This project is a comfortable and adaptable home for seniors

Seniors lifestyles projects provide unique challenges. How do you take large, open public areas and turn them into attractive and functional, yet comfortable and warm spaces for an elderly population?

Interior Designer: Beverly Redlick, ARIDO
Design Firm: Beverly Redlick Designs
Design Team: Nicola Ansell, Lana Pihut (ARIDO, IDC Intern)

Seasons St. Thomas, completed in December 2019, is a retirement home providing a wide spectrum of care options to seniors, including independent retirement community living, independent supportive living, assisted living and memory care.

The lobby features a stylish yet cozy seating area with custom gear carpet, stacked stone fireplace and large railroad art pieces as a nod to St. Thomas’ history as Canada’s Railway capital. This theme is continued into the adjacent charming library/computer room with its dark oak custom cabinetry. Similar designs and colours flow easily through all public and amenity spaces, from the bar pictured below, through the large dining area and into the salon, walking track, and theatre.

The Memory Care wing is a secure, self-enclosed area with its own amenity spaces and outdoor courtyard. Furniture layouts and interior finishes and furnishings, while still appealing, reflect the greater space and durability needed for this senior population.

Four model suites were furnished and staged to show prospective residents how they could make a suite their home. Pictured below is a one bedroom with a “tea time country” theme.

Our team provided interesting yet practical design elements, selections and finishes. These combine to make this property a superb place to live and work, while reinforcing its unique connection to St. Thomas, Ontario.

It’s all about the details in this heritage home restoration

This private residence, dating back to the 1920’s, was built in the English Country style on a ravine property in Toronto’s picturesque Rosedale neighbourhood. Over the decades, renovations to the home, including the infilling of a broad covered porch with a garage, had altered the home’s character, both inside and out.

Interior Designer: Wayne Swadron, ARIDO
Design Firm: Wayne Swadron Interiors Ltd.
Photographer: Valerie Wilcox

Our mandate was to create a sophisticated, light, and airy home suitable for a young family that enjoys an active lifestyle, reorient the indoor living spaces to embrace the wonderful ravine setting while respecting and restoring the heritage character of the exterior. Of particular importance to the owners was creating unique opportunities to display their collection of artwork, and planned incorporation of ‘installation art’.

To achieve these goals, the entire interior structure had to be demolished and rebuilt in an entirely different configuration. Nothing was spared, including floors (both the basement and ground floor levels were dropped), interior walls and most of the roofs. 

Living room with hardwood laid in a herringbone pattern, white walls with crown moulding, and gray sofas. A brass lamp with a black pedestel over hangs the three seater sofa.

Several additions were also incorporated to accommodate the special requirements of the family. A new full width terrace was added to the back of the house, onto which continuous walls of glass doors and windows were added. The main living spaces of the house (living room, kitchen, breakfast room and ‘conservatory’) all look over and lead out to the new expansive terrace, swimming pool and gardens beyond. This had the effect of visually and spatially connecting the indoor with the outdoor space, while reinforcing the interior and architectural features of the original design.

Art, and in particular, installation art, plays a major role in the vision of the interior design. A wonderful example of this is the hand painted wall covering which extends up the four levels of the new stairway. This installation, executed by artist Francesco Simeti, acts to visually connect the levels through its flowing pastoral imagery. 

The wall panelling of the dining room provided a perfect opportunity for a  three dimensional segmented mirror installation. These unexpected elements add to the depth of the highly curated approach to the interior furnishing, which mixes distinctly mid-century modern pieces within a setting of strong traditional references.

Local art with a Scandi-chic vibe welcomes everyone to this Toronto condo

Located in an emerging part of Toronto’s downtown East, The Bartholomew demanded a design that would attract style-savvy buyers who appreciate an eclectic downtown lifestyle. A home where diversity is not only expected but is celebrated.

Interior Designer: Kelly Cray, ARIDO

Design Team: Margaret Stagg, ARIDO; Eugenia Alvarez, ARIDO

Design Firm: U 31

Project Photographer: Jac Jacobson

The challenge was to create inclusive, affordable, yet stylish interiors for a wide demographic: professionals, growing families, empty-nesters, singles, and couples. Another client directive was to have all art and installations throughout common areas of the tower commissioned to local artists to give back and support the local community. Of note, is a unique black “willow”-like wood sculpture that hangs by the side of the concierge desk against black stone, lending understated glamour.

One manner of appealing to a broad range of lifestyles was to deliver serene spaces where residents could interact and relax. Light is essential in creating a variety of moods, and the design team used this element in multiple ways. The concierge desk, for example, features hexagon mosaic tiles under a wash of concealed light, giving it the illusion of sparkling gems.

