of work (redacted): Install custom day bed with one off valence and coffered barrel vaulted canopy Install two custom desks Fabricate and install one hanging barn door Panel and refinish walls Install wall covering and heritage trim Install ornamental additions including pulls, handles, cover plates etc. and theme specific lighting The Key Features of the job: The door: Our past blog post covers this door and how it was created. The door was salvaged from 100% recycled 2X6 Douglas Fir. This came from a renovation project of a colleague on the North Shore. Originally, this wood was part of the framing in a 70 year old home. The material was then hand crafted by Matthew Senf and finished by our designer, Lucy Tartaglia. For a video, visit our blog post How to Reclaim Wood Barn Door. The Walls: The base of the walls are trimmed out with an overheight baseboard and a thin profile, beaded wainscoting topped with a heritage cap rail. All the wood panel and trim have been finished with a three-part antiquing process comprised of base coat, distressed top coat and pigmented glaze finish to give the whole room a patina of well lived in warmth. A heavily patterned and theme specific wall paper makes up the balance of the field of wall topped off by a 4″ roman Ogee crown moulding painted and antiqued to match the millwork. The Desks: These desks, and their accompanying chairs, were rescued from being thrown away. The chairs had some appliqué details added and were recovered to match the day bed. The desks, once appliqué, moulding and routered details were added, were antiqued and finished with the same patina and technique as the wall panelling, trim and millwork. We want to thank Lucy for her hard work on this project and congratulate her as well. Thank you also to all of our subtrades who worked with us on this room to create a masterpiece out of a small space. What do the kids think? “The room is very warm and cozy…it’s fun to do our homework there now and to hang out with our friends.” Mission accomplished! Ovation Awards Finalists Before Image: After Photos of the Cinderella Study:  
There is a lot of buzz around the Vancouver housing market and often we forget to mention Burnaby housing and Burnaby Renovations.  Burnaby housing is also booming and for good reason! This is Sasen’s neighborhood. We have seen the range of what can be done to personalize a Burnaby home, from modern to Tuscan. What’s so great about Burnaby Renovations? Staying put might be the best plan! Burnaby has great access from street parking to transit Manageable permitting Secondary suites Burnaby’s great views perfect for outdoor renovations Permitting and Access in Burnaby: We have renovated from New Westminster to West Vancouver. Each district has different guidelines for building and renovating. In our experience, the pre-job work for a Burnaby job is relatively easy.  As the City of Vancouver works toward its environmental goals, the process for receiving and complying with building permits has become more demanding. The City of Burnaby in comparison is more manageable. In addition, due to better access to street parking, access to the home for debris removal, demolition and equipment access is easier in many residential neighborhoods in Burnaby. More manageable access and an easier permitting process can save time and money on any renovation job. Secondary Suites and Staying Put: Selling a home can also accrue costs. By the time you’re finished paying capital gains on the values that housing is experiencing now, realtor fees, storage and transport of your belongings and moving expenses, you have what amounts to the cost of a custom kitchen. Selling and re-entering the market can be difficult right now. If you already live in Burnaby, perhaps the best way to move is to renovate. Move up or out, or even just move some walls! There is a lot that can be done with Burnaby homes, and we have done it all: modern renovations with a suite, basement renovations for growing families, Tuscan style renovations and entire gut and renovation. In addition, as of 2014, the City of Burnaby now allows for secondary suites. These suites have specific rules and regulations, however, they allow for an additional rental income. As it becomes more difficult to retire, downsize and get back into the market or break into the market as a first time home buyer, the secondary suite might also be an option for aging family members or adult children to help save costs. Outdoor Space: Burnaby is a great place to take advantage of the B.C. longer outdoor seasons and best bang for your Canadian buck when it comes to landscaping. We have even seen hummingbirds into the winter in Burnaby! An investment in your outdoor space with Burnaby renovations that includes a deck or landscaping allows you to enjoy the mild Vancouver weather for longer. From gardening to BBQs to full outdoor kitchens with pizza ovens, many of the Burnaby neighborhoods have yards large enough to make use of the great outdoor space. Outdoor renovation and upgrade options: Outdoor patio Covered outdoor kitchen Pizza Oven Hot tub Veggie Garden  
