When I was a little girl, I loved when anyone in the family got new shoes — because I could get the shoe box to build a home for my tiny dolls. Cutting pictures of furniture from old catalogues I would furnish each room. Then I would stack the boxes, spread them out, connect them in different patterns. This permitted me to add my own secret passages, elevators, hidden staircases, and all the touches that meant my little doll family could have a home that was uniquely theirs.
Our dsigner mentioned that when she was going through the process of presenting the plans for our home to the city, someone commented that many of the laneway home designs that they saw seem to be fitting into a cookie-cutter template. They were happy to see something new and fresh come across their desk.
For us, the process of designing our laneway home takes me back to the old shoebox days — and not because of the size of the rooms! We knew what we wanted, and we got it. That’s why our bedroom is built into the slope at the back of the house on the lower floor — dark and quiet, just how we wanted it. That’s why we have windows on all sides of the homes, great sight lines, a charming deck — it’s exactly how we wanted it. And we were very lucky to have found a designer who shares our vision and wants to help us make it come true. I was a little intimidated at first to talk to Laurel — a little bit afraid she would try to push her esthetic onto us. But she couldn’t have been more accommodating and helpful.
If you are thinking of building a laneway home, find a builder who will make the home of your dreams, whether you want it for yourself, a family member, or a renter. Remember, a home built for revenue now might very well be your domicile in the future. Get what you really want.