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.

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. Cortleigh Boulevard Garden
  35. Creemore Farm
  36. Danforth Mosaic BIA Master Plan
  37. Dickson Park Garden
  38. Dilworth Residence
  39. Don Landing Revitalization
  40. Dublin Grounds of Remembrance
  41. Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden
  42. Dupont-by-the-Castle BIA
  43. East Point Bird Sanctuary
  44. Eglinton Ave Forecourt
  45. Eglinton Park Master Plan
  46. Elizabeth Fry Society
  47. Ellsworth Residence
  48. Face to Face | Tête à Tête
  49. First Avenue Garden
  50. First Avenue Residence
  51. Flyover Canada
  52. Foote’s Pond Wood
  53. Forest Hill Village Streetscape
  54. Gaze, Glimpse, Glance
  55. Global Affairs Monument
  56. Goldring Landscape, University of Toronto
  57. Gormley Garden
  58. Governor's Bridge Lookout
  59. Greener P
  60. Greer Road Garden
  61. Greer Road Residence
  62. Guelph Bridge
  63. Head in the Clouds
  64. Helena Ave Residence 4
  65. Junction Craft Brewery
  66. Kelpies Competition
  67. Kew Gardens Streetscape
  68. King's Landing Apartment
  69. Kipling & Islington Developments
  70. Le jardin du repos
  71. Lenticular Curtain
  72. Leslie Slip Lookout Park
  73. Liberty Village Parkettes
  74. Liza’s Garden
  75. Lynwood Garden
  76. Macroscape
  77. Markham Garden One
  78. Markham Street Residence Two
  79. Midtown Yonge Streetscape
  80. Mulock Park
  81. Nathan Phillips Square
  82. – Streetscape
  83. – Peace Garden
  84. – Podium Roof Garden
  85. Octane Medical Campus
  86. Orchard View Garden
  87. Osgoode Atkinson Green Competition
  88. Owl Cottage
  89. Paperstone Scissors
  90. Pendrith Residence
  91. Peripheral Sitings
  92. Pottery Road Crossing
  93. rare
  94. Ravine Forecourt
  95. Ribbon of the Lower Don
  96. Riverside BIA Master Plan
  97. Roxborough Garden One
  98. Roxborough Garden Two
  99. Schulich School of Business
  100. Sheridan College
  101. – Trafalgar Campus Master Plan
  102. Spadina Quay Wetland
  103. St. Anne's Road Garden
  104. Stratford Market Square Competition
  105. Stratford Patterson Theatre Competition
  106. Superkids Dental
  107. Superlegible
  108. Sweet Farm
  109. Sweet Farm Pond House
  110. Swift Medical Offices
  111. The Meadows Reconsidered
  112. The Red Sash
  113. Thick & Thin
  114. Thistletown II Townhouses
  115. Tipping Point
  116. TMU Centre for Urban Innovation
  117. TMU Science Building
  118. Tranby Garden
  119. Tree House Residence
  120. UBC Okanagan – The Commons
  121. UHN Tunnels
  122. University of Toronto Mississauga Welcome Centre
  123. Venice Biennale 2012
  124. Vermont Square Park
  125. Vernon Avenue Garden
  126. Walk the Walk
  127. Walmer Road Residence
  128. Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial
  129. Wellesley Cottages Garden
  130. Wells Street Residence
  131. Westminster Residence
  132. Weston Village BIA Masterplan
  133. With Words as Their Actions
  134. Woodlawn Avenue Residence
  135. Woven Stories
  136. York Park