What to ask before hiring an Interior Designer

At my firm, Sanura Design, we love educated clients- and curious clients. An integral part of our process is ensuring our clients have all the information they need- and that includes knowing the design process, permit process, construction process, and everything in between.

So… what do you need to know before you hire me or another design professional?

1: Personality isn’t everything- but fit is really important

Interior design is an incredibly personal job- especially when designing your home. As your interior designer I know things like: what’s in your bedtime table, how you arrange your undies, what you have for breakfast, and your morning bathroom habits. Most of which I bet your friends don’t know. That means when you search for an interior designer you’re searching for someone you can be open with, and work with in their professional capacity. How do you know your interior designer is right for you (after checking qualifications, experience, etc)?  How do you know you’ll be friendly with someone?

2: Are they qualified?

Have a good look at what you’d like to accomplish for your project and what your goals are. Are you simply freshening a space by changing furniture, paint colours, lighting fixtures? That’s something you can hire an interior designer OR decorator for. Are you moving walls, changing your HVAC, electrical, etc, adding an addition, or generally altering your actual home in some way? That’s where you need a qualified professional- a registered interior designer is a regulated profession in Ontario where you know exactly what we need to know to earn our title of “interior designer” and we answer to our organization when we aren’t standing up to our code of ethics. Other design professionals do have extensive experience in renovations and may have a comprehensive skill set, if you hire someone like this the next step will be a very important one.

3: Check their references

Whether you’re hiring us, another registered interior designer, or another design professional, a very important step is asking for and checking a few references. You’re looking for past clients that have undergone similar work to your project, and a bonus can sometimes be hearing from other professionals, like contractors or consultants. You want to have a personal conversation with them and get a good idea for what their experience is like, exactly what the person you may be hiring did for them and what challenges came up. You need to check multiple references as this gives you a much fuller picture of who you’ll be working with.

4: Are they insured?

That’s their problem right? Professionals who do good work don’t need liability insurance- they never get sued.
Incorrect! Liability insurance isn’t just to cover a professional from unhappy clients, it’s also to cover the project from unforeseen circumstances- like a defective product, an incorrectly installed finish, or the incorrect product being installed (among many many other things). Mistakes happen, even with the best professionals, and true professionals carry this protection for themselves, their employees, and their projects.

5: Do they have a contract?

Contracts are incredibly important to your renovation. Both your contractor AND your interior designer should have detailed contracts for you to sign. For an interior designer they should include things like: fees/payment schedule, scope of work, details for breaking the contract, and clarify each sides responsibilities- to name a few. These contracts protect YOU the most- and I can’t emphasize that enough. If something goes wrong during the project and you didn’t sign a contract- you have no options and no protection. The longer and more detailed your professional’s contract is, the more confident you should feel in hiring them. This means they’re openly laying out exactly how they work and ensuring you understand the full process before you sign up for a project with them. A good professional is also always willing to go through their contract with you in detail to help you feel more comfortable.


Whew! That was a technical one. I’m sure I missed something (we don’t want an essay on the subject!), but it will serve as a great rule of thumb to ensure you get the right professional for your project.

Do you have any questions on what the qualifications of a registered interior designer ARE or would like to find one in your area? Check out the ARIDO website.

If you want to chat with us about your project and see if we’re a good fit for you? Get in touch with us.

This post first appeared on Sanura Design | Full Service Interior Design.

How does an Interior Designer save you time?

If you’ve been following my video journey, you’ll recall the video called Fabric Sourcing and You outlining why it’s not as easy as you think to pick out the right fabric for your sofa. That was a LOT of fabric and wallpaper, plus there was a lot more I didn’t show you on the other side of the showroom, AND the tables you see behind me have fabric and wallpaper under them. Does sorting through that fill you with dread? Well me too!

That is if I didn’t have the training, intuition, and experience that tells me what I’m looking for. AND a professional who is a partner in my project- who knows where everything is and can point me in the right direction(s).

This means what may take you an entire day of exhausting searching, takes me an hour or so to get the main choices sorted, then another small amount of time once I get the samples delivered to pick out the best one(s).

What about kitchens? Melissa, you say, I can just visit a kitchen place and pick that out myself? Hmm, well, have you or someone else ever spent a few weekends going to a few kitchen places because they didn’t quite see what they liked, and by the end probably didn’t even KNOW what they liked?