Every client we meet has a goal for their renovation, and frequently the focus is the kitchen. Kitchen designs can tell you a lot about the way the home is used, from style to layout. Not only does each home have a unique style, but that style is often a product of the homeowner’s lifestyle. Is the focus entertaining? A busy family? Relaxing? Working from home? We recently completed a kitchen and living area renovation and we spoke to the homeowner, Heather, about why they wanted to renovate: “We moved in with two young boys and never intended to stay. After living in the home for 16 years and doing only cosmetic changes I thought ‘if I have to look at that dusty rose tile one more day!’ I began to hate it!” So they took the leap! They decided to use Sasen because of a referral. They knew if we were up to the standards of their friends, we would be perfect for their job! We designed the project, focusing on the kitchen. The clients had Houzz images and photos of kitchen designs and knew the general style and aesthetic- modern and light, eliminating the warm tones and moving towards cooler gray. Our cabinet maker met with the clients to choose cabinetry and provided detailed kitchen cabinet drawings. “For the first time, my home aligns with my life. I work hard and am busy and when I come home I want an uncluttered space. This is me.” The clients were able to demo and find homes for the existing cabinets and flooring, allowing less material wastage or disposal costs. In the end, we opened up the kitchen space, re-did the fireplace, changed the front door and installed new flooring and carpet throughout the home. One of the key details was opening up the kitchen to allow a flow of access from the kitchen to the amazing view.  We also turned the formal living room into an everyday family room allowing for less wasted space. “I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before. The kids are older now and they have friends over. They can hang out in the TV room watching the game.” The features of kitchen designs tell you about a family’s lifestyle. We asked what small change had made a big difference to this busy family, with two teenage boys. “I had seen the idea somewhere to make four built-in drawers, one for each family member. Now I just throw the boys’ stuff in a drawer and when they ask ‘where’s my assignment?’ or ‘where’s my wallet?’ they already know the answer!”   “The millworker’s attention to detail was amazing!” While the guys have the TV room, she has her own private relaxing space or as we called it, ‘Heather’s Happy Place.’ We designed the room off the kitchen to become a lounge area, the focal point being a special painting. “Every summer as the kids were growing up we went to Savary Island for three weeks. This was the chill place to reconnect.” The painting of the vacation spot became a relaxing reminder that no matter how busy life gets, you can always go to the happy place. “One rule: No TV in the happy space.” This place is just for relaxing. Overall, the space reflects the people and no matter what the trends, you have to be true to what flow you need out of your home. And it often starts with the kitchen! What kitchen designs reflect your lifestyle?
Sasen Renovations modern kitchen addition
Everyone loves having their hard work recognized and we at Sasen are grateful to be named 2016 Georgie Award Finalists. Sasen Renovations is a finalist in two categories: Best Kitchen Renovation over $100,000.00 and Best Outdoor Living Space. Both of these projects, Casa Luminosa and La Dolce Vita, have distinct feel and show the breadth of design options for an eating space that connects with the outdoors. Casa Luminosa, located in North Vancouver, is a modern kitchen renovation and addition that focuses on the home owner’s existing landscape features. The landscaping incorporates a variety of plant species and takes advantage of Vancouver’s hospitable climate conditions. For these discerning clients, the complete reinterpretation of their kitchen was so expansive and central to their living space that an entire addition was built solely for it.  All the services were moved from the original location at the front of the house to accommodate the new, open-concept layout of the kitchen which now faces the expanded living room and the serene back yard greenery.  Every effort was made to maximize light and circulation with new, oversized skylights and a unique, custom window surrounding the suspended hood vent. The show piece of this new kitchen is the cabinetry.  True to the modern, mid-century feel of the rest of the home, the grain matched, quarter cut, black walnut cabinetry exhibits a unique, repeating “stripe-like” pattern that is subliminally underscored by other features in the space such as the dry stack rockwork on the central fireplace and the bamboo grass feature wall at the far end of the living room.  This striking pattern, along with the volume of light filtering through the space, gives the sense of an over-height largeness to an area which is no more than 200 SF in size. We are proud that this project is one of the 2016 Georgie Award finalists particularly because of the home owner, who welcomed our team and forged an ongoing relationship as we worked. In addition, we partnered with numerous trades and Synthesis Design, whose design choices made this project what it is. La Dolce Vita, located in Burnaby, is a Tuscan outdoor kitchen that incorporates a family’s Italian background with the ultimate goal of hospitality. From the chameleon like colour of the curved, stamped concrete walls and stairs right up to the wrought iron handle accents on the cabinet doors, it is plain to see that this Tuscan inspired, back yard retreat was conceived of by people who love to cook and who love to eat even more!  The gracious and inviting space was created around an open, outdoor fireplace and kitchen complete with sink, fridge, BBQ and side burner and is anchored by a full sized, dual fuel forno (pizza oven).  Unending split-faced granite masonry and natural Sicilian Anzio granite are complimented by the custom Kaya Batu millwork fronts and carved bolster elements.  The hand worked copper detail of the chimney caps and hood vent cover catch and throw light from the fireplace and pizza oven up onto the coffered ceiling laid out painstakingly around the 6 skylights.  The careful shaping of the post and beam wraps blends an old world Italian feel to the open structure and the architectural bolsters which adorn all the post and beam connections were inspired by the owner’s trip to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York city. In the evening, when the sun is setting and the oversized, amber glass carriage lamps are dimmed low with the fireplace crackling and the smell of fresh pizza coming out of the oven, one would almost believe they were living la dolce vita in Tuscany....
