In 2017, the Vancouver Special House Tour offered a chance to get inside 5 examples of the now iconic housing style unique to Vancouver. With it’s basic floor plan and simple construction, the Vancouver Special is ideal for creative solutions and inventive ideas. This tour serves as a showcase for how these older homes can be transformed for modern living including some innovative solutions for housing several generations of the same family. Among the homes on tour were a 1975 Special updated by one of the pioneers of Special revitalization, Architect Stephanie Robb. The new design artfully blends memory with modern aesthetics that suit the new owners. Also featured was a 1970s era Special with a dramatic new renovation including a showstopping built-in wrap-around wood dining area that plays off the cedar ceiling and the overhaul of a home that was once an ode to violet, with purple shag carpet and matching walls.
Often utilized for multi-generational living, or as income helpers, the possibilities for two full floors of living space are nearly endless with a multitude of ways to personalize and adapt these family homes. Many homeowners have utilized the Specials generous floor plan to accommodate several generations in the same home. Learn about how to improve energy efficiency, speak to owners and experts in construction and materials about their own projects and come away with great ideas for retaining and reusing older housing.
Are you interested in taking a VHF house tour but not sure what to expect? Read our First Timer’s Guide to House Tours here.