This was an exciting project that started off with the focus being on the fireplace, and floor refinishing. The before and after of this project truly shows how drastic a difference a little imagination and creative design style can make on the look of your home’s interior, and the way you ‘feel’ living in your home. 


Gilbert Lutes
Cindy Lutes


Design Build

design build story

Each project has an unique story that makes it special. Here are some highlights behind the photos.

fireplace inspection

The fireplace was inspected and through that we learned that it needed to be updated to fall in line with codes for the new design. We upgraded the insert and the door style of the fireplace for a more modern aesthetic.

Fireplace Update

The fireplace façade was done in marble and we took the balance of the marble slab that was left over and added it to the hearth and the base shelf on the built-ins for a more unified look.

Custom Mantle

We added a custom mantle which both Gilbert and I Designed, and Gilbert built. Our painter painted it when painting the built-in’s.

update built-ins

Re-built both built-ins as the old ones were not sturdy. We added custom drawers to both sides of the built-ins to replace the cabinets that were previously there.

New Furnishings

New furnishings, and textiles in both the front living room and family room. Added a new custom Hunter Douglas window treatment and custom valance to the kitchen window and bench seat cushion and toss.

Update Flooring & Paint

Refinished the hardwood and into the front living room. Updated the entire railing on the staircase and added a new carpet runner. Painted the entire room and added an accent colour to the fireplace wall.

client review

We originally hired Total Home to redesign our fireplace wall in our family room and extended the design to entire main floor (kitchen, living room, dining room and front entrance). The focal point was the re-facing of our dated (orange-brick) fireplace wall which included custom bookshelves and sliding drawers on either side or a with a new gas fireplace insert as well as a custom-built mantle and new marble surround.

Cindy helped us tremendously with the design and got us to think outside-the-box in terms of our colour schemes and furniture. We hired Gilbert to do the custom cabinetry and fireplace mantle. Cindy managed the arrangements the other suppliers. She was really helpful identifying potential design issues and offer and explain solutions when they did occur. She is very professional and client-focused in all of her interactions with us. We really appreciated her flexibility and availability to make appointments that were convenient to our schedule. She has a real talent for colours and staging. When we met to discuss options with both Cindy and Gilbert, these were productive and helpful. They both really listen to their clients, rather than pushing their own agenda or preferences.

Gilbert is a very experienced carpenter and delivers quality workmanship. He and Cindy really wanted us to be happy with the result. That was evident throughout the renovations. They arranged for an outstanding painter who, like them, was pleasant to work with, flexible, and provided quality workmanship. When we did encounter some issues that occurred with other suppliers, they worked hard to problem-solve with us and ensure that our needs were being met.

In terms of offering suggestions for improvement, I think it would be helpful (once concepts are agreed upon) to provide the client with scale drawings as opposed to just the images from Houzz. I would also suggest that they provide the client with a detailed design document such as the one that I prepared which included the amendments to decisions that we made along the way. On a minor note it could have been nice to have a more detailed schedule of when things were going to be done to eliminate any confusion and manage expectations.

Overall, we are extremely satisfied with Total Home and would highly recommend them.

Mary Lou from Ottawa


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