ARIDO Award: Modern Simplicity
Our clients wished to turn their house into a contemporary urban refuge. Since their home is located in an established pocket of Toronto with spacious, but traditional homes, we had to create the perfect balance between the classic architecture and contemporary, minimalist design while ensuring seamless functionality that accommodates the family’s busy routines.
Interior Designer: Jeffrey Douglas, ARIDO
Design Firm: Douglas Design Studio
Photographer: Patrick Biller
We applied a relaxed design approach to the home with no formal rooms in the house, but rather more flexible and fluid shared family spaces. Since our solutions aimed to accommodate each individual’s needs in the best way possible, we consulted each family member to ensure that all areas of the home respond to their wish list. Thoughtful details create the relaxed and sophisticated environment our clients were seeking while the mindful use of natural materials, such as textured woods and fabrics, saturate the home with a distinct sense of warmth and simplicity.
Consistent with the clients’ wishes for a flexible and relaxed interior, this home does not have a formal living room. Instead, the family room was designed for informal lounging and entertainment, and features a striking Metropolitan chair and colourful Verner Panton chairs for the children’s homework area adding a playful pop of colour to the otherwise neutral palette.
Clean white surfaces form the foundation of the design, while sustainable natural woods warm up the interior both visually and atmospherically. Contrasts between rich colours, textured fabrics, and intriguing light fixtures all create a contemporary haven.
In the principal bedroom a tranquil and meditative atmosphere is achieved using large panels of matte-finish wood and a calming palette of soft greys, restful whites, and moody blacks. The TV is hidden at the foot of the bed to create an uncluttered, fully functional space.
To keep the modern lines of the office clean and uncluttered, a wall of bookcases is angled away from the door which means that reference materials and necessary files for daily use are thus kept within arms length but invisible from the door entrance.
The stained black staircase with an oak wood stringer in the main stairwell is a beautifully crafted element. Its custom design and meticulous execution fit the concept of natural materials as the defining element of a modern and minimalist interior.
Discreetly mounting the railing below the top of the guard eliminated the need for additional supports, and creating a more elegant transition as it loops up the stair. The bronze sleeves are meticulously machined to add contrast, colour and warmth to the staircase, making it a stand out detail in the overall design of the home.
We designed a hidden bar on the main floor which we connected to the temperature controlled wine cellar below by introducing a structural glass floor and an LED lighting design that appears to penetrate through the floor. Retracting, sliding custom panel doors in the main floor hallway seamlessly conceal the bar from the main hallway supporting the minimalist simplicity of the home. From the structure of the racks to the integrated panels for the sliding doors, each element was planned with artisanal attention to detail.
Nothing makes us happier than seeing our design work inhabited as living, breathing spaces for the everyday, embracing and enhancing life’s joys and routines. The simple and minimalistic yet inviting aesthetic of this home perfectly accommodates the lifestyles of each member of this family.
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