Or maybe that friend was you on a previous project. I have the knowledge and experience (and the deep understanding of you and your family) to curate the finishes in a much short amount of time, and then present you with a couple of choices you’ll like.

Let’s talk tiles. I have a favourite place to source tiles. SS Tile and Stone in Etobicoke. That’s because it has SUCH a huge selection. Have you ever walked into a tile store and been immediately overwhelmed? What about visited multiple tile stores and been even more confused? You aren’t alone!

This is a huge reason to hire me to help you when you technically could handle choosing the finishes yourself- who wants to give up their nights and weekends to do that? You’ve worked hard to save the money to do the renovation you’re doing, why should you spend so much of your precious time sifting through mountains of choices when I can make it a fun, pleasurable experience?

All of these decisions for a kitchen could be presented to you in 30 minutes and we would have the finishes chosen. 30. Minutes. Versus nights and weekends spent selecting them yourselves- and dealing with five or more different opinions on how you should do your kitchen. Moreover, almost none of those professionals have had the proper time to get to know you, what you LOVE, and how the space would best serve you.

So, why not keep your evenings and weekends for YOU? And leave the design process to me. You’ll just get a space you love, a relaxing fun process, a project on time and on budget, and your precious time back.

This post previously appeared on Sanura Design, “How Valuable is Your Time?

Client’s dreams of Parisian boho chic achieved in this New York loft

Restrictions abounded in this New York renovation project after the client purchased a 3,100 square foot loft in Soho, New York. With a move-in date four months away, strict condo rules and the New York Building Codes dictating that the project was ‘Decoration’ not a renovation, this left no time to apply for permits.

Interior Designer: Eric McClelland, ARIDO

Design Firm: Fleur De Lis Interior Design

Photographer: Scott Morris

It did allow minor changes to electrical, plumbing fixture updates, cabinetry updates, and painting. After agreeing on a clear budget with the client, the design team created concept plans, furniture and lighting layouts, and set to work on the client’s vision of a melange of Parisian bohemian chic, striking the balance between traditional and modern.

The client wanted the main areas to accommodate large catered events, and a clear division of public and private space, as well as a home office space, and provisions for their extensive artwork and antique book collections.

Since major structural changes were impossible, the design team created millwork elements in whitewashed black oak to give the loft an old-world atmosphere. A panelled fireplace complete with cornice becomes a focal point for the entertaining space, while the millwork in the kitchen highlights the 15-foot ceilings. A third millwork element, replete with a library ladder for the client’s antique book collections, was placed adjacent to a newly created den. Lacquered millwork in Bermuda blue gives the space a completely new look, while a custom teal velvet sectional, antique Murano chandelier and antique Parisian rug complete the space.

The kitchen is an elegant prep space, with a giant slab of marble creating an eye-catching island. Overhead, vintage glass lanterns enhance the client’s desired bistro atmosphere.

A cooler, subtler palette, with a mixture of old and new elements, continue the boho feel in the bedroom. Updated with new lighting, new vanity, vintage chrome shelving and hand dyed fabric for roman blinds, the master bathroom extends the lush atmosphere.

After four months, the client was left with a sophisticated space that alludes to the old modern charm of a Parisian loft, with all the convenience of a modern New York condo.

Staying Organized – And Other Ways To Keep It Together

Feeling stressed because you’re surrounded by stuff? That stuff can actually make you happy if it’s efficiently and artistically displayed.  And when organized properly, you can grab and go.  Technology has helped reduce or eliminate the need for some stuff, like books and record albums, but we still need to store the items that we do collect.

Storage, home organization or space solutions – whatever you call it – has become a science using the latest technology. For example Richelieu has teamed up with Panasonic to create revolving closet systems and shelves that pull down and return pneumatically, providing innovative ways to make our lives easier.

 START RIGHT – GET ORGANIZED

Whether you’re living in a tiny studio or a mansion, many of the same rules apply when it comes to getting organized: 

  • Purge: Get rid of things you don’t need or that don’t give you pleasure in some way.
  • Learn to make sacrifices:  In a small or large space, every object matters.  Real estate is expensive and learning how to use that real estate, means making choices and focus on priorities.
  • Inventory items that need storage and display:  Determine what type of storage or shelving you need and house them accordingly.  Make this scientific by knowing how much linear and square footage space is required.  
  • Design and plan:  Plan where these items are going and then find the design solutions you need to maximize and beautify your space.
  • Planned properly you can achieve maximum benefit in any space.