In the lobby a dramatic ambient light installation over the seating area becomes a feature element. Contemporary furniture selections, fashioned in neutral tones, continue the Zen, yet hip vibe.

Fitting a lounge, a private dining room, and television room in the compact 2nd floor party room presented a challenge. To achieve this, foldable walls were incorporated so each space could be closed off to accommodate private events; alternatively, the entire space can be opened when walls are folded back.

The rooms are visually connected through black wire lighting that appears in each space. The dining area exudes a clean, mid-century modern and Scandinavian feel expressed through light backgrounds, minimalist lighting, and pops of black, including the chairs: they are all different but of the same era, and unify the seating in a thoughtful and playful way.

Connecting the outdoors: blending public and private space in a cul-de-sac home

Houses situated in a cul-de-sac are always attractive to young families because of the guaranteed proximity to a safe street environment. The reduced car traffic allows for a slow transition from the public space of the city to the private space of the home and its backyard. 

Interior Designer: Adriana Mot

Design Firm: Dochia Interior Design

This home in the Underhill neighbourhood of Toronto was a typical 60’s side-split, with an odd, purple Tudor-like facade. Its architecture did not reflect the preferred contemporary aesthetic of the owners and the interior space was inadequate. What this family of four knew, is that keeping two young boys busy and healthy requires a well-planned kitchen and family room and many stimulating outdoor spaces that would allow for somewhat supervised activities. Such a home would need to cleverly address visual relationships and functional needs in achieving these requirements.

To achieve this, exploring potential links between the outdoor and the indoor spaces became central to our design. From the street, through the main level of the home and all the way to the backyard, Interior Designer Adriana Mot planned areas of activity that are visually interconnected and hold a dynamic, spatial dialogue of proportion, views, textures, and colours.

The cul-de-sac is essentially a second yard, a friendly, safe, semi-private environment for playing and socializing. We designed a curved paved terrace with soft lines of greenery around it that visually balances the modern geometry of the renovated home. It defines a seating area where sleek outdoor furniture allows parents and friends to lounge and watch kids play. The entire composition creates a welcoming yet usable street presence.

Inside, the kitchen and family room additions are as responsive to entertainment and supervised kids-play as the outdoors. A controlled sense of connection between outdoors and indoors is achieved through the alignment of the glass breakfast table inside and the pool waterfall outside. On a hot summer day when the 8-foot wide sliding door opens, the sound and proximity of the water falling give a sense of eating outdoors.

In fact, locating the pool was critical in setting up the backyard to include a cooking and eating area, a comfy seating around a marshmallow-ready fire pit and a sunbathing area. As an added bonus, the convenient outdoor shower allows the kids to quickly get ready for dinner without dripping in and out of the house.


Continuing the interactive theme between the outdoors and indoors, the bookcase on the back wall, opposite from the window acts as a reflection of nature: the mixed angles of the vertical gables are an abstraction of tree trunks elegantly stylized and transferred to an indoor setting. 

Colours and textures were chosen to reinforce the spatial dialogue and pinpoint key locations. Primarily, the overall scheme is made of soft greys, medium browns, and taupes. The accents that are deliberately introduced range from the fresh purples and corals of the front yard furniture to the sleek red in the kitchen island, to the satin black panels around the tv and the rough barn board of the family room ceiling. The soft blue of the pool dominates the backyard. 

The entire main floor of the house was shaped in such way as to achieve visual continuity with the outdoors. The overall effect is an instilled sense of progression from the outside to inside and back out that blurs the boundaries of architecture and engages the entire property.

An urban oasis in the Beaches

Just a few blocks from busy Queen Street East, on a tiny corner lot, the clients engaged the design team to create a serene oasis which felt sophisticated and urban, with the comfort and coziness of a cottage.

Interior Designer: Cathy Garrido, ARIDO

Design Firm: Altius Architecture Ltd.

Photographer: Arnaud Marthouret

The main living spaces are situated on the ground level as the owners wanted to see what is happening around them and feel part of the action as passersby head to the beach and surrounding amenities. From the second floor, the owners needed a more private dwelling, with separation from the bustle around them, especially in the master bedroom. There, they wanted a private space to relax that also had extensive windows and light.

The clients had several must-haves for the rooftop space, an exercise pool, outdoor kitchen and barbecue area, and entertainment areas which didn’t interfere with their private space. Although they entertain often, they emphasized the need to maintain distinctly private family areas in the dwelling. The owners also had an art collection that needed spaces and rooms with simple backdrops in which to best show it off. In terms of interiors, they had a bright but warm space in mind, simple but with interesting details.

In the finished home, interior and exterior flow together, with windows south, east and west, and generous balconies. Sunlight floods in, while balconies provide shade from the hottest sun. Wood soffits and siding add a natural, modern beach house feel.

