The lot for this Prospect Lake-area home presented the architect with various challenges

HOMEFINDER: Celebrating 25 years of quality workmanship

Take a tour of some new renovations and get some ideas for your own

Getting a sense of what’s hot and what ideas might work in your own home have long been drawing cards for the Young Life Home Design and Renovation Tour.

Celebrating its 25th year of showcasing the work of some of the South Island’s best practitioners in restoration, renovation and new home construction, the tour has provided many visitors with ideas and connected them with professionals in the industry.

This year’s tour, set for April 11 and 12, offers some serious makeovers, from a 400-square-foot micro-loft suite in Fairfield to a 1973 Saanich home that has been transformed into an ultra-modern living space.

While four of the 10 homes on tour are essentially brand new contemporary designs, a common theme in the remaking of the other homes has been renovating the kitchen and moving out from there, says Young Life tour spokesperson Bill Okell.

“It boggles my mind the whole emphasis put on the kitchen reno; that’s what stands out really,” he says. “I think almost all the (pre-existing) homes are complete renovations, but it’s amazing what gets initiated in the kitchen.”

While updating each of those homes’ dining and food preparation areas was central to the renovations, the structures themselves are a mix of styles, from a typical 1960s family home in Gordon Head to a spacious, restored Central Saanich farmhouse that will leave one daydreaming of the Deep South.

As always, the tour organizers encourage homeowners, designers and suppliers to stick around during the tour to speak with visitors about their work, ideas and sources of inspiration.

Those conversations invariably wind up happening in the kitchen, Okell says.

“When you look at a kitchen with all the appliances, the sink detail and the counters, it’s a great conversation starter,” he says. “You can really display your products, from countertops to cupboards, the electronic aspect or even the utilization of a fan – the technology that’s drawn into that busy area of the home is really quite amazing.”

The tour provides an opportunity to witness firsthand the workmanship offered by some of Victoria’s most reputable designers and builders, including Jason Good Kitchens, Max Huxley and Emma Dane Design, to name just a few. The 1,000-plus expected visitors should have a great time viewing some stunning homes.

While the tour always attracts Greater Victoria architecture and design fans, the two-day event is the primary fundraiser for Young Life, a Christian organization that provides teens with a summer camp opportunity at RockRidge Canyon near Princeton, B.C., and runs various other local programs for youth at schools and in the community.

Passport style booklets for the self-guided tour sell for $25 and are available at hardware stores around the region, as well as the Young Life office; call 778-977-3551 to arrange pickup.

For a list of locations where to purchase passports, and more information on the tour, visit younglife.ca/victoriahometour.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com