PLANT had renovated the owners’ previous residence, a three-storey Victorian house (insert link to Woodlawn Avenue Residence here). 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.

Entry library (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Entry library

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.

Kitchen and library hall from the living room (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Kitchen and library hall from the living room
The kitchen open to the dining (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
The kitchen open to the dining
Kitchen with penninsula (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Kitchen with penninsula
Kitchen with lacquer cabinets (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Kitchen with lacquer cabinets

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.

Hall with view to dining (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Hall with view to dining
Powder room (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Powder room

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.

Dressing room vanity and main bath (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Dressing room vanity and main bath

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.

Glass cabinet (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Glass cabinet
Glass cabinet with open glass (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Glass cabinet with open glass
Lacquer cabinets with wood insets (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Lacquer cabinets with wood insets
View to the lake with open door to the office (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
View to the lake with open door to the office
View to the lake (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
View to the lake
Main bedroom (photo: Steven Evans Photography)
Main bedroom

project index

  1. A Conversation of Views
  2. Admiral Road Garden
  3. Airdrie Road Garden
  4. Airdrie Road Residence
  5. Albany Avenue Residence
  6. Alexandra Park
  7. Aporia Records
  8. Asphalt Poetry
  9. – Poem
  10. Baby Point Gardens
  11. Beach Garden
  12. Beach Village BIA Master Plan
  13. Beaty Residence
  14. Bennington Heights Garden
  15. Berkeley Street Residence
  16. Bin-Scarth Garden
  17. Blink and you miss it.
  18. – Poem
  19. Block 22 Landscape
  20. Bloor St. Apartment
  21. Blue Note
  22. Booth Avenue Residence
  23. Boustrophedon Garden
  24. Braemore Gardens Residence
  25. Browning Avenue Residence
  26. Brunswick Avenue Residence
  27. Camp Arowhon Offices
  28. Canadian Firefighters Memorial
  29. Channelled Buried Moved Lost
  30. Chocolate Loft
  31. City Instrument
  32. Clarendon Garden
  33. Conversation Piece
  34. Creemore Farm
  35. Danforth Mosaic BIA Master Plan
  36. Dickson Park Garden
  37. Dilworth Residence
  38. Don Landing Revitalization
  39. Dublin Grounds of Remembrance
  40. Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden
  41. Dupont-by-the-Castle BIA
  42. East Point Bird Sanctuary
  43. Eglinton Ave Forecourt
  44. Eglinton Park Master Plan
  45. Elizabeth Fry Society
  46. Ellsworth Residence
  47. Face to Face | Tête à Tête
  48. First Avenue Garden
  49. First Avenue Residence
  50. Flyover Canada
  51. Foote’s Pond Wood
  52. Forest Hill Village Streetscape
  53. Gaze, Glimpse, Glance
  54. Goldring Landscape, University of Toronto
  55. Gormley Garden
  56. Governor's Bridge Lookout
  57. Greener P
  58. Greer Road Garden
  59. Greer Road Residence
  60. Guelph Bridge
  61. Head in the Clouds
  62. Helena Ave Residence 4
  63. Junction Craft Brewery
  64. Kelpies Competition
  65. Kew Gardens Streetscape
  66. King's Landing Apartment
  67. Kipling & Islington Developments
  68. Le jardin du repos
  69. Lenticular Curtain
  70. Leslie Slip Lookout Park
  71. Liberty Village Parkettes
  72. Liza’s Garden
  73. Lynwood Garden
  74. Macroscape
  75. Markham Garden One
  76. Markham Street Residence Two
  77. Midtown Yonge Streetscape
  78. Mulock Park
  79. Nathan Phillips Square
  80. – Streetscape
  81. – Peace Garden
  82. – Podium Roof Garden
  83. Orchard View Garden
  84. Osgoode Atkinson Green Competition
  85. Owl Cottage
  86. Paperstone Scissors
  87. Peripheral Sitings
  88. Pottery Road Crossing
  89. rare
  90. Ravine Forecourt
  91. Ribbon of the Lower Don
  92. Riverside BIA Master Plan
  93. Roxborough Garden One
  94. Roxborough Garden Two
  95. Ryerson Centre for Urban Innovation
  96. Ryerson University Science Building
  97. Schulich School of Business
  98. Sheridan College
  99. – Trafalgar Campus Master Plan
  100. Spadina Quay Wetland
  101. St. Anne's Road Garden
  102. Stratford Market Square Competition
  103. Stratford Patterson Theatre Competition
  104. Superkids Dental
  105. Superlegible
  106. Sweet Farm
  107. Sweet Farm Pond House
  108. Swift Medical Offices
  109. The Meadows Reconsidered
  110. The Red Sash
  111. Thick & Thin
  112. Thistletown II Townhouses
  113. Tipping Point
  114. Tranby Garden
  115. Tree House Residence
  116. UBC Okanagan – The Commons
  117. UHN Tunnels
  118. University of Toronto Mississauga Welcome Centre
  119. Venice Biennale 2012
  120. Vermont Square Park
  121. Vernon Avenue Garden
  122. Walk the Walk
  123. Walmer Road Residence
  124. Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial
  125. Wellesley Cottages Garden
  126. Wells Street Residence
  127. Westminster Residence
  128. With Words as Their Actions
  129. Woodlawn Avenue Residence
  130. Woven Stories
  131. York Park