Tour A Small Semi With Vintage & Global Decor
When designer Silvana D’addazio and her partner, restaurateur Saeed Mohamed, purchased their 1880s semi, they wanted to live in and get to know the space before making any major redesign decisions. “And after 10 years, we really knew what it was we wanted,” says Silvana. Namely, to maximize the space, customize furnishings for cozy corners and make the most of a tiny, dark kitchen that gets a workout from the couple’s busy schedule hosting friends and family. With a flair for colorful, patterned fabrics and a confidence that comes from her years in the industry, Silvana designed an exquisite sanctuary swathed in rich fabrics and bathed in warm light. Go inside her sophisticated space.
Silvana brought in decorative artist Kari Serrao to paint a whimsical meandering mural over her fireplace using a favorite wallpaper by Fromental as inspiration. She rounded out the Asian-inspired vignette with antique musician figures flanking an 18th-century Italian mirror, plus a delicate silk Fortuny light she picked up in Venice.
By opening up the staircase wall, Silvana extended the small living room’s sight lines. The designer says she’s not normally a “pink person,” but chose the fabric on the armchairs’ cushions for its beautiful texture and casual style. “It’s not an overly precious pink.” She balances it with pillows in a grey and white ikat by Lee Jofa.
These open shelves in the living room allow Silvana to display her collections of crockware jugs and vases and old crystal. The jugs here — artfully arranged to echo the accompanying books — are from antique markets around Toronto. True to her impeccable eye for detail, Silvana backed the nook in linen-look wallpaper, banded the edges in ribbon and lit the scene with a delicate shell sconce.
In the front hall, an extra-large traditional arched mirror from Ribbehege & Azevedo is paired with mod Wishbone chairs by Hans Wegner and an Egyptian chest for a simple but striking vignette. Ten-foot ceilings make the Victorian semi feel more spacious, and the mirror draws the eye upward while bouncing natural light around the space.
Once she opened up the kitchen to the dining room, Silvana, who loves to entertain friends and family, decorated for maximum comfort. While the table is a sleek oval shape, it’s also spacious and the perfect fit with vintage vinyl-seated chairs. A Chinese flatweave rug in deep purple and loose roman blinds inject visual softness, and the Drop 2 pendant lights by Peter Bowles for Original BTC are a modern nod.
The new galley kitchen is fitted with cabinets by Falcon Kitchens with glass-paned uppers and walnut-panelled lower cabinets that add warmth and contrast — for a look that calls to mind a tuxedo. The old kitchen was cramped and almost entirely closed in, so Silvana opened the space up to the back garden at one end with a pretty new door and casement and transom windows. At the other end, just a breakfast bar divides the kitchen from the dining room.
In lieu of a headboard, Silvana upholstered the wall with a hemp fabric hand-blocked in a tiny floral, the same fabric she used for the living room drapes. A printed border at the edges of the fabric breaks up the expanse and helps define the bed. The same drape fabric in the dining room appears here as well.
An exposed chimney stack was painted white to balance the bookshelf on the other side of the bed. It injects texture and makes the little pedestal table feel like a curated work of art. Upholstering the boxspring gives the bed a custom-tailored look.
With its lavender subway tile, lavender-tinged marble counter and modern oak cabinets, Silvana’s bath feels feminine but not fussy. The broad vanity has loads of space for toiletries on the counter and down below. Framing the tile like panelling makes the space feel polished, as do the ceiling moldings. Delicate purple towels are souvenirs from a vacation in Turkey.
Hotel-style towel racks