City Homes

November 16, 2023

A Toronto Semi Gets A Dose Of Character And Drama From Designer Jessica McGouran

The greatest spaces tell a story, says Jessica McGouran of Jessica Leigh Interiors. “More than simply good aesthetics, I want every home to reflect the personality of its owners. This was top of mind when Jessica was hired to reimagine the interiors of a newly built semi in Toronto’s east end. The homeowners are a couple who love to entertain, watch movies and host viewing parties, so ample space for gatherings was a must. “My clients are fun,” says Jessica. “They appreciate good art and design, and wanted a bold look with rich, vibrant colors.”

Previously a poky bungalow, the new 2,000-square-foot, four-bedroom semi was an infill development by Toronto architect Vanessa Fong for Sierra Custom Homes. The minimalist, white-painted brick exterior draws inspiration from classic London mews–style houses. “I was born in London, so I have a soft spot for British residential architecture,” says Vanessa. “Mews houses, like semis, tend to be similar to the neighboring houses but also have distinct features that make them unique.”

The architect’s floor plan balanced the needs of everyday life with places to entertain. “The mudroom is easily accessible from both the front and back doors, and the laundry room is on the third floor, close to the bedrooms,” says Vanessa. For entertaining, the dining area is next to the kitchen, which opens out to an adjoining living room — a cozy spot for after-dinner conversation.

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Author: Matthew Hague

Lauren Miller


House & Home


Architecture by Vanessa Fong; design by Jessica McGouran