Type: Private Residence – Toronto
The objective for this main floor renovation was to create an effortless open plan with programming including kitchen, a large dining room, family room, and powder room. This is a long and narrow home and to satisfy the requirements it required being open to blurring conventional ideas.
Working with a narrow house has its own set of challenges –in this case the space is engaged by travelling from one room to another without hallway or circulation space. The question becomes – what is the first room from the front entry and the progression of rooms or program towards the back of the house. The front and back offer the most opportunity for natural light, it was decided that the family room should be at the back leading to the yard and the dining room at the front for its formality. This led to the decision of locating the kitchen in the center – at the heart the house.
Creating moments of privacy or separation are important – for this project the location of the powder room is at the front of the house and accessed from the entry foyer – away from sightlines.
The homeowners appreciate their century home and wanted a layered design combining new and fresh ideas while still offering a nod to the character of a heritage home. Texture from the mouldings, classic wood grain and natural stone all play off each. The palette invites an evolution by adding new layers over time as the needs of the growing family will changes.
Materiality is important to me and again this is reflected in the design; the textured stone counters, the natural wood floors, the metal screen and the rosewood hood cabinet. All materials used in the space honestly represent what they truly are. The inspiration for the hood came from art deco rosewood furniture, with their polished surfaces and pronounced grain patterns. Old stock of true rosewood veneer was sourced for this project.
In a long and narrow house, the core is always darker and relies heavily on lighting. A side window in the center of the house was not in an ideal position but I didn’t want to block it. this window influenced the design and led to the upper storage being pulled away from the window and curved to reflect the light. Throughout, Lighting is an integral part of the layered design by transforming the open plan space from daytime functionality to evening soft mood.