 DIVIDE AND CONQUER

Storage is divided into three categories: 

  1. In sight and in mind. Open shelving allows us to see what we own, defining our unique personalities. Free standing or bolted to the wall, shelving is simple.  The structure itself can be a design feature, elevating your simple objects into things of beauty. 
  2. Out of sight and out of mind. Closets or storage rooms are enclosed empty spaces.  You can add rods or shelving to suite your requirements.  People are now choosing to turn closets into dressing rooms, enclosing items in cabinetry and revealing only what’s most precious and notable through glass cabinets.  If you own shoes, purses, belts or ties that are beautiful and cost a pretty penny, then why not put them on display like an art object in a glass case?
  3. Combining in and out of sight. Say we’ve opted for open-plan spaces instead of separate rooms for our functions. Even kitchens are now blended in, requiring special thinking on how to manage all its requirements.  While one-room living reveals all, do we really want to show off everything? 

Storage credenzas, shelving and wall units can act as free-standing room dividers to delineate space.  One company that provides unique items is Design Within Reach (DWR).  It is a go-to destination for design sophisticates.  Their variety of cabinets and shelving units are real designer heirloom classics that can make space efficient and extra special.

CUSTOM VS. STANDARD

Each home is unique, not only in structure, but also in the personality and vision of its owner. While standard shelving and storage units are available at most home store, and while you can hack Ikea, it is best to give your storage needs the attention they deserve. Investing in custom built-in storage solutions will enhance the value of your house, much like investing in kitchen or bathroom renovations.

Knowing that everything is in its place and there’s a place for everything helps liberate us from our stuff.

And, that makes all the difference in the world.

 

Inspiration was locally-sourced for this luxurious downtown Toronto condominium

Situated at the intersection of Toronto’s landmark financial and heritage St. Lawrence Market districts, 88 Scott was an opportunity to create a standout, luxury downtown residence. 

Interior Designer: Kelly Cray, ARIDO

Design Team: Neil Jonsohn, ARIDO; Christianne Barbuto, Intern, ARIDO

Design Firm: U31

Photographer: Jac Jacobson

Standing proud at 58-storeys, this condominium is anything but meek. The towering neoclassical-style structure demanded an interior as impressive as its presence at the corner of Scott and Wellington. The design was largely guided by our client’s directive to take a ‘Canadian Moderne’ approach which involved looking to Canada’s natural landscape for inspiration. The result is an urban oasis that’s rooted in references to nature. 

The experience begins in the 1,500 square foot hotel-style lobby where dark and light coexist to create a dramatic statement. We established a warm and engaging entrance by combining textured and polished stone backgrounds with walnut-paneled walls and screens. Guests are welcomed by Euro-inspired seating that encourages lounging and a double-sided “Ocean Black” slate fireplace that provides a cozy spot for escaping the cold. The fireplace serves as the focal point of the space and overall, contributes to the grand, sophisticated flavour of the lobby.

With the executive demographic target purchaser in mind, we designed a 1,800 square foot business area adjacent to the lobby. This zone contains private workstations, a boardroom, and a lounge for the convenience of residents.

An extensive amenity program was the key to cultivating a luxury lifestyle for 88 Scott’s residents. The amenities are located across the building’s sixth and 46th and 47th split levels (spanning 10,400 square feet total) and include everything from wellness-oriented offerings to entertainment-geared experiences. The sixth floor consists of a fitness centre and a social area featuring a sophisticated party room complete with a kitchen and bar. Unique art pieces animate key areas of the party room: a geometric wood ‘stack’ installation emphasizes the grand fireplace while hand-crafted coffee tables complement lounge seating arrangements.

In the 46th and 47th split level ‘Sky Lounge’ and private dining room, we created a vibrant urban atmosphere by incorporating large windows that frame views of Toronto. By day, the space is bright and airy, while by night, a moodier atmosphere emerges as skyscrapers and Lake Ontario glimmer in the distance. The ‘Sky Lounge’ interior features a combination of raw textures (seen in the wood floors and stone fireplace surround) against more glamorous, fabricated finishes (seen in the mirrored ceiling and lush upholstery fabrics). 

One of the main challenges of designing 88 Scott was delivering a high-end yet cost-effective result. For instance, the lobby chandelier, which was originally quoted from a European manufacturer, had to be substituted by a local supplier to accommodate budgetary constraints. Fortunately, the final result achieved the sumptuousness we had envisioned. 

