If you’re hooked on Instagram, then you’re already aware of the growing influence of art and images on everyday life. “The internet has brought a much greater awareness and openness to all art,” says homeowner
Pamela Meredith, an independent art curator who, for five years, was the senior curator for TD Bank Group.
For the last 14 years, Pamela has lived with her husband and two daughters in a 3,300-square-foot, three-bedroom Victorian in midtown Toronto. Her personal art collection, though — which is about 80 per cent Canadian and 20 per cent international — has been a quarter of a century in the making. The art preceded the home’s decorating — it dictated what colors Pamela chose for the walls, what she wanted the renovation of the principal bedroom to look like (complete by local architecture firm
Superkül), even which accessories would populate various rooms. “I’m a curator at heart; I like the connections and conversations between things,” she says.
Scroll down to see inside this artful home!
The front entry showcases a canvas with an embedded computer chip and lighting that illustrates the Andromeda constellation as it changes in the night sky. “It’s one of those works that slows you down when you’re entering and leaving the house because you want to see what happens to the sky,” says Pamela.
To soften the graphic black, white and red palette in the sunken living room, Pamela added a Turkish rug in tones of pink, pale blue and purple.
A tall, black aluminum foil piece by duo Hadley+Maxwell depicts a striking deconstruction of human anatomy.
This vitrine, with its multiple carved and formed knife shapes, is by Zin Taylor, who was inspired by a knife-like piece of driftwood found on Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The first-floor den has a collected-over-time vibe. “The bookshelves came in the last couple of years because I had run out of places for books,” says Pamela.
“In its previous incarnation, the kitchen was dark mahogany,” says Pamela. “It was somber and serious, and I wanted to really lighten it up.” With the space now painted white and warm grey, the industrial-style stools and blue and green ceramics by Harlan House pop. The prints arranged around the doorway show two figures in pajamas dancing in a landscape.
The curved marble backs of the dining area’s black chairs riff on the marble countertops in the adjacent kitchen while the Pick Up Stick chandelier and vintage Rosenthal vases on the table have graphic impact. The series of six works is by Roy McMakin, who photographed his mother’s Dutch oven. “It’s the perfect kitchen or dining room piece,” says Pamela.
In the stairwell to the third floor, Pamela rotates in pieces she collected early on by artists such as Rirkrit Tiravanija, Paul Butler, Candida Höfer, Arnaud Maggs, Shirley Wiitasalo and Shannon Oksanen. “Most are smaller-scale photos or works on paper,” she says. “I use the space to hang as many things as I possibly can.”
Pamela wanted the second-floor media room to be comfortable, so she chose a deep sectional for TV-watching. “It’s the kids’ domain, and that’s one of the reasons I chose such bright, fun colors,” she says. A large photograph by Stephen Waddell anchors the space.
New dormers were added to the third floor, front and back, to enlarge the kids’ bedrooms and add ceiling height. Both daughters selected their own art based on what their mom had in storage.
For the principal bedroom, Pamela selected a large-scale piece by Colleen Heslin to hang on the freestanding wall opposite the bed.
“I wanted the feeling of being in nature,” says Pamela of the bedroom, which was extended over the living room and enveloped in white oak. The renovated space now opens up to the beautiful park and mature trees at the rear of the lot.
A freestanding wall that separates the bed from the bathing area is covered on one side, and beneath the tub, with patterned Moroccan tile in a soft pink hue.
Author: Alison Garwood-Jones
House & Home January 2020
Architecture by Superkül