The Bungalow Challenge: NYLA Free Designs



Design Philosophy: Nyla Free Designs lives up to the liberty implied in its name. By opting for natural materials and neutral tones, clients are left with the freedom to choose what takes center stage, whether it’s their carefully accrued art collection or bespoke furniture — what the firm describes as “the real soul of a space.”

Who It’s For: Designed specifically for a pair of globetrotters who’ve returned to Calgary after a long stint overseas. Although the modest bungalow is smaller than what they’d initially sought after, they’ve decided to realize its continental potential and incorporate some of the European comforts they’ve grown accustomed to.

What They Did: Old World light, warmth and family-centric living inspired Nyla Free to add windows, a fireplace and a more open floor plan to the bungalow.



The firm eliminated the wall between the kitchen and living area, but added a support beam between the two rooms to retain the sense of two discrete spaces.

The kitchen affords ample room to extend the table for large family dinners or games nights. After a rousing game of the Parker Brothers’ best, the group can gather around the fireplace — the living room’s new, warmer locus. This feature will also ease the couple’s transition back into Calgary’s chilly winters.


Nyla Free works in threes, both in number of bedrooms and number of bathroom fixtures. In one bathroom, what was once a hall closet has been transformed into a shower. Banks of closets along the stairwell and in place of the original hallway mitigate this loss of storage space. Nyla Free’s proclivity for natural light came to the fore with the addition of yet another window, this one in the master ensuite. Striated marble and Turkish mosaic tiles complete the elegant bathroom upgrade.



The master bedroom holds a king size bed with attached bedside tables, while the second bedroom has been expanded to make a more comfortable room. Although considerably smaller, the third bedroom can still accommodate a sofa bed and plenty of storage. It is perfect for overnight guests or grown children passing through post-university.

Nyla Free envisioned a more prominent front entry that adds curb appeal to the bungalow. Rich chocolate-brown brick encases the lower half of the exterior. A new front door complemented by topiary on either side epitomizes the home’s continental charm.

Here are the some of the materials and colours that Nyla Free Designs have incorporated into the design.

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