Challenges continued as the building’s heritage designation required us to leave architectural elements, like windows, untouched. Since we couldn’t alter the imperfect window openings and sill heights, we added white sheer drapery throughout the lobby to disguise the irregularities. 

Since the project’s completion, residents have been taking full advantage of the condominium’s many offerings. The building’s lobby is much more than a spot to wait for an Uber: residents regularly spend time in this space catching up on emails and meeting up with friends before they head out on the town.

This project was awarded an ARIDO Award of Merit in 2019.

A desert oasis in Scottsdale

This private residence is situated on prime five-acre property in one of Scottsdale’s premier desert estate communities. Surrounded by mountains to the north, east and west, and vast views of central Scottsdale and Phoenix to the south, the original home was one of the earliest built in this heavily architecturally-controlled community.

Interior Designer: Wayne Swadron, ARIDO
Design Firm: Wayne Swadron Interiors Limited
Project Photographer: Roehner + Ryan

The home’s architectural styling was ‘Tuscan’ in character, although the interior finishes had been updated just prior to the client’s acquiring the property. The design team reconfigured and re-modelled the existing structure and landscape into a contemporary desert oasis while respecting strict local architectural regulations.

With grand design gestures commensurate in scale to the sprawling (largely one storey) structure, the encouragement of the clients, and the monumental contributions of a fabulous local team, the designers achieved all their goals of creating a home replete with contemporary luxury, incorporating design features that promote indoor/outdoor living, while simultaneously respecting the realities of the extreme desert environment.

This home is a marriage of minimalism and tradition

An elegant residence located in Mississauga made for an interesting project for our design team. Our clients had different views about how their home should look and feel, one wanted a modern and minimalist space, while the other was set on more traditional styles that reflected their current home. Our clients needed to feel at home in their new space, so we aimed to find the common ground between their different styles as it was paramount to the success of this project. 

Interior Designer: Dana Kosich, ARIDO 

Design Firm: Hiatus Design Ltd 

Design Team: Kelly Breiter, Intern, ARIDO Project 

Photographer: Dana Kosich, Eric Malinski

The overall design for the project was influenced by the minimal exterior created by the architect and setting the tone for the design vocabulary in the interior. This compelled us to keep ornamentation to a minimum and respect the architecture while maintaining a warm and inviting atmosphere. In an effort to appease the client’s differing views, it was important to strike a balance between minimalism and tradition.

A significant interior element included a staircase located in a prominent area by the architect.  We needed the stair to be sculptural and worthy of its position in the home. Following, the lighting had to be handled with the utmost care to acknowledge the minimal design approach. Decorative lighting was kept to a minimum and one of the goals was to have the surfaces glow so that the effect of the light was appreciated without seeing the fixture itself.

Basic functional requirements like the front hall closet, elevator, and powder room door were elevated to an artful experience. The foyer amenities were completely concealed within walls paneled with warm wood. A floating stair provided a sense of weightlessness and became a focal point, while our use of ceiling coves and recesses concealed the sources of illumination, so surfaces appeared to glow. 

We designed a welcoming, open kitchen with a long island and integrated table for large gatherings. This was accompanied by a balanced use of wood and stone that created a sense of warmth. Large expanses of windows and lack of wall surfaces made it difficult to find a TV location, so a custom automated TV cabinet was designed using a motorized lift. We reworked the plans to include separate bedrooms, closets, and en-suites as this was important to the clients. This created smaller spaces which made detailing even more important to the success of the project. 

To allow for large parties, the lower-level recreation/theatre room was outfitted with another kitchen. A dual-sided fireplace separates the games room from the home theatre, which reinforces a sense of coziness. The retractable movie screen was carefully situated between the mechanized fold-away doors. This clever placement allowed the screen to serve the room and retract when not in use, preserving the views. The projector along with dinnerware was strategically hidden in a wall of sculptural millwork. Custom-designed furniture provides ample seating for guests while the wine room invites you in behind a glass wall and a showcased wine display.

Lastly, in a home of mostly glass and very little wall, it was difficult to locate basic necessities, so our challenge was to pull it all together thoughtfully. This magnificent residence started with separated views, but we pulled together a beautiful marriage of minimalism and tradition.

This project was also recognized with an ARIDO Award of Merit in 2019.

Wine Cellars & Wine Tasting Rooms – Coming Of Age

In wine there is truth and in wine cellars there are many truths.  

