Creating the home you really want

What's next? After 25 years, ARTium knows

It’s a good way to celebrate a 25th anniversary: with two highly successful ventures merged into one.

ARTium Design-Build began as Just Basements, a company that transformed plain below-ground spaces into wonderful new areas: home theatre, spa, office, family room, bar, fitness centre, wine cellar, bedroom or anything else owner Norm Lecuyer’s clients wanted.

Soon his clients started to ask about renovations upstairs as well. So Just Basements began to create bathrooms, kitchens and other main-floor renovations. Customers loved the transformations. They told their neighbours. Word got around. “And we began to come out of the basement”, Norm says.

Ultimately this led to the creation of ARTium Design-Build, two great companies under one roof.

“We give people the space they want to live in that makes them feel happy and comfortable throughout their entire lives,” says Norm.

In 25 years Norm has seen changes in people, family, and society. Families’ needs are different. They want spaces where they can live in place or have playrooms for grandchildren or bedrooms for grown up kids to sleep over.

He remembers when people wanted family rooms but they were smaller and didn’t connect to the kitchen. Or bathrooms with monster soaker tubs and jacuzzis.

He has watched clients get older, their children grow up, and now they’re into second or third renovations.

“That’s what you get from being in this business for so long,” he says. “You get to watch the changes, and it impacts what you do.”

He adds in these times of limited real estate opportunities, people are buying houses just to get their hands on something.

“But it’s not necessarily their dream home. They simply have no choice.”

Some people did buy their dream home – 25 years ago. But it’s not their dream home anymore. It has gone through kids, dogs, cats – life. And living can take its toll. The house is starting to show wear and tear; it needs repair in places.

“Now’s the time to put it back to where they would love it to be,” says Norm, “where they can enjoy it potentially for the remainder of their lives. We make it their dream home. We create the home they really want.”

He has received several requests for renovations that allow people to live in place – beautifully.

“This takes good design, good planning, thinking things through, modernizing,” explains Norm, “so the home is future-proof. All the ways of living in our homes have evolved.”

What makes Artium/Just Basements such a success? Norm says it comes down to the team you hire.

“It can be tricky to find the right people with the same attitude and passion you have,” he explains. But he has found them. Artium/Just Basements has 17 people on staff including three in-house designers and three construction crews.

The other measure of success is the way homeowners experience their renovation. “These are valuable spaces,” Norm says. “They’re part of people’s lives, and they must be something special, so we do everything to create a great experience and a great product.”

Sometimes you start with a blank slate.

Sometimes you just need to update.

Either way, ARTium Design Build brings your renovation vision to beautiful, artistic, reality – upstairs and down.