How To Create Tension Between Classic & Contemporary Style
Handsome moldings and original woodwork mingle with bold, creative furniture in this Georgian Revival home in one of Toronto’s oldest neighborhoods. To the credit of H&H 2017 Designer Of The Year Katherine Newman, these architectural features don’t end up the main focus; instead, they enhance a diverse contemporary art collection and form a refined backdrop for the home’s elegant and eclectic design. “Our approach to layering is nuanced,” she says. From striking light fixtures to polished wood panelling, see how Katherine and her business partner, Peter Cebulak, brought modern spirit to this historical home.
The sunny family room features several gathering zones. Modern and contemporary furniture speaks to the collected yet livable sensibility of the home. The homeowners say they gravitate toward “pure, simple but exceptional design.”
Mahogany panelling, newly restored in the library, feels fresh when combined with significant modern artworks and an offbeat seating arrangement.
After reviving the walnut panelling in the gallery, Katherine replaced the fireplace surround with a brighter marble. Contemporary furniture in fluid shapes, inviting fabrics and impressionist hues complement traditional architecture. A framed artwork by American photographer David LaChapelle leans casually on the mantel.
David Hockney’s A Bigger Book comes with its own stand designed by Marc Newson and brings a bright dash of color to a corner of the walnut-panelled gallery.
A pair of custom-made metal-framed armchairs, inspired by 20th-century French designer Jean Royère’s collectible Croisillon designs, bookend the fireplace in the main stair hall. Overhead, Pentagone chandeliers by Jonathan Browning produce warm halos of light.
A black, restaurant-inspired lighting system punctuates the kitchen. For subtle contrast, the ceiling was painted in Benjamin Moore’s Sea Froth (2107-60), reduced in color by 25 per cent. The breakfast room occupies a sunny corner just beyond the kitchen.
Smoky mauve walls brighten the dining room, while the Deco-inspired rug grounds the European walnut dining table and Danish-inspired chairs. Pendants by Italian glass artist Simone Crestani and curled bronze sconces by French designer Hervé Van der Straeten are part lighting, part sculpture.
Earthy terracotta vessels by Françoise Blondeau and Aït Lhaj Hassan flank a pair of doors that conceal full height storage for the homeowners’ china.
With its gallery-sized walls, the main stair hall displays an arresting mix of artwork from the homeowners’ collection. Katherine added pieces like the Lona Design cabinet, which holds its own next to paintings by Gordon Applebee Smith (over stairs) and Jean-Paul Riopelle (left of cabinet).
A simple wood bench is a more casual counterpoint to the pristine surroundings in the principal suite. Bedside pendant lights with custom red cords by Lindsey Adelman provide a splash of color.
The generous proportions of the principal bedroom allow for an expressive mise en scène of covetable furniture, art and objets. The grouping includes PK20 lounge chairs by Poul Kjærholm, a ceramic Bishop table by India Mahdavi, a Pied de Bouc stool by Marc Bankowsky, a glass floor lamp by Sebastian Herkner and a blue ceramic sculpture by Merete Rasmussen.
Reflective elements in a principal suite bathroom playfully feature pieces from adjacent areas, such as the colorful artwork by Alfred Pellan that’s seen in the vanity mirror.