Wine collecting and having the “right” bottle on hand, requires a special space of its own and more homeowners are installing wine rooms in new and existing homes.  With today’s technology, refrigeration, and modern materials, wine can be stored in almost any location.  However, this ancient beverage still requires tender loving care.

Wine Is Fussy – The Basics 

Wine “breathes” through the cork and ages in the process. Too much oxygen makes the wine bitter.  The pace of this breathing is faster at higher temperatures and slower at lower temperatures.  Fluctuations in temperature and humidity accelerate this aging process.  

Wine Storage – The Basics

Wine requires a cool, dark space with higher humidity than the average living space.  Wine does not like noise or vibrations from any source.  

It doesn’t like any temperature extremes.  45F to 65F degrees are the temperature for serving wine.  55F degrees is the ideal storing temperature for long-term storage, regardless of your wine style.  Wine storage rooms come in two types:  passive and active.

Passive Wine Cellars such as caves, basements, closets are naturally cooler and only receive indirect sunlight.  They minimize swings in temperature and damage to the wine. 

Active (Cooled) Wine Cellars are fully climate controlled and can be set to the perfect storage temperature and humidity level that ensures ideal conditions.  They are more flexible and can fit into any large, small or odd space in your home. 

Modern Design Trends

  • Glass enclosures allow you to show off your wine collection and can be built as tall or wide as you want. The choice of tempered glass used is extremely important. The insulation value should maximize the refrigeration, humidification benefits, and UV protection that is required for wine rooms that are in direct contact with sunlight. Etched or frosted glass are decorative options.
  • Integrating wine cellar design into your space for that ‘wow’ factor.  Placing wine storage in living areas, man caves or kitchens, allows you and your guests to engage with your wine collection and show off your expensive wine bottles. 
  • Label-forward, displays the label art facing out.  It creates an intimate interactive experience with the user and the bottle of wine. 
  • Metal and acrylic wine racking.  These materials are gaining popularity in contemporary wine cellar design.  They provide the same quality for storage as wood and can be much more cost effective.
  • Bridging old & new – Combining wood with metal or acrylic allows for more flexibility in project design that is less stuffy and ornate and more contemporary and inviting.

Modern Design And Construction Considerations

  • Use LED lights and UV film for glass enclosures.  
  • No vibrating wall speakers and no noisy air conditioners nearby.  Insulate your mechanical air ducts or use a ductless air conditioner. 
  • Vent equipment heat outside the storage area.
  • Storing a large number of bottles requires a reinforced wall behind. Many choose plywood backing for wall installation. 
  • Make sure you have proper wall insulation, a vapour barrier, and moisture resistant, green board walls.
  • Easy access to electricity.
  • Flooring is to be moisture resistant, consider the insulation value of the floor and materials.

Return On Your Investment (ROI)

A wine cellar is a high-end investment, and in some homes, it is a must-have upgrade.  With an average bottle price of $95.00, it pays to design your investment so that it can add value to your home.

Galileo tells us that:  “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”  Then together, sunlight and water hold the truth in wine.  Take good care of your truth.

Updating a basement? 5 things you should consider

Gone are the days of ‘low’ unfinished basements that reek of mold and mildew.  Only used as a place to do laundry, access storage, sports gear, and Christmas decorations.

Now that fixer-uppers are going for a million or more, spending $100,000 to $150,000 doesn’t sound unreasonable to reclaim existing space and is a lot cheaper than doing an addition, and basements are easier than attics.

In upscale neighbourhoods, with historical designation and height restrictions, contractors are now digging deep to create spaces three or four levels below ground, so that they can house bowling alleys, Olympic size pools – you name it – just dig it.  Called “iceberg” architecture, what you see above ground is just the tip of what lies below.

For regular folks, this newfound space, becomes a fantasy space.  When all the necessary rooms for daily living are accounted for above ground, the basement becomes a space where your imagination can run wild.  

That’s when I dubbed basements “The Lower Level Retreat”.  They’re not the ‘base’ of the house but rather another level for living, that happens to be below the ground line.  With a shift in naming this space comes a shift in thinking about the space and its functions.

These spaces can house entertainment centers with large 50” to 60” televisions, sizes that would normally dominate a regular living space.  This allows the guys to watch their favourite sports and game to their heart’s content.

For the practically minded, extra storage space is always welcome and if you’re going to have a laundry room, then why not add a little panache? The ultimate home office can double up as a guest room when grandma and grandpa come to visit.