Sasen brought home our first 2015 Ovation Award win for Best Heritage Renovation! The restoration of Queens is the kind of work Sasen loves to be part of. New Westminster is home to wonderful heritage homes that are being restored to their former glory, and we are incredibly proud of our work! We love awards because they are super rad! However, the primary reason we are excited about our 2015 Ovation Award win is because it reminds us of the experience that we all take part in when transforming something at a high level of craft. When most people think about renovation, they think about either the end result or the woes of the process. We, on the other hand, think about the team of people, including the clients, and how to navigate through the process. This process is what we do, and we enjoy the challenge! The end result might be an award winning project or a family’s basic new recreation room. They are all exciting experiences that connect our company with amazing clients. Our Vancouver renovation projects are about changing the space where our clients live, entertain and care for their families. Each renovation is driven by a different motivation: how is the space going to be used? And as a team, we apply the process to the individual situation. Are you looking to unearth the lost heritage elements of your ageing home? Do you need a space for your family to relax on weekends? A suite for your in-laws? What rewards us is when we navigate this process, the technical aspects and the tricky bits, and produce for our clients exactly what they dream up; A beautiful project that suits their needs, displays craft and style and changes the way they use their space. Once again, this is also an opportunity to thank our talented team who work together to make it happen! We want to give special thanks to Eric Pattison of Pattison Architecture, Bob and Sheila the home-owners, Yoshi, Peter, Tony, Stephan and Shawn and all of our talented sub-trades that made this project a reality. Thank you!
Check out the SPACE magazine. You can access it online. Small spaces, outdoor furniture and other renovation and design ideas!
Sasen Renovations is a finalist for this year’s GVHBA Ovation Awards. The Ovation Awards recognize excellence and innovation within new home building, renovation and design. It is an opportunity to showcase the hard work that goes into this industry. It takes an extensive team for each one of these projects to come together and the Ovation Awards are a place to recognize the value of these challenges and successes. This weekend, the finalists, along with the sponsors, will come together to find out who will take home the prize! Of course we are crossing our fingers for a win, but at the end of the day, it is a privilege for any team to be up against other talented and hard working Vancouver renovation companies. This year, we are Ovation Awards finalists for Best Heritage Renovation. We are up against Shakespeare Homes & Renovations and Reid Developments. Heritage renovation takes finesse and patience and we applaud our competition for also being involved in restoring the well crafted buildings. Heritage renovation is a place where a company really shows their skill in being able to work with and around the building’s existing intricacies, while updating systems and styles to be consistent with modern building requirements. The 2015 Ovation Awards will be held this Saturday, April 25th at the Marriott Vancouver Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. And we hope it will be as exciting as it looks from past years! We again would like to thank the owners of this heritage home for their dedication and value of heritage renovations. We are now working again with these clients to update a bathroom. Stay tuned for photos of this project and more, including photos from the GVHBA Ovation Awards gala.
Technology has truly advanced the finishes and furnishings that can make unique renovations truly special. Trending online in the area of remodel and design has been some chat about the touchless flush kit by Kohler. Now here at Sasen, we aren’t much for potty-talk. It isn’t very often though, that we see anyone get that exited about the toilet portion of a renovation, but technology has changed that. The fact that technology has made toilets a noteworthy design topic is pretty amazing. We have in fact, installed the Kohler Numi toilet, described as the “Ferrari of toilets” with the addition of heat, music and lighting. Design is now such an important aspect of so many common place fixtures. But these interesting design components often come with unique installation requirements. Some, like this no touch flush kit, are manageable. Others can be a DIY nightmare. The reality is, the less a product has been tried and tested, the more knowledge and experience required  to properly install these various components and ensure they are going to fit seamlessly into your design plan while allowing for installation modifications. When planning your renovation, be wild; choose some interesting finishes and fixtures. If your contractor is really as skilled as they say they are, they won’t shy away from these projects. Experienced renovators will, however, prepare you for any modifications and additional costs required for any unique or uncommon finishings. Be imaginative and talk to your designer about your dreams. A renovation isn’t a time to throw caution to the wind, but it is the time to get what you really want and if it’s a fancy toilet, such as the one we installed on a past project, then go for it! Whether it’s a wine room, a custom cigar case, a media room or a kayak shed, make sure you are getting what you want. Be bold, and by all means, be germ free! That’s well worth a little potty talk! We will update you when we have more feedback on this new gadget, but for now, take a look at the ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=148iQAhGbhI&list=PLd2TSsbDn0gAPqUscubYMTV569rV2ubln        
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