Written by Esther Adjekum, May 28, 2019

A home makeover can transform your space, upgrading a dated house with a more contemporary look or creating a more functional home layout. Sometimes it can even open up and beautify a space you never even realized you had or had given much thought to.

This case study looks at one of these situations in the upscale Hazelton neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario.

Joanne Cutler Smith, the interior designer who worked on this stunning home, shares her favourite features that inspired her décor choices.

“My vision for this home design was obviously the client. He needed to feel that it expressed his personality,” she explains. “One of the top design features of this home is the beautiful staircase which was inspired by the staircases at the Guggenheim. The other design feature that I was really attracted to was the natural lighting in the house. The tall windows and skylights provided a beautiful setting for everything we were trying to do.”


The skylights throughout the home served as key focal points for illuminating the den and top of stairs area and to allow for natural ventilation at the top floor. However, the existing skylights were old bubble skylights, so Smith suggested replacing them with more energy-efficient flat glassed skylights from VELUX.   

“One of the main areas that we’re starting to see more skylights in is the hallway or top of stairs. This allows for light to evenly travel through multiple floors. It also allows for a safer, brighter and lighter space,” explains Arethea Harris, national marketing manager at VELUX Canada Inc.

In this area, Smith replaced two large old acrylic bubbles with energy-efficient flat glass skylights. This opened up the den at the top of the stairs, allowing more natural light to illuminate the space. 

“Replacing skylights can be a great investment during your renovation. It’s a surprisingly affordable upgrade that makes a big impact on your living space,” explains Harris.

The second area where Smith upgraded the skylights was the bathroom. This is a popular spot for a skylight because it allows for a completely private, unobstructed view. It’s also perfect for putting your makeup on in the morning.

Smith chose a VELUX solar powered venting model for the bathroom, which will bring in fresh air and allow the humidity to escape after a hot shower or relaxing bath. Also, since the bathroom is in very close proximity to the top of the stairs it will allow the house to create natural ventilation. Harris explains:

“With a venting skylight you can add fresh air. You’re going to find that you’re going to be sleeping better, you’re going to be feeling better, and you’re going to be more alert during the day. Overall, it’s a healthier environment for you, your kids and your family.”

The home is the perfect example of how skylights are skyrocketing in popularity, thanks to their many benefits. Smith says her client is very happy with the results, and that she enjoys creating an improved home for all her clients. “I’m kind of in charge of creating an environment for my clients that they are dreaming about and wanting and have never had.”

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