When Ed and Patty Pauls built their family home over a decade ago, it came with the same budget constraints most young parents struggle with. The property, a quiet acreage just outside of Lethbridge, Alberta, was everything they were looking for, but Ed wanted to do it justice, and create a home the couple could enjoy well into their golden years.

As he built, he chose his compromises carefully, focusing his budget on the layout and construction, while keeping on track with cheaper, easy-to-renovate finishes, like laminate flooring and vinyl siding. These concessions gave the family exactly what they needed, while still allowing him to imagine a future dream home down the road.

Fast forward a couple of decades, with the kids out of the house, and his business flourishing, Ed decided it was time to turn their starter into a forever home.

“We wanted to do a lot of cool modifications that, at the time, we didn’t have the budget for,” Ed Pauls said.

To help him transition that starter house clothed in compromises into the dream home he’d constructed in his head, he turned to Dryden from Blackburne Inc.

Reimagining a dream home

During that decade of waiting, ideas for the renovation had been chasing themselves through Ed’s head. That gave Dryden a huge pool of inspiration to pull from, along with high expectations for the reno.

“I love working with clients who know what they want,” Dryden said. “It can be a challenge making every room live up to decades-old dreams, but it’s that challenge that really inspires me to go further.”

Decades, trends and ideas had come and gone since the original construction of the home, leaving Ed wary of a full, contemporary redesign. He loved the basic flow of his current home and didn’t want to muddle the architecture with a pastiche of design eras.

Instead, just like his resto-mod ‘70 Chevy C-10, he wanted to modernize his vision with updated materials, while staying true to the original era.

“We wanted it fresh and new, but keep it correct to the timing of when the house was created,” Ed said. “I always said, Let’s make this look like it was never renovated.”

Nailing down design inspo

With firm expectations in place, Ed and Dryden worked together to create a design that would live up to the dream. 

“The collaboration during the design process is one of my favourite parts of a renovation,” Dryden said. “Being able to take ideas and sketch them out into something I can show a client is very satisfying, especially when I get to see the look on their face when it becomes reality.”

For Ed and Dryden, that meant some detailed discussions about the direction of the renovation, and a lot of pictures. Often, Ed would come to Dryden with a pile of photos, highlighting design features he wanted to incorporate from each.

“Then Dryden would take them, think about it and tell me whether that’s confusing or not, or if it did indeed go together,” Ed said.

By working closely together and maintaining clear communication, Dryden was able to create a cohesive design capturing and balancing the overarching vision for the project. 

The garage that was meant to be

An avid motorbike and classic car collector, it’s no surprise that Ed started his ‘home renovation’ with a detached garage for his toys. 

To eliminate the use of posts/beams and give the space an open concept, the garage loft was designed with an oversized web-style truss to carry the floor system. This gave him plenty of room to work on his collection, and even add a four-post lift. 

The upstairs was reserved for more pragmatic use. By including an office and washroom, above, he was able to move his work out of the house to free up space.

Like any good project, the garage isn’t quite finished.

“Next is building a storage display shelf for the vintage bike collection I have,” Ed said.

A longtime dream becomes reality

With an updated garage nestled beside it, the old home looked every bit its age. So, Ed decided to begin outside, getting Dryden to replace the vinyl siding and exterior to match the new garage.

Once the exterior was refreshed, Dryden tackled the interior, upgrading the flooring, paint colours and fixtures. He pulled inspiration from the garage to redesign the hearth around the old cast iron furnace, and walled-off a section of the patio to create a sunroom for Ed and Patty to enjoy those big Southern Alberta skies.

Dryden then turned to the former home office, walling the old door off and opening it up to the master bedroom on the other side. This created space to build a walk-in closet and expand the ensuite, which was totally re-designed and renovated.

Life ‘in’ the Ranch

With a renovation/build from Blackburne Inc., the Pauls removed the compromises from their space, while still retaining the charm of their family home. Seeing their long-time dream home finally come to reality (with a few updates here and there) has been an amazing experience for Ed and Patty.