Other leisure lair spaces include wine cellars, spa retreat that doubles as a doggie grooming centre with heated floors, therapeutic pools for athletic injuries, music studios and …. a village with a large scale train model for the kid in all of us. The possibilities are endless.

So, how do you design a livable, lovable space that feels warm and cozy?

Let’s start with the basics:

Planning: 

  • Open plan seems to work best.  And, if you need to enclose spaces for privacy then make the walls moveable, to enclose or open a space as required.

Building:

  • Ideally, a finished eight foot ceiling suits everyone best. Remember that recessed pot lights, flooring and under-floor infrastructure reduces available height.
  • Make sure to address structural issues and all possible moisture issues. Hire a contractor who knows all about basements.
  • I prefer to add radiant floor heat.  If not the whole floor then, at minimum, in the washroom spa area.  When your tootsies are warm, then the rest of you will feel warm, cozy and pampered.

Lighting:

  • The trick is to find light fixtures and bulbs that spread light in all directions, filling surfaces with light and minimizing harsh shadows.  Helping decrease the cave-like effect.
  • Choose ‘warm’ colour temperature of 2700K or 3000K.  Bluish light of 4000K is cool and will feel fridge-like and not somewhere you’d like to hang-out, especially in the winter.
  • Use different sources of lighting throughout the space such as lamps and LED strips in built-in shelving.   

Decor and Design:

  • Raise sofas and other large pieces of furniture ‘off’ the floor.  Your eye travels underneath furniture on raised legs, keeping the look light and airy.  
  • Use lighter colours and textures as a focal point for emphasis and drama.
  • Don’t place a television over a fireplace.  Together they are visually overwhelming. 

Flooring:

  • Make sure to use a modular flooring system.  Should water damage occur, pieces can be popped out of place and new product installed easily.  Large rolled goods such as carpet or linoleum should be avoided.  When wet, mold and mildew occur. 
  • I’ve had a lot of success with carpet tile over plywood.  Carpet tile acts as an insulator, removable, easily cleaned, and easily re-installed.
  • Your best options for flooring are porcelain tile, marble, vinyl, or laminate planks. Engineered hardwood is debatable, but plank flooring is your best bet. 

Fixing up the basement, I mean lower level, will add much happiness to you and your home. 

What is your Lower Level dream?

This gorgeous house has so many dream home features

When the client approached us for the interior design of their new-build residential project they had one clear request: an industrial style family home inspired by New York lofts and warehouses.

Interior Designer: Connie Braemer, ARIDO
Design Firm: Connie Braemer Design Ltd 
Photographer: Erik Rotter

The goal was to design a home with the space and durability to withstand the client’s three growing boys, with a contemporary and refined version of the client’s industrial aesthetic. As an avid cook, they also requested a professional grade kitchen integrated in the house,  around which various family activities could take place. 

The finished space includes a basement with hockey room and wine cellar, a large open concept main floor, second floor with a master bedroom retreat, and a third floor office. An exterior pool cabana was also designed using reclaimed shipping containers. 

One of the main challenges was selecting finishes that would handle the rough and tumble of growing boys, while suiting the aesthetic vision of the project. To provide durability without sacrificing the aesthetic goals, materials such as concrete, walnut, steel, reclaimed wood, soapstone, and classic subway tiles feature predominantly throughout the home. The blend of textures and unique qualities of each material lend to the warehouse inspiration, however their refined application results in an elevated, contemporary design. 

Chefs kitchen with large butcher block island and walls lined in white subway tile.

The kitchen was placed centrally, and was divided into zones for different preparation needs, storage, and socializing. Counter seating in the kitchen bridges the prep area with the dining area, which is adjacent to the kid’s work space. A towering three-sided fireplace clad in hot rolled steel connects the kitchen to the family room, decorated with family pictures and cookbooks on one side, and the TV and birch logs on the other. 

Family room with wood floors, large white sectional and eye-catching red sliding door.

The client sought to personalize the home with intimate design details,  such as the red brick wall at the entrance, a nod to southern Ontario’s architectural history, custom schoolhouse doors, a blackened wood ceiling, and a giant red barn door. In a poured concrete floor five pebbles were specially placed representing each member of the family. 

Kitchen and dining room with dark, poured concrete floors and a wood ceiling.

While the house was designed primarily with family in mind, areas such as the master ensuite and third floor loft are small retreats for the parents. The overall  industrial style is present in these more elegant spaces through black steel framing and hardware.