This Opulent Townhouse Is A Twist On Tradition
After years of Scandi-style minimalism, a maximalist approach to decorating is on the rise. “More-is-more” underscores designer James Davie’s design of this 3,500-square-foot Toronto townhouse, a mix of traditional Georgian, Egyptian Revival and Asian influences, grounded in neoclassical and Art Deco styles. “I wanted to create something luxe and layered, but the owners wanted it to be classic,” says James. “I like mixing styles that haven’t been blended before.” Scroll down to tour this opulent, expertly curated space.
The glamorous entryway floor is enhanced by glossy black octagonal marble slabs, infilled with white marble. “I was originally going to do a classic checkerboard floor, then I thought, ‘Why be so boring?’” says James.
“I always think millwork needs to go floor to ceiling,” says James (pictured). “This painted-wood library corner creates a separate, smaller space within a larger room.” High-gloss walnut flooring is a sleek contrast to the pale goatskin-covered desk, steel-accented wood chairs and a brass and aluminum gardening stool.
“I want people to open the door and feel like they’re walking into the classic grandeur of an old New York-style apartment building,” says James. A practical, curvy banquette is lavished with pretty box panelling.
James anchored the living room with a wool and silk rug in his favorite octagonal motif. The coffee tables are shortened silver-leaf side tables, which tie in with the silver-leaf recessed ceiling. For balance, James designed a window seat upholstered in the same yellow fabric as the sofa.
In the large, multipurpose living room, James created a cozy corner beside the fireplace that’s perfectly suited for conversation.
James played up Art Deco influences in the dining room with a vintage sideboard, bar cabinet and light fixture from the era, and geo-print chairs. He repeated the pattern of the glass fixture in the rug to generate a sense of play between the floor and ceiling.
In the kitchen, glass-icicle light fixtures are a flashy counterpoint to the mellowness of cerused white oak cabinetry and raw brass detailing. The shape of the custom octagonal table is a recurring motif throughout the townhouse.
“This quiet reading nook is where you can just reach up, grab a book and relax,” says James. He covered the plush armchair and matching ottoman in a handsome fabric from Osborne & Little.
A Dutch book press serves as both a conversation piece and design element. “The book press gave me the taller piece I needed to break the 30″-high visual line created by the sofas, chairs and tables,” says James.
The luxurious, classic library is anchored by panelled walls in a dark finish. “It’s an extravagant, one-off room, so I was able to bring in deep, rich brown, scarlet red and cobalt blue,” he says. The cheetah-print fabric on the sofa and lions’ heads on the chandelier are a nod to safari style.
The Deco-style terrazzo flooring in the second-floor gallery is poured in stone aggregate — perfect for a high-traffic thoroughfare. Octagonal lanterns punctuate the coffered ceiling. A coat closet is distinguished by floor-to-ceiling millwork and églomisé panel insets.
In the principal bathroom, Venetian plaster walls and a crisp blue-grey palette are punctuated by polished nickel fixtures and trim.
James opted for a feminine feel in the 1930s-inspired principal bedroom. Dimensional panelling adds interest while the silver, pink and dark purple drapery fabric set a glamorous tone — heightened by a vintage chandelier and glints of silver on the furnishings.