House Tours

Dilapidated Victorian gets a pretty-in-pink makeover

Dilapidated Victorian gets a pretty-in-pink makeover

Fresh and refined white and lilac living room. Author: Stacey Van Berkel

House Tours

Dilapidated Victorian gets a pretty-in-pink makeover

Take a tour of this cozy family-friendly retreat bursting with farmhouse chic.


“I call it the House of Pink,” says designer Margie Doyle White. That’s not to say that this home in Toronto’s historical Cabbagetown neighbourhood is anywhere near girly or frou-frou. A neutral palette, a mix of traditional items with a few modern pieces and strong architectural character keep this 3,000-square-foot detached Victorian sophisticated and refined. And, in fact, so does the pink.

When Raewyn and Charlie Fahlenbock purchased the house in 2014 for its coveted location, spacious layout (the structure was actually two dilapidated semi-detached rowhouses that were restored and turned into one home eight years ago) and good bones, the interior’s orange and brown palette was out of sync with its ultra-charming exterior. “It was a relatively new reno, but it made me think of macramé hanging planters,” says Margie. “On the outside, you saw this beautiful Victorian, but once inside, you felt like you were stuck in the ’70s. The two didn’t talk to each other.”

Charlie, a sales manager, and Raewyn, a stay-at-home mom taking time off from managing her family’s horse-breeding operation, share the house with their daughters, Olive, 2, and five-month-old Juniper. The couple wanted to bring back the property’s original charm, as well as create a cozy family-friendly retreat with a farmhouse feel.
 

Photo Gallery

prev next 1 of 13

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Pretty in pink

The pink front door complements the pretty scheme inside and makes the residence stand out.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Gorgeous living room

Elements like the curvaceous loveseats, Scandi-style brass armchairs and salvaged wood coffee table lend the living room a casual yet refined aesthetic. A built-in bench gives a bay window purpose.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

An intimate sitting area

The second bay window, which looks out onto the lush front garden, creates an intimate sitting area in the living room. Chairs from the homeowners’ previous house were recovered in a sophisticated floral fabric.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

A feminine scheme

The living room’s wall colour – white with a lilac undertone – was the jumping-off point for the home’s feminine scheme. “This white makes everything feel so fresh,” says designer Margie Doyle White.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Designer tips

For Margie, formerly a designer on W Network’s Take This House and Sell It, the tricks to injecting the space with character were keeping the layout intact and adding or updating architectural details; replacing the tired, dark kitchen with something timeless and white; and incorporating key elements to create an urban English farmhouse aesthetic.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Laid-back dining room vibe

A reclaimed wood trestle table surrounded by linen-covered chairs gives the dining room a laid-back vibe. A large-scale drum pendant light on a pulley anchors the table.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Built-in shelving

The built-in shelving unit lined with lilac grasscloth wallpaper provides character.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

A stylish kitchen

The kitchen’s high ceilings allowed for chunky crown moulding, and glass-fronted upper cabinets with an “X” detail add even more architectural interest. A backsplash of greyish taupe ceramic subway tiles offers a soft hit of colour in the all-white space.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Bright and airy

In the kitchen, see-through elements like the stools keep the look bright and airy.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Meet the homeowner

Homeowner Raewyn Fahlenbock with two-year-old daughter Olive.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

The perfect alfresco dining area

The former garage, which was basically a windowless stucco box, was supplanted by a coach house-style structure. Its board-and-batten siding, shingled roof and shuttered windows now give the backyard a good dose of character. It also serves as a charming backdrop for the alfresco dining area.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Cedar deck pergola

A cedar deck and pergola define the outdoor sitting area and provide a shady spot to lounge in the backyard.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home

One determined designer makes a Victorian home beautiful inside and out

Matching palettes

The lilac and pink plants throughout the backyard tie in with the home’s interior palette.

By: Laura Muir Source: Stacey Van Berkel Credits: Style at Home
Comments
Share X
House Tours

Dilapidated Victorian gets a pretty-in-pink makeover