This couple are both geologists, inspiring the innovative use of stone throughout the home custom built for their active family of five and eight pets. In this entry hall, limestone is used on both the floor and walls, providing a striking and practical backdrop for the exquisite antique furnishings. The mirror was in the owners’ collection; the marble and gilt 19th C reproduction console table was sourced in France; the sconces were handcrafted in antique brass to complete the vignette.
   This couple are avid collectors of antique carpets, fabrics and furnishing, and of course Canadian art as perfectly combined in this gracious dining room. Bounded by carefully thought out wall panelling and coffered ceiling details, their existing chairs surround a newly acquired fine mahogany pedestal table with matching server under a specialty handcrafted gold leaf and crystal chandelier. A fine c.1880 Bakshaish Persian carpet grounds the setting, while the silk drapery and floral overprinted grass cloth wall covering were chosen for their combination of lushness and simplicity. The large painting, “Winter Road” is by noted Canadian Western artist John McKee.
   This warm and gracious living room epitomizes the casual comfort that was created in a traditional home designed for a large and active family. Throughout it, the design and decoration incorporate a remarkable interplay of colour, pattern and texture, an important collection of Canadian art as well as antique and contemporary furnishings from around the world. Here, “Boyhood” by Northern Ontario artist, Valerie Palmer is featured as well as an Sultanabad Persian carpet from the late 19th century. Toss cushions and an upholstered side chair reference the rich colours and pattern of the carpet.
  Adding a subtle rhythm to the space, the ceiling is just part of the masterfully planned detailing for this cozy room. The pale plush wool carpet and warm apple green paint finished cabinetry create a subtle background for the fine wood block print by Yoshitori Mori, dean f Japan’s modern print makers, which is flanked by drapery in a playful pagoda print. The existing chairs were reshaped an upholstered for this space.
  Placing the owners’ collectibles to best advantage was one of the great pleasures in designing this home. Here, in a small space just outside the study, an eclectic combination of pieces creates an arresting display. On a little antique Canadian table, a traditional bronze elephant bell from India sits below “Winter, Beaupre”, by Maurice Cullen, a historical Canadian artist from Montreal.
   The exquisitely scaled paneling and stair details were carefully designed to reference the Georgian design of the exterior of this home and to create a graceful connection between the windows and landings. The simplicity of the flat-woven grass cloth carpet compliments this airy, light-filled space and is a practical choice in a home with eight pets.
   Set against the elegantly designed traditional paneling and millwork and antique carpet, the diverse collection of furnishings at the base of the stairs emphasizes that a modern family occupies this traditional home. Flanking the traditional mirror-on-mirror centrepiece, elegant sconces fit perfectly into the paneling detail. The curves of the shades and of the contemporary, custom-made, forged iron and gilt console compliment those of the sinuous stair.
   Perfectly symmetrical, the complex wall and ceiling details are both elegant and functional. The marble fireplace centres a carefully planned storage wall that flanks the windows with small niches housing gemstone specimens collected by the owners, both geologists. The painting is “Celestial Gathering” by historical Canadian artist Michael Forster. Below a historic sculpture and mask, large shelves provide storage for several antique carpets. The coffee table and seating were existing; new upholstery stands up to use by children and pets, as does the handmade Jan Kath carpet. The crewel work cushion covers reflect the owner’s love of textiles.
   This hardworking space is the true heart of an active home for five people and pets. Wall, ceilings, trim and the exquisitely detailed cabinetry, all in one colour, reflect the traditional character of the home. Contemporary elements add liveliness and colour contrast. The existing Bertoia stools create a strong accent at the massive granite topped island, balanced by the bright red polycarbonate pendant fixture above the breakfast table, which, in turn, picks up the red of the stove controls and batterie de cuisine. The horsehair in the Roman blinds adds a glimmer sheen and is extremely durable, as is the oak flooring.
   The carefully designed cabinetry includes a large unit designed to look like a freestanding hutch, with its furniture-like base detail, brackets, black-leaded glazing and wooden counter top.
   This dressing room and closet was painstakingly detailed to accommodate multi-level hanging, many drawers, shelving and open storage. Despite the extensive cabinetry, this passageway between the master bedroom and ensuite is light, fresh and spacious.
   The upholstered headboard is perfectly framed by the panelled wall, which incorporates two oval windows above extra-wide cabinets. The window casings were designed to conceal pull down blinds for privacy. The adjacent wall was built out to incorporate storage and an 11 foot long daybed under the huge window. The serene colour scheme is accented with red elements such as the bench cushion and the throw pillows’ large scale prints, which reference the antique fabrics and carpets found elsewhere in the home. Nickel finishes on the lamps and hardware add sparkle.
   The barrel vaulted ceiling with recessed lighting reinforces the symmetry of this generous and elegant space. A coffered ceiling delineates the vanity area; opposite, the remarkably cleanly detailed glass partitions define the curbless shower and toilet areas. For privacy, the windows are coated with an easy-to-maintain translucent frosted film. Over the bath, a printed silk window valance extends to the ceiling, emphasizing its curve.
   Traditional detailing with a contemporary touch creates a balance of glamour and comfort in this young woman’s bath. The vanity’s classic panel design has been treated to a modern art finish referencing the strong pattern in the marble flooring; the Caesar Stone top has a unique stepping detail with a plinth below the medicine chest built into the centre of the mirror triptych. Nickel finishes on the light fixtures and hardware enlivens the space.
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