PLANT had renovated the owners’ previous residence, a three-storey Victorian house (Woodlawn). When they downsized into a 1980s condominium building on Toronto’s waterfront, they wanted to re-imagine their unit’s dated interior (mirrors set into oak-framed faux skylights, marble-encased raised tub, etc.) in a way that would accommodate their large collection of books, complement their art collection, and support their love of cooking for themselves and guests.
Previously, the unit’s large foyer, which wraps in an L-shape around the kitchen, was empty, under-utilized space. This entry sequence has been reconceived as the library, lined with built-in floor-to-ceiling shelves. The owners say that once the books were in place, what had felt like a condo truly became their home.
By opening up the wall between the kitchen and dining room, we created a versatile, open-plan space that extends waterfront views through the unit, from the kitchen to the terrace-adjoining solarium.
New dropped ceilings enabled the precise placement of overhead lighting to highlight art in an interior that formerly offered few options. The compact LED lighting system used in the bedroom requires a bulkhead only a few inches deep, and the ceiling pulls back up to full height along the window wall that opens onto the terrace and expansive views of the lake.
Prior to the renovation, the kitchen and dining area had just one central overhead light fixture each. The selection of a series of fixtures available in a wide range of sizes solved the problem of providing better illumination in multiple areas where kitchen tasks are performed, while also creating a cohesive and harmonious look for spaces that now merge seamlessly into the living area.
The natural light that reflects off the lake and streams in from the south is constantly changing, and the wall colours can look very different over the course of a day. While most walls are white and the sliding wall between the living area and a home office is a deep grey, accent walls in barely-there shades of green and blue add subtle inflection to the light-washed surfaces. New light oak flooring that harmonizes with the retained marble in the foyer and travertine ensuite bathroom unifies the interior.
The open-plan main bedroom/ensuite bathroom contains separate ‘his and hers’ vanities for the owners. Situated within a dressing room, the ‘hers’ vanity incorporates a clerestory-height lightbox.
The custom lacquer cabinetry that conceals several kitchen appliances is a lake-inspired deep blue, inset with recessed pulls in light contrasting oak In the dining room. A built-in cabinet provides a peek at the glassware stored within it through a playful circular window.