Decorating & Design
June 28, 2021
This Modern Home Proves Family Living Can Be Luxurious
Timing is everything. Little did Alexandra Horwood and her husband, Andrew James Labbad, know that the world was about to turn upside down when they bought their new house during the summer of 2019. They had outgrown the semidetached home in downtown Toronto they shared with their two children, Mason James, 4, and Sydney Carter, 2. They wanted more space — indoors and out — privacy, to be close to downtown and the airport, and they finally had it: a five-bedroom house in the leafy, family-friendly Edenbridge–Humber Valley area of Toronto. The two-storey house checked all the boxes on their wish list: room for an office, gym, wine cellar, nanny suite, playroom, home theater, family room, guest bedroom and lots of bathrooms, not to mention a pool and a big backyard with a covered patio that would be perfect for entertaining.
Alexandra and Andrew, who both have demanding careers in finance, immediately hired designer Alyssa Moscovitch-Young of Harper Gray Design to create the home they envisioned. The challenge was to make the space feel warm and welcoming. “Furniture placement was key,” says Alyssa, who chose curvaceous, custom-made pieces that were deliberately proportioned and arranged to define the large, open-concept spaces. Size mattered. “The pieces we brought from our former home looked like dollhouse furniture,” says Alexandra with a laugh.
This is a home designed to balance a luxurious sense of style with carefree family life. “I didn’t want the kids to get hurt while playing,” says Alexandra. “I wanted our home to be a safe space where I didn’t have to childproof everything.” But while true luxury boils down to air, space and light, in the context of a large, light-filled home, it’s color that creates intimacy.
By the end of November 2019, the family had finally moved into their dream home. Three days after the finishing touches were added to the home office in March 2020, the city plunged into lockdown and Alexandra and her husband were required to work from home. “It was perfect timing,” she says. “Who knew that having a Zoom-worthy office would be a priority?” Locked-down living has given this family — like all of us — a chance to reflect and realize what a sanctuary our homes have become. “What’s most important is to be at home in a place that makes you happy,” says Alexandra. “There isn’t a single room in this house that isn’t used and enjoyed. Now, when people ask if our home is still a work in progress, I tell them no — it’s perfect.”
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House & Home June 2021
Alyssa Moscovitch-Young, Harper Gray Design