A Modern & Cozy Home With A Sunny California Vibe
Fashion entrepreneur Erin Kleinberg, co-founder of The Coveteur and digital agency Métier Creative, is good at building things from the ground up. So when she and her husband couldn’t find their dream home in the crazy Toronto real estate market, that’s exactly what they did. With the help of builder Adam Rothschild, Erin transformed an 800-square-foot bungalow, which reminded her of “a small Venice surf shack a la James Perse,” into the family home she’d always hoped for. Inspired by the mid-century spaces of Palm Springs and a neutral palette of black and white, Erin created a modern, cozy space where friends and family are always welcome — and, we’re guessing, never want to leave. Click through to see what we mean.
Erin Kleinberg: We want guests to step in and smell the Diptyque Baies candle, listen to the Frank Ocean on the Sonos, have some of my mom’s famous banana bread and cozy up to the fire. I grew up in Richmond Hill and a lot of my friends live really far, so our home has become an open door for them to come in and chill, anytime, any day.
EK: I think the Elte rug has a lot to do with it; it’s just this massive shaggy rug that people sort of congregate on and cozies up the area. My daughter Parker basically lives on that carpet! I also think the rock feature wall feels somewhat cottage-y, yet sophisticated, with the fireplace adjacent to it. I find the fact that there is no clutter, tchotchkes, book shelves, or a gallery wall creates a polished, refined, clean look.
EK: It’s definitely the focal point of the house, and we had to nail it. Using roughly 200 stones, the tilers placed each locally sourced rock one by one to create the wall. By using a variety of sizes, shapes and belly depths, we were able to create a certain dimension and texture that I was yearning for, given all of the other walls were flat white. It was a process for sure, but turned out to be my favorite element of the home.
EK: I really stick to a palette of white and black at the end of the day — it’s sort of my uniform. The odd day I’ll show up in a vintage floral getup, but it’s really shades of white, ivory, grey and black that are my daily palette. Our home has a very similar color scheme.
EK: I’ve always loved the Beverly Hills hotel in particular and although cliché, I can’t get enough of their famous banana leaf wallpaper. The entire home is quite neutral so we thought why not go for it in the powder room? The vanity is one of my most prized possessions in the home as we built it from vintage emerald green marble tiles and added a quartz countertop. This was inspired by the interiors from the Céline stores. I am in love with those stores!
EK: The most important element in creating this vibe was the white oak floors. I find a lot of homes in Toronto feature darker wood floors, but I love the look of blonde wood — it really brightens up the rooms. Of course, the rock feature wall has a lot do with it as well, but I think the fact that we have a ton of windows, natural light and 10-foot ceilings gives it that open, airy feel.
EK: We really wanted to have a juxtaposition of textures and vibes in the kitchen with the cabinetry and the backsplash. The drawers are a wood veneer and the backsplash is a Statuario marble and they complement each other immensely. To finish it off, I love the hood made of shiplap that contrasts the elevated marble with a rustic, cottage-y feel.
After doing much research, I have found that Chantilly Lace (OC-65) by Benjamin Moore is truly the best white and will match with your neutrals perfectly. And it’s washable! Additionally, don’t listen to any of the rules — you can mix and match as many neutral tones as you wish.
EK: We were very inspired by the modern homes that Hugh Newell Jacobsen designs, as well as Copenhagen design firm Space Copenhagen, who recently designed 11 Howard in New York. We are also obsessed with what Vanessa Traina has done with The Apartment by The Line. Other major inspirations are Jenni Kayne, Amber Interiors, and Courtney Applebaum.
EK: I was definitely influenced by many of the hotel rooms I have stayed in. There is nothing like a night spent ordering room service in a robe in your favorite hotel. We wanted the master and master bath to have that feeling of a hotel/spa. Adam had the idea to make our ceiling a cathedral ceiling, so we added these incredibly beautiful and rustic reclaimed wood beams to give the home a vintage feel.
EK: I feel like I took a little piece away from each individual’s home that I styled. I learned so much about how to create the perfect ambiance that makes company feel comfortable, chilled, and want to hang out and never leave!
EK: There were many peaks and valleys along the way and at times it felt like we had a full second job, but no matter how stressful things were, it is 100 per cent worth it and we are over the moon to finally be living in our own home.