The ground floor has a strong connection to the busy street. The second floor has a quiet family room and an outdoor balcony where the owners spend their leisure time in the evenings. The master suite on the third floor has an outdoor terrace overlooking Kew Gardens, and provides privacy and quiet for relaxing and recharging, despite expansive surrounding windows.

The rooftop has the desired exercise pool, outdoor barbecue, and kitchen. Stairs from second-floor balcony enable entertaining without cutting into private space and provide special access to late-night swims and sunsets over Toronto from the master suite. When trees are in full bloom, the rooftop is a forest treehouse instead of a city home.

Interiors are completed in a bright palette. Gas fireplaces and lower ceilings provide cozy space for both entertaining and family time. A plaster tile creates texture through the stairwell, and hidden lights add drama. Custom grey-stained oak cabinetry wraps the entryway and kitchen and hides a powder room. Large walls on the north side provide optimal surfaces for hanging art.

The home has a simplicity that feels warm and inviting and creates a feeling of intimacy and coziness. It is the perfect oasis in the city for its owners.

The Art of Living Big in Small Spaces

City living has always been known as “tight” and “small” living, but not this time around. We call it “the art of living big’, no matter how small the space is. A space is a space, whether big or small, but the design is what introduces an element of fun and creativity.

At Sansa Interiors, we gave this project a soul by creating a way of being. We observed our clients and studied how they move, we found out their interests, their favourite colours, and their top travel destinations. We then took all of that and tailored it to a simple and clean dream apartment.

Our focus was to bring in subtle tones and finishes throughout the space with pops of colour. We experimented with manipulating positive and negative spaces to create a flow from one corner to the other.

The home office showcases the contrast between the clean white walls and the soft yet bold blush pink gallery wall and adjacent furniture. The furniture selection is very minimal and does not interfere with the ambient flow, instead, it helps create a successful grounding experience.

Some of the requirements we were given:

  1. Home office for two people
  2. A reading nook
  3. Clean/simple kitchen
  4. A place to retreat at the end of the day

Design Tips for Living Big:

  1. Mirrors near windows
  2. The more plants the better!
  3. A subtle colour palette with accent pieces to bring in pops of colour
  4. Minimal furniture
  5. Bring in your personality, via art pieces or woven pillows

Photography by Bruno Belli.

Dark and light mingle in this modern residence

When this prime lot in a busy Ottawa neighbourhood became available, an astute developer snapped it up, envisioning a luxury home designed with a minimalist aesthetic, superior millwork, and an elegant bearing throughout. The developer engaged the interior design team to bring their vision to life, and make use of the existing grand footprint, incorporate a modern aesthetic and technology, and ensure functionality and flow.

Interior Designer: Serina Fraser, ARIDO

Design Firm: Clear Interior Design

Project Photographer: Urzula Muntean Photography

This upscale neighbourhood is known for its sweeping lots, with grand houses set well back from narrow laneways, surrounded by mature trees and gardens. To attract potential buyers, the client requested a design that would respect the neighbourhood’s history while being firmly rooted in the present. A Zen aesthetic, superior finishes, and integrated technology were all must-haves.

Upon entering, the foyer and dining area are separated by an L-shaped divider that forms a central core in the open plan. On one side, a sleek bench provides a welcoming seat in the entryway, and on the other, a double-sided fireplace creates a cozy nook. This core promotes a natural flow between the kitchen, dining room, and living room.

These spaces laid down the Zen palette that combines white oak floors and millwork with a neutral foundation of greys and whites. The kitchen has a ton of storage options with cabinetry that reaches the impressive ceiling heights. With that in mind, custom millwork and furnishings were designed to be scale-appropriate in the calming white oak.  

The main-floor fireplace divider is a bold statement against the white oak, clad in black marble to boost drama within the calm space. The designers repeated these bold black finishes in the bathrooms, adding a punch of drama to the small spaces.

With a modern edge, the staircase is simultaneously a focal point and blends into the surroundings. The riser, tread, and stringer extend the Zen palette, while a side view reveals the separation between the two key volumes and the graceful connection between the glass rail and stringer. Additionally, lush velvet drapery and textured accent walls are complimented by simple wall planes, revealing a richness amid a minimalist canvas.

Technology is integrated seamlessly throughout the design. Lighting, window treatments, temperature controls, security systems, and efficient, tech-forward devices are coordinated throughout to establish a secure, sustainable home.

The success of this sophisticated residence has resulted in an alteration to the developer’s business model to focus solely on custom high-end homes

Downsizing let this Toronto mom build the loft of her dreams

The kids are off to college, starting their careers and their own lives, leaving behind the family-sized home that’s served its purpose but is no longer of much use. So, what’s the point of keeping this large home?!

