Step into Jordan and Jodi Schellenberg’s home and the first impression is one of space and light.
With bright white walls, a vaulted ceiling and clean sightlines, the home feels expansive, luminous – especially with the plethora of pot lights throughout the first floor.
“There was a list of things that we wanted in our home that tie into our core values as a family, and one of those was having a space where people come in and feel connection and community,” Jordan said. “The brightness and openness reflects that in our home.”
But when Jordan first saw the house in his search for a new home, it didn’t reflect those values at all. And that nearly stopped the sale of the house altogether.
Recognizing a diamond in the rough
Sandwiched between two green spaces, one behind the home, and Lethbridge’s iconic Coalbanks Trail running past the front, the house was perfectly positioned for the burgeoning Schellenberg family. So, when Jordan was in the area checking out another house, he dropped by on a whim.
Despite its ideal location, the interior threw him off.
“It relied on lamps for lighting, so it was dim. And, the layout didn’t work at all,” Jordan said.
The two main floor bathrooms were the biggest hangups. The ensuite was shared between all three bedrooms and the second was only a half bath that exited directly into the dining room. The only desirable feature was the washer and dryer in the second bathroom.
After a quick walk-through, he decided to pass.
A second thought
However, when an offer fell through later in their search, Jordan and Jodi decided to give that perfect location one more chance. On a second walk-through, they were able to see past the ‘rough’ interior and imagine what it could be – if they found the right contractor to renovate it.
Because they were already familiar with Dryden’s work, they knew Blackburne’s design aesthetic was exactly what the house needed. So, they reached out and brought Dryden in to consult on the house before making any big decisions.
“He really let us know what’s possible before we even bought the house,” Jodi said.
During a walk-through, Dryden and Jordan ‘reimagined’ the floorplan, creating better flow and utilizing the space more effectively so they could add another bath while still retaining the convenience of a main floor laundry.
With an achievable, livable vision within reach, Jordan and Jodi made an offer and bought the house.
The joy of reshaping a vision
The vision began with the bathrooms and a fresh coat of paint – but it didn’t end there.
When the home was finally theirs, the couple had Dryden over to finalize plans, and more ideas began to bloom.
“Then we really started dreaming,” Jordan said. “And so he helped us talk about what’s possible or what would be cool and fun to try if it was possible.”
As they came up with new ideas, the renovation grew to incorporate the whole home.
On the main floor, the Blackburne crew recreated the layout by opening up new doors and closing off old ones. Then, they laid down new flooring and added 40 pot lights to subtly brighten the space, while Jordan and Jodi tackled the paint.
“Dryden definitely made it easy by guiding us along in the process,” Jordan said. “I never felt pressured to do anything. It was more like he actually wanted to see us really enjoy the house once it was done.”
Adding a kid-friendly nook
Even as space took shape, ideas kept coming.
When Jodi found a picture that inspired the plant/bookshelves that anchor the end of the living room, they pivoted to integrate it. Not content to just replicate the picture and simply add shelves, Jordan and Jodi wished to tweak the design to better suit their family.
“Our kids love reading and rather than just having another shelf, we decided to create a little reading area for the kids,” Jordan said.
Together, these elements add both visual interest and practicality to the living room, grounding the space so that the T.V. isn’t the focal point.
Repurposing the basement
Since the initial construction of the house, the basement had received little to no attention, which made it nearly useless except as a storage space.
With all that space, and very few walls, it was a blank canvas.
So, they added new carpeting and new walls to create a guest room, an office space and a bonus room that pulled that same airy atmosphere into the basement.
Bringing the vision home
With everything complete and the Schellenberg family all moved in, much of the hard work Jordan, Jodi and the Blackburne crew did fades away behind furniture and the day-to-day activity of this fully functioning home.
No guest will marvel at the work done to keep the laundry on the main level, or comment on how the layout flows so naturally, or perhaps even notice the bright, consistent lighting. But for the Schellenbergs, they know that taking the time to choose the right details in their design and build will have an enduring effect on the enjoyment of their home.
“Once everything was done and we were able to walk into the space and see it come alive, I think that was the best part,” Jordan said. “But I think we appreciate it even more because of the process.”
Together with Dryden, Jordan and Jodi were able to take a house they didn’t like, and renovate it to perfectly capture their ideals and aesthetics, allowing their home to feel like their own, and letting the light in.