What was striking about this client couple’s shared passion for collecting was that their lifestyle involved a lot of traveling, which exposed them to a variety of aesthetics, and as a result, put them on two ends of the spectrum as to how they saw this room coming together. She leaned towards a more traditional aesthetic, while he wanted to move into something more contemporary and edgy. My solution was to draw inspiration from the designs of the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s, as these decades incorporated the traditional artisanal methods with the developing core of what is today's modern design.

Functionally, this historically important 'Great Room' from the 1850’s in Toronto didn’t work – friends would arrive for an evening, wander in, and eventually everyone would end up in the kitchen. To make it approachable and inviting, we created zones or smaller rooms within the larger room. In this 40' x 20' ‘Great Room’ we created three distinct seating areas including an original cozy Inglenook, a dining area and an area for the grand piano in the bay window. To create warmth and to help with sound issues, we installed rich, ochre, velvet fabric wall panels, a huge improvement over the original white paint. For the furnishings and draperies, each element was chosen for it’s unique historical and design qualities, as curated parts of an integrated whole.

The result: a room that functions seamlessly as a gathering place for guests, and as a gallery of art and one-of-a-kind furniture that has become the heart and soul of the home.  

Click to see “before” pictures