Contemporary elegance decorates this Annex Victorian townhouse

This perfectly located, century old, Victorian Annex townhouse was a lovely home for a family of four. The home had a lot of charm with original hardwood flooring, door trim detailing, and plaster details from the original construction, but was in need of a refresh. The goal was to minimize the Victorian design while still maintaining some original details and provide a cohesive design which joins the history with bright, elegant, and modern touches. 

Interior Designer: Alison Brandt, ARIDO
Interior Design Firm: Studio Brandt
Photography: Luke Cleland

The clients asked for a refreshing change in their home with new flooring and trim throughout the main floor as well as a new kitchen and a dining room update.

One of the main challenges in this townhouse was maintaining straight lines throughout due to the age of the home and small size of the existing rooms. We brightened up the interior by choosing herringbone oak floors for the living and dining areas, and marble tile for the new kitchen.

This being an old, Victorian style home, the walls needed to be straightened with new drywall and plaster. Some of the original crown mouldings were painted, and some were replaced with matching moulding. We installed new picture frame panel mouldings, new elegant 12″ high baseboards, and new door casings.

The kitchen was completely redone with brand new white cabinetry dressed up with elegant brass hardware. The brass hood and Calacatta Monet marble countertop and backsplash with a vibrant marbling add another dimension of luxury and elegance to this room. 

The dining room was the jewel box where the family loves to entertain so we made sure to add interest with moody wallpaper, painted brass paneling, and a brass display cabinet.

We created the perfect balance of old and new, by adding contemporary touches that work perfectly with the remaining charming Victorian style details throughout. This design approach helped us achieve a cohesive design and create a comfortable, warm and inviting home full of unique features.

A Modern Kitchen with a Touch of Rustic Chic

Our client had a vision for their first home and hired us to help bring that vision to reality. In addition to modernizing the kitchen in both style and function, they wanted to make the space more conducive for social gatherings and entertaining by adding seating at the peninsula and incorporating a beverage centre into the layout.

Interior Designer: Erica Sibley, ARIDO
Design Firm: Binns Kitchen + Bath Design
Photographer: Vincent Lions

We were tasked with providing better storage solutions, including a broom and vacuum closet and an appliance garage, without reducing the amount of storage in the existing kitchen. Clean lines were emphasized on our clients’ wish list, but they also wanted the space to feel warm and cozy, without the sterile nature of some white kitchens.

The challenges of this project were related primarily to the age of the house. The house being 100 years old and having gone through several renovations, the floor and ceilings were out of level and several bulkheads had to be concealed where walls used to be.

Removing some of these would require a complete rebuild of the structure of the house and was not in the budget. These provided the bulk of the challenges in this space, as some we were able to conceal, reduce or cover, but others had to remain.

As a solution to this, we chose not to take the cabinetry all the way up to the ceiling as we felt it would highlight the problem areas. Additionally, we added the wood slat wall panels as a design feature that creates an arch around the peninsula.

This arch also creates a marked transition between the kitchen and dining room spaces, highlighting the social area in between. This wood slat material was repeated on the range wall to help bring warmth and texture to that side of the room.

We wanted to keep the space feeling open and airy, especially with the heavier wood elements, by using floating shelves on the range wall to the left and right of the hood fan to display decorative elements. We repeated this on the peninsula side of the kitchen with floating shelves that wrap around the existing post.

The range and hood fan were moved to align with the centre of the panel-clad archway and thus create a new focal point in the space. We relocated the sink and dishwasher to the peninsula to create a better clean up zone and conversation area when guests were visiting.

Some of the special features in this kitchen design like the counter-standing cabinet for appliances and open shelves help create the clean and airy aesthetic while being functional. By designing a peninsula style kitchen with a custom wood slat wall feature, a ledge detail for the backsplash, and using a mix of textures we created a unique interior tailored to our clients wishes. They are sure to enjoy this kitchen for years to come together with their four legged friend.