SPECIAL TO THE STAR – YOURHOME.CA
I’m currently working on a 19th century heritage home in Summerhill. The structural elements of the house are sound, and consist of several pieces from when the home was built, including the interior staircase and banister as well as a number of stained glass windows.
The client specified that she wanted a clean and contemporary look mixed with antique pieces.
We chose antiques that complemented the charm of the original structural pieces in the home and respected the quality of the space itself.
The use of muddy colours had made the interior of the home appear dark and dull. Our main goal was to brighten the space and take full advantage of the beauty of the house.
To do this, we used a soft robin’s egg blue as the main colour, along with glass, mirrors and silver leaf to lighten up the space.
We also decided on clean window treatments: white linen Roman shades, which sit within the window frames to avoid hiding the existing decorative trim.
The house is tall and narrow – only 16 feet wide – and the challenge of working with a narrow home is to make it appear open and spacious. We accomplished this by painting the walls a clean bright white. The white walls also act as an excellent backdrop for the furniture and artwork, as each unique piece stands out against the white background.
The home also has unusual angles separating the front foyer and living room. Because of this challenge, we decided to have the sofa and occasional chair custom made in order to accommodate the exact dimensions we would need.
Additionally, while the original exposed brick wall in the kitchen worked perfectly with that room’s warm ambience, the brick above the fireplace in the living room was in poor condition and distracted from the clean, contemporary look of the space. So, we chose to drywall over the brick and paint the fireplace mantle and area above a high gloss white.
Working on a heritage home is both challenging and rewarding. An older home requires special attention to details, but it is worth the extra work and thought to maximize the beauty of the space.
Tara Dalla-Nora has a B.A. in interior design and is the owner and principal designer of Inner Luxe in Toronto’s Bloor West Village.