Dr. Radha Kohly doesn’t have a lot of time to fret over interior design details. Along with being an academic ophthalmologist at University of Toronto’s Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences (where she also serves as the department’s vice-chair of Faculty Development, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Global Health), she’s also a busy mother of four and an attentive daughter. But Radha certainly knows what she likes.
At the end of an extensive structural renovation of her 4,234-square-foot home in Toronto’s Rosedale neighborhood, Radha needed a designer she could trust to create beautiful, family-friendly rooms that had a South Asian feeling. She found her perfect collaborator in Ali Budd, the president and principal designer of Ali Budd Interiors. “I didn’t have details, and I didn’t want to micromanage,” says Radha of her extremely hands-off approach to decorating. “I told her I wanted color and a South Asian essence in our home. She came in, listened and got it right away.”
Ali’s solution was to fill the five-bedroom, six-bathroom home with surfaces, art and furniture that blend South Asian tradition with modern functionality. The trick to executing all of this successfully, says Ali, was finding a way in which traditional and modern, fun and function, and East and West could harmoniously coexist. “It’s a fine balance,” says the designer. “It can get cheesy and thematic very quickly so, in this case, it was about being very thoughtful with our selections.”
The resulting spaces in this color-filled family home that feels like an elevated playhouse, distinct from its surroundings, perfectly suited to its inhabitants and, most importantly, exactly what Radha wanted: “I like that Ali wasn’t afraid to take risks.”
Scroll down to tour this vibrant multigenerational home!