When Samantha Goren and her husband, Noah Goldstein, found their unrenovated North Toronto house in late 2019, they knew it was a good fit. “I wanted a house where nothing had been updated,” says Samantha. “The house was a blank canvas.” At 4,000-square-feet, it had plenty of space for the couple and their three kids, and the dated kitchen and tired living areas were ripe for a reno.
The couple hired friend and designer Ali Budd, whose work they had long admired. The project started as a kitchen renovation but quickly morphed into a radical transformation of the entire main floor. The finished space is a perfect blend of Samantha’s classic country, southwest style and Ali’s signature aesthetic. “Even though Ali tends to be more modern than I am, she’s so good, she can do anything!” says Samantha.
Samantha drew inspiration from places she has been that she felt connected to. “My grandparents live in Arizona, and I grew up spending a lot of time there,” she says. “When I visited recently, I started to think about my own house, and how I could incorporate some of the elements I saw.” One such motif is the arch. Graceful archways punctuate every passageway on the main floor, and exposed wood beams — salvaged from a 150-year-old barn in Ottawa — add country character. Then, Ali and her team brought in their trademark swagger. “Our design was a little out of Samantha’s comfort zone,” says Ali, “but she just needed a little push.”
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