You wouldn’t suspect it from the traditional exterior, but a step inside designer James Davie’s Toronto home reveals a bold, statement-making space. After a decade in New York, James moved back to Toronto in search of a house where he could start a family and open his own firm. This 1876 heritage home fit the part, but not until James had injected it with his signature style. With layers of rich color and eccentric prints set against a traditional backdrop, the home is a true representation of James’s style. Click through to tour the designer’s sophisticated home.
James went to great lengths to maintain the home’s historical character. To restore the deteriorated marble elements on the façade, he sourced the same type of marble from the original quarry. New windows were also fabricated to look old, with real wood mullions and restoration glass that has a slight wave.
A teal sofa in a faux-bois fabric by Carlton V anchors the family room, while pops of purple energize the palette. Vintage German botanical charts play up the room’s conservatory feel.
Benjamin Moore’s James River Gray (AC-23) coats the cabinets and beams that run across the V-groove plank ceiling.
The grey-and-cream-toned Studio Printworks’ Le Temple des Grecs wallpaper references the home’s façade and provides a light counterpoint to the dining room’s twice-fumed reclaimed-oak floors. The original plaster ceiling medallion was beyond repair, but James had it cast so it could be reproduced.
The mudroom can be closed off from the kitchen with a set of pocket doors. James found the light fixture at Reborn Antiques in Los Angeles. A dark-painted door leads to the powder room.
The custom-made desk, finished with a collage of bookbinding paper, inspired the office’s color scheme. Color-blocked boxes offer visual calm inside oak built-ins.
Purple veining in large slabs of Breccia Capraia marble creates a sense of movement on the floor in the principal ensuite. Burgundy hand-glazed tiles provide a moody backdrop for a rivetted freestanding tub.
Chain-link is a recurring pattern in the home (it also appears in the dining room) and looms large on the floor of the principal bedroom, thanks to a high-contrast rug from The Rug Company. Floor-to-ceiling drapes and applied panel moulding add to the room’s formality and also its coziness.
James likes the interplay between red and purple, which he brings to life with the principal bedroom’s eggplant-colored doors and oxblood-leather bed frame. “It’s just what you’d want in a nighttime room,” he says. “Rich and enveloping.”
The side table is fronted with repurposed metal grates that James spotted while on his way to a wedding and lugged with him to the event.
Author: Beth Hitchcock
House & Home January 2015