A New-Build With All The Character Of A Heritage Home
Homeowner Sylvia’s vision of the perfect home was a little bit Parisian, a little bit West Coast minimal. “As if Coco Chanel were living in California,” she says. It was also, ideally, in North Toronto. Knowing the search would be frustrating and probably fruitless, she and her husband, Koko, decided to skip the ordeal and build their dream house instead. They could demolish the existing house and build a 4,400-square-foot home with the help of JTF Homes.
With visions of archways, coffered ceilings and a limestone façade dancing in her head, Sylvia reached out to design firm Feasby & Bleeks Design. “Sylvia and Koko envisioned a modern French château vibe with a clean, pared-back look — a classic interpretation of the style,” says designer Cindy Bleeks.
Scroll down to tour this French-style new-build with heritage charm.
The French blue on the arched front doors, herringbone-laid inlay flooring and pilasters give this entry a heritage feel. To the left of Sylvia is a cloakroom that also serves as a quiet place for guests to take phone calls. “Storage is so well integrated into the architecture,” says Erin.
The entry is softened by organic shapes, from the tree stump-like base of the console to the white faux coral mirror.
In the living room, a custom curved sofa affords a view of the fireplace. The designers printed a full-size template of the sofa and placed it on the floor to ensure the scale and shape fit the living room perfectly.
A glass coffee table allows the rug’s palette to shine.
Pretty pillows echo the tones in the nearby artwork.
Silvery blue grasscloth wallpaper and ombré drapery make the dining room cozy. Pilasters and ceiling mouldings create a traditional feel, while the beaded chandelier injects a St. Tropez vibe.
Arched doorways bring the French feel home. Since the kitchen is quite large, the designers didn’t want to overload the cabinetry with hardware. A mix of hardware and built-in pulls achieves a quieter look.
Sylvia and Koko splurged on a hardworking kitchen outfitted with double wall ovens, a Wolf cooktop and two dishwashers, one of which is in the butler’s pantry. “Appliances are so important, and homeowners usually don’t budget enough for them, though this wasn’t the case here,” says Cindy.
A banquette looks luxe with a moiré effect and tufting, but it’s also wipeable (when 12-year-old daughter, Estelle, does her homework) and large enough to host a big gathering.
At one point, Sylvia wanted the kitchen to be separate from the family room, but the designers made a case for a partial opening to have the best of both worlds. “The wall gives you a little bit of privacy,” says Cindy. “And it backs a pantry and built-in desk on the kitchen side.”
A coffered ceiling and marble fireplace surround trimmed in white oak create an elegant envelope for the family room. A mix of open shelving and glass-fronted cabinetry breaks up the storage. “Otherwise, it would be a sea of shelving,” says Erin.
Expansive windows and 10-foot-high ceilings — as seen in the principal bedroom — distinguish this home from other new-builds. All the windows have a panel built in underneath, allowing them to be cased out to the baseboard for a French effect.
A lacquered console with shagreen doors and mod armchairs are pretty touches in the principal bedroom. Sheer drapery is breezy and romantic.
Glass walls allow natural light to stream into the ensuite shower.
Drapery was given a playful pom-pom trim to make it age-appropriate for Estelle’s bedroom. The pinboard and built-ins will stay relevant as she grows older.