The kitchen features an eating and working island, with hidden storage compartments crafted by a local cabinetmaker. Countertops extend into the windows, eliminating jambs and offering extensive outdoor views.

A Dream Home on the Water

Karen and Eugene Hartman met Arne and Peder Madsen at 2019's LHBA Parade of Renovations and decided to hire CCR Build + Remodel to build their dream home.

Matching the kitchen island's base, the coffee and beverage bar in the dining room adds counter space.

When Karen and Eugene Hartman purchased a riverside home in Port Franks, they were delighted to realize their dream of having a waterfront property. But the 1950s-era cottage on the site didn't fit their lifestyle, so they turned to Arne and Peder Madsen at CCR Build + Remodel.

Oversized windows allow panoramic views of the river from the master bedroom.

The Hartmans met the builders at the London Home Builders' Association Parade of Renovations in 2019, and “clicked with them right off the bat,” Eugene says. That confidence was rewarded when, after numerous back-and-forth deliberations on renovation designs, they landed on their dream home.

living room
The centerpiece of the living room is a stone fireplace with a custom mantle made by the craftsman who built the kitchen island, and an opening at the top for efficient heat flow.

The renovation involved taking down the entire structure and rebuilding from the foundation, adding a front entry and office for Eugene plus a two-car garage.

The master bedroom’s ensuite bathroom features a large glass shower, as well as a built-in sauna.

While the rebuild added only about 200 square feet of living space, the new home feels spacious, thanks to higher ceilings and a wealth of windows, Arne Madsen says. The cottage’s low ceilings have been raised to a minimum nine feet and vaulted to 13 feet with solar panels over the main living area. Eightfoot windows, along with 10- and 12- foot patio doors, bring in natural light and offer panoramic river views.


To take advantage of those views, a patio was built across the entire back of the house, including a timber frame covered sitting and cooking area. “It’s a really relaxing space,” Arne says.

The master bedroom includes a walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom with a glass shower and built-in sauna. The two offices for the work-at home couple double as guest bedrooms. Eugene’s office also serves as a music room, as they play a variety of instruments. Karen’s office includes a Murphy bed and is also an exercise room.

“We love that every room in the house is used every single day,” Eugene says. Arne agrees: “There’s no wasted space. They don’t have more house than they need, but consumption can fit different circumstances.”

The transformation of the property comextends beyond the house. “There’s not a piece of the property, except maybe the maple tree in the front yard, that is the same as it was,” Eugene says.

“Right from the river, they put in new decking, sod and irrigation, lights at the water, gazebos and sheds, all new landscaping with armour stone. Every bit is different.” And that is a bonus for the Hartmans. “We entertain a lot,” Eugene says.

covered seating cooking area

“When you live on the water, you have family and friends over all the time. To be able to access indoor and outdoor living is very important.”

exterior entry
Stone pillars and black exterior trim on windows and doors enhance curb appeal.

The Hartmans are also impressed by CCR’s attention to detail, from the aesthetics down to the placement of electrical outlets and the fact utilities, such as hydro and gas hook-ups, are tucked away in a space above the garage.

The patio, stretching across the rear of the home, as well as a riverside gazebo, provide a variety of entertaining options.

“I don’t want to see any cables anywhere and you don’t,” Eugene says. “The craftsmanship is fantastic.” “The house is fully updated to 2022,” Peder Madsen says.

The exterior is Hardie Board siding with a standing seam metal roof. Stone accents and pillars and black trim on the windows enhance the curb appeal. All in all, it was an amazing job, says Eugene, and one carried out during “probably one of the toughest times in history.”

A home office doubles as a guest bedroom, with a Murphy bed, and is also the couple’s exercise room.

The renovation was started during the first COVID-19 lockdown. “There were challenges,” Peder says, “but we made it happen.” “And my wife and I are still smiling at the end of it,” Eugene says.