See How This Serene Century Home Puts Nature First
When you’re gently swaying in the swing chair in Monica and Jonathan Maile’s bedroom, the city feels like it’s a million miles away. The house backs onto a lush ravine, where the couple’s young daughters, Rees, 8, and Tate, 5, like to forage for organic treasures. The home’s location in Baby Point, an upscale neighborhood in Toronto’s west end, was ideal for the family, who spend as much time as they can outdoors.
The house itself, however, was far from perfect. Over the years, layers of makeshift renovations had turned the aging abode into a patchwork of small, dark rooms. They asked local architects Jodi and Andrew Batay-Csorba to design both the exterior and interiors with two seemingly straightforward goals: to bring more natural light into every room and to add a suite for Monica’s mother, Candace Tate. The final result is a comfortable space for three generations that’s surrounded by nature, and designed with areas for gathering together or spending quiet time alone. It’s the family’s dream home, but it also reflects changing ideas about what the ideal home entails.
“I wanted the house to be a function of humanity, not a museum where you show things off,” says Monica. “There’s a loving, welcoming energy that really enables the family to be together.”
Scroll down to tour this serene family oasis!
Cedar shingles combine with original stone masonry to create a one-of-a-kind exterior that respects the historical neighborhood. “There aren’t too many areas in Toronto like Baby Point where so many old homes have survived,” says Jodi. “I think it’s important to carry on that legacy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make interventions.”
Andrew and Jodi (left) and Monica and Jonathan spent two years renovating this century-old house into a bright, multigenerational home.
In the kitchen, the architects designed open shelving so Monica could easily access ingredients while cooking. The porcelain stone countertops were chosen for their durability.
The family eats most of their meals at the cozy banquette brought to life with a built-in planter.
The original wood-burning fireplace in the living room was preserved. Deep leather sofas and plush layers make this a comfortable and cozy spot to gather in.
An earthy vignette nods to the family’s affinity for nature.
In the dining area, a gallery wall of family photos adds a personal touch while a statement light fixture acts like sculpture. “As much as we could, we sourced furniture locally to support artisans,” says Monica.
An extra-deep window ledge is the perfect spot for Rees and Tate to read with Nana.
Rees and Tate like to swing in the wicker hanging chair that offers views of the ravine behind the house.
Located in the new addition, the principal bedroom mixes cool tones with natural textures.
The soaker tub becomes the focal point in this speckled tile corner of the principal bathroom.
The secluded third-storey loft space is used for yoga and was recently turned into the family’s music room with a piano, djembe, ukulele and other instruments.