Formal Meets Casual In This Grand Toronto Georgian
Before the transformation, this circa-1910 Georgian didn’t quite feel like home. “It just wasn’t us,” says homeowner Lucia Liscio (below, right). A renovation done by the previous owners left Lucia and her husband, Trond Lossius, and their two children, Anders and Mia, with the sense that their personal stamp was missing. The family wanted a home that captured their contemporary style and their vibrant, outgoing personalities. Working closely with designer Kim Lambert, the couple was pushed outside their comfort zone.“Feeling uncomfortable is a good thing when redesigning your home,” says Kim. She encouraged the couple to try new things, and now, the space hits all the right notes. Straddling the line between formal and casual, light and dark, spectacular and livable, this grand old house is now in tune with the family. Click through for a look inside.
Circular art from Douglas Coupland’s Mirror series lightens the mood of the wide formal hallway. The pass-through doubles as an additional living space with a gallery feel. “At parties, people always end up standing here,” says Lucia.
In the formal living room, the fireplace is offset to the left. Kim complemented this placement with an asymmetrical composition of furniture including a luxe curved sofa, a coffee table on a circular base and a long velvet bench.
Lucia wanted a contrast of light and dark, masculine and feminine. In the music room, Kim chose a collection of beautiful pieces, including the much-used lounge chair by Antonio Citterio.
Kim felt the living areas needed some detail, so she chose more traditional window valances. Lucia says that Chris Levine’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with her eyes closed is the most talked about piece in their art collection.
Velvet acoustic panelling softens the sound of the piano and gives the music room an extra layer of coziness. “I imagine the living room as the lady’s sitting room; I envision sherry,” says Lucia. “The music room is more of the men’s lounge, with cognac.” Kim focused on creating conversation zones rather than striving for perfect symmetry. “We carefully chose colorful accents and a rug with playful colors to sit opposite the quieter formal living room,” she says.
The kitchen was designed for the previous owners with thick limestone counters and a cool palette that didn’t need to be altered. “I love the stainless upper cabinets and glass backsplash,” says Lucia, though she admits she would love to lower the height of the extra-tall counters. She jokes that cooking in high heels is less than ideal.
“The antique mahogany pedestal table and sideboard was our first ‘real’ purchase in our first house back in 2001. They’re part of us,” says Lucia. To update the pieces, Kim paired them with comfortable contemporary chairs ideal for long dinner parties and a smoky antiqued mirror that bounces soft-filtered light throughout the room. New panelling in this space is true to the home’s vintage.
When it comes to the serene, restrained principal bedroom, “calm oasis” is an understatement.
Clean lines and a contemporary travertine-clad fireplace are cozied up by the subtle texture and color of full-height drapes, plush bedding and a tonal rug.
With a background in hotel design, Kim expertly crafted a warm, luxurious sitting area off the principal bedroom with plush seating options and dark grey wallpaper. A lower sofa and ottoman, especially in a smaller room with average ceiling heights, feel more harmonious. “It’s less cluttered and more approachable,” she says.