Size: 5,000 sq. ft.
Scope: New Condo
Timeline: Two Years
For a 5000 square-foot condominium in an historically listed Gothic Revival former school building located in the heart of Toronto’s Yorkville district, the designer faced the challenge of balancing client needs, historical considerations, and condominium developer constraints.
My client required space accommodation for both large business social events and more intimate private gatherings that reflect their shared passions for art, architecture, travel and food. Specifically required: two offices and walk-in closets, unique, one of a kind custom elements and acoustical considerations for their grand piano and concerns about noise from other units. Also, their previous home was dark and moody, so the new home was to be bright, clean and contemporary but not cold and clinical. My clients wanted a home that reflected their interesting lives, was warm and welcoming and met their goal to have a home that was one of a kind.
The budget directive “to do this right” since it is their last home, but strategically spend for most impact & property resale.
The stylistic response drew largely from the language of 1930s design: bold, clean architectural detailing; a high level of artisanal craftsmanship, and custom furnishings that use luxurious materials to express an ‘understated modernity’. For example, a dramatic two-storey custom bronze screen, inspired by decorative grills from Toronto’s Carlu Auditorium was intended to function, when opened fully, as a divider concealing the kitchen from the dining/living space, but also, when folded into itself, as an architectural pediment framing the deep archway that encloses it.
The first challenge was to reconfigure the original dysfunctional builders plan into more clearly differentiated public and private zones.
This was achieved by placing a spacious grand foyer (the first place of arrival and pause) at the elevator entry, which opens dramatically onto the two-storey living, dining and kitchen spaces located in the historical portion of the building.
Next, a library/sitting room was positioned directly on axis with the entry foyer, flanked by symmetrical bronze custom French doors, which offer a view through to the garden terrace beyond, and are reminiscent of the stately apartments of Park Avenue or the Fifth Arrondissement. These two rooms elegantly mediate the transition between the public and private zones.
Finally, the private zones (including the master suite, two home offices, spacious walk-in closets and dual washrooms) were strategically located in the newly constructed section of the building for optimal visual and acoustic privacy.
Furnishings, such as acoustically engineered fabric wall panels, or a custom designed colour-blocked credenza and floating bedside tables that reference the work of Charlotte Perriand, and finally a whimsical chinoiserie wall mural in the dressing area, all find their inspiration in 1930s luxury French design and craftsmanship.
The result is a seamless and clearly resolved flow of engaging and meaningful spaces, for formal and informal living, in an urban home that elegantly balances and celebrates the interconnected threads of history, design and craft.
“We have worked with Theresa Casey on several projects and, quite honestly, would not work with anyone else! Theresa has an innate ability to translate our personal style and personalities and elevate our own vision to the next level by infusing her singular artistic sensibility. The end result is a space that is beautiful and unique and perfectly suited to us.
In our latest project, Theresa was involved in all aspects of the project from architectural design through to interior design including art curation. She was extremely collaborative and responsive at all times throughout the project. She has an eye for detail and demands quality and perfection in every facet of the design process. We are beyond thrilled with the final result!
In short, Theresa is a pleasure to work with, always far exceeds our expectations and we highly recommend Casey Design Group.”
- Esther & Stuart Waugh