Graphic Urbane Style

Unexpected colour combinations and doses of pattern create a happy quality to this historical home.

From its chocolate walls and graphic fabrics to its Murano glass chandelier and classic furniture shapes, this house exudes fresh sophistication. Built in 1908, original architectural features abound, providing dynamic tension for the fashion-forward décor. The William Birch-style armchairs in the living room were reupholstered in a designer fabric; Jamico’s Kensington Fushia flocked damask and the signature yellow graphic lattice pillow on the sofa is Schumacher’s House of KWID Imperial Trellis in Citrine/Ivory. The chandelier in the dining room was imported from Italy to mirror the femininity that predominates in the living room furniture shapes. A chocolate brown paint colour was applied to the walls to provide depth and a masculine edge to the space.

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The office bookcases, filing drawers and desk were all custom-designed not only to fit the proportions of the room but to suit the storage needs of the clients. To carry through the spirited use of colour in this otherwise utilitarian space, accessory boxes from Semikolon were chosen and a shot of hot pink paint was applied to spice things up. For texture, a black-lacquered bamboo Chippendale chair was used for seating.

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The foyer provides a space for the client to display her travel photography. An entrance hall tabletop was created from the client’s leftover marble bathroom tiles and a bit of white painted wood moulding. Since the classic heating radiators were a feature of the home, this custom tabletop was the best application to increase functionality in the entrance. The signature designer print featured on the custom foyer benches is Lee Jofa Fiorentina in black/cream. Note how the square lines of the black picture frames contrast beautifully with the geometric Hollywood Regency-inspired mirror.


A custom-designed twin headboard in the child’s room was made from inexpensive white vinyl for practicality while the nail-head detailing was added for a  more tailored, grown up look.  The child could very well use this into her adult years if she so desired. Bedding was purchased through Restoration Hardware, the desk from IKEA, and the drapery made by C&M Textiles.

PlayroomThe playroom was painted a muted lavender colour (the child’s favourite colour) to pair with the vibrant hued blue furniture upholstery. Gold accessories were added for warmth.  The Louis-inspired daybed was re-upholstered in an indigo velvet with contrast piping in vanilla. The tub chairs were a vintage find recovered in Quadrille’s Island Ikat in Royal Blue.

Unexpected colour combinations and doses of pattern create a happy quality to this historical home. It is like having the elegance of Manhattan and the liveliness of Palm Beach all wrapped into one graphic urbane style.

The abundant wall space in the large combined living and dining room provides an ideal backdrop to showcase the client’s expanding collection of modern Canadian art. Murana Zuger’s Wizard, Frances Jodoin’s How Slow the Wind, How Slow the Sea, Tim Packer’s Springtime and Alex McMahon’s Untitled no. 2 grace the walls.

Dining room