A small home in the city gets the perfect dose of country charm.
A young family delivers a healthy dose of cottage country to their smart city abode.
Jen Grant and Luke Fox weren’t the only ones who fell in love with their semi-detached home in Toronto five years ago – 13 other prospective buyers did as well. In fact, there were 14 offers in total on the three-bedroom home, which, at the time, didn’t look nearly this good.
“When we first saw the house, it clearly had great bones. We loved the older Victorian details, including the plate rails, original fireplace, stained-glass windows, strip hardwood floors and smaller character rooms,” recalls Jen, who works as a sports marketer. “But the house had also been divided into two separate apartments, so it required lots of work before we could even begin to decorate.”
Small living room
Homeowners Jen Grant and Luke Fox had no interest in taking down walls to open up their home’s main-floor space, “We aren’t open-concept people,” says Jen with a laugh. By including a large geometric rug and choosing smaller pieces of furniture like the two painted vintage side tables instead of a large coffee table, the 12-by 12-foot living room feels larger. The Louis-style armchairs were finds from an auction and an estate sale and were both painted white, which really makes their matching indigo blue fabric pop.
A fresh palette
With such a small space, avoiding clutter was key, so Jen and Luke scaled back on all the hand-me-down pieces they had and removed the stuff that they didn’t absolutely love. The blue and white lidded ottoman doubles as storage for toys and books. The fresh palette of blue, yellow and white runs throughout the house.
“I knew I wanted a big wooden table in the dining room and that I’d paint it white. The piece of glass on top protects it from dings and scratches,” says Jen. “The dining chairs were found separately at a secondhand shop, and I like the eclectic feel of the set, which we use daily.” White drapes soften the look of the room, and a pair of simple square mirrors bounces light around the space.
Jen added the chopping-block-topped kitchen island on casters to act as an eating area and additional workspace.
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“The kitchen was very bright and well laid out to begin with, so we just had to paint the cabinets and replace the countertops to update the look. Although it’s small, it’s very functional,” explains Jen.
“I wanted the master bedroom to feel spacious and airy, with the comfort of a hotel room and the warm touches of home. I love my bedroom – it was the first room we completed,” says Jen. The large-scale black and white plaid rug adds a hit of country and grounds the overall look.
The Marimekko headboard fabric was the jumping-off point for decorating the rest of the space, which is mostly white.