The light-as-air look of wire dining chairs and a Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chair offset the visual heft of the rosewood table, while a triptych by Yves Gaucher supports the symmetry of the windows. Floral arrangements throughout by Emblem, Toronto.
Inject punches of colour into your decor with artwork. To mix things up, switch or rotate pieces seasonally. High-voltage colour is a great way to take the edge off coolly contemporary homes. Primary hues, in particular, add playfulness to otherwise austere environs.Renovating was the last thing the owners of this midsize, midtown Toronto home wanted to tackle. But their initial house-hunting efforts proved fruitless. Undaunted, they decided that if they couldn’t find their dream home, they’d just have to buy and rebuild. To do that, they persuaded Alan Tregebov of AJ Tregebov Architect to make room in his mainly commercial practice for their residential job. It took communication, imagination and the doggedness of contractor Michael Sullivan of Immaculate Construction, but nine long months later their dream came true.
In the office, sleek custom built-ins maximize storage space and keep the room uncluttered and clean.
Q: What were your primary goals when you gutted and rebuilt your house?
Homeowner: We wanted an airy, open home that had a very modern feel. We accomplished that by relying on four contemporary elements: stone, wood, glass and steel. Whenever we hit a crossroad and weren’t sure which way to go, we’d go back to those basic materials.
Reflective surfaces make the kitchen nearly glow: glass tiles cover the walls, while stainless steel adds shine to countertops and appliances.
Q: How is this house different from other modern homes?
Alan Tregebov: We used exotic woods throughout the home. The floors are jatoba, a rainforest wood that darkens as it ages. And two steel posts in the kitchen are wrapped in zebra wood, which has a very multifaceted face. In this house, you’ll also see a recurring L motif. The frosted-glass wall in the kitchen doesn’t just disguise the stairs leading to the basement, it forms an L-shape. Similarly, the glass windows across the back of the house wrap around to create another intriguing L.
Homeowner: We chose to accent with splashes of brilliant colour. By keeping with typically modern wood, slate, glass and steel, we created a neutral backdrop against which any colour pops. I was inspired to go with cobalt lacquered kitchen cabinets when I discovered that deep, luxurious blue inside a high-end gas range.