Jan Brown, Principal Designer at c3d Design found herself in this very situation in 2013. Her kids had flown the coop and it was time to move the once “Basement Design Studio” to its own dedicated location and downsize her own dwelling space in the process. Meghan Kennedy of Kennedy Sisters Team (Royal LePage) assisted Jan in finding this two-storey corner loft unit in vibrant Bloor West Village. The unit consists of a wonderfully-sized kitchen, large living space, two bedrooms, study, loft, and two bathrooms. It fit all the criteria Jan was looking for and she decided to make the move.

One of the main features Jan wanted in her new space was a polished concrete floor. We did this by removing the existing engineered hardwood floors. This was a sleek and contemporary look that could really work well, creating a great juxtaposition with the more traditional forms and textures of her existing furniture. This also made sense, so Jan wasn’t purchasing new furniture for every space and meant she could keep some of her treasured antiques.

We built walnut millwork framing the kitchen area, allowing for extra storage space as well as open shelving to showcase Jan’s collectibles from her travels. The walnut finish was carried through to the lower millwork to provide a sense of warmth in the space. Jan loves to cook, so we went for an affordable quartz product from Caesarstone that would be durable and easy to maintain. We introduced a custom backsplash which was a combination of onyx mosaic from Cercan Tile and marble subway tiles from Saltillo Tiles which added notes of femininity and luxury to the kitchen without having to break the bank.

We showcased the two-storey windows flanking the living room with a gauzey soft wool drapery. We love the look of mixing various pieces in the same colour and shifting textures – it creates a cozy setting yet allows for more than enough seating when hosting a party or when the kids are back in town for the weekend. While the ground floor living space remains more of a cocktail lounge and hang-out space, the upstairs loft space was transformed into an intimate TV room for more quiet relaxation.

It is crazy to think almost seven years have passed and this space still exudes beauty and functionality. The kids love this city getaway and Jan loves this space she calls home!

This modern home blends indoors and outdoors seamlessly.

As architects and interior designers on this project, the design team wanted to address the challenge of this east-west oriented lot in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood. Their goal was to maximize the southern exposure of this property and provide spaces for the clients to enjoy Canada’s short summer season to its fullest.

Interior Designer: Neal Prabhu, ARIDO

Design Firm: nkArchitect

Project Photographer: Peter A. Sellar

Located in Toronto’s Beaches district, the 150_W Residence

Creating an L-shaped outdoor space along the south west corner of the building offered an interesting solution: the full height moveable glass walls let ample winter sunlight inside, while in summer, the same walls slide away from the inside corner of the L opening up the indoor space to the outside.  

With the client’s busy work schedule and little down-time, the home needed to be a haven of tranquillity and calm, while providing space for relaxing and entertaining – a sanctuary, vacation spot and family home, with bright day‐lit interiors. Pragmatically, the clients and their growing family sought an open plan with flexibility in function and space, and outdoor living spaces easily accessible and visible from any point within the interior.

The home’s materials all extend this tranquillity, as the design team erected vast white walls, neutral wood finishes, stainless steel appliances, and dark wood flooring. The changing light and shadow patterns throughout the day, and seasonal patterns become the focal points in this neutral space.

With a focus on restraint and simplicity in materials complemented by the warmth of exterior surroundings, this home is a stunning backdrop for a growing urban family to enjoy their time together.

This condo mixes hotel chic with seaside calm

Casa II Penthouse was a fabulous project for from start to finish! Located in the Yonge and Bloor epicentre of Toronto, it presented some typical condominium challenges, but we overcame each one.


Interior Designer: Heather Segreti, ARIDO
Design Firm: Segreti Design Inc
Project Photographer: Larry Arnal

The client sought the convenience of living in the heart of Toronto, while enjoying jet setting to other major cities with a minimal commitment back home, was paramount. They wanted the look of a high-end hotel, infused with seaside calm, and customized millwork throughout.

The original floor plan worked, however, after consulting the client, we decided to forgo the dining room / living room combination and move the dining room to the office, and add a cozy banquette eatery, the client was thrilled!

We used a neutral palette of white and gray with a hint of warmth, drawing inspiration from the porcelain slab of the kitchen backsplash. Adding colour to this neutral colour scheme was key in taking the design to the next level. Boldly coloured artwork at the entryway is a welcoming punch, and an open concept shelving/bar area with storage below holds belongings, instead of the typical coat closet.

A gallery wall leads visitors into the suite and custom sized photographs camouflage the electrical panel. With the original dining room taking up the space of the office, to create a separate eating space. We also added a bulkhead around the living, master, and guest suite in order to mount our three-layered window treatment with roller shades.

All these changes, coupled with the coordination of trades 52 floors up, presented a challenge, but the client was delighted with the space, and this project has yielded a long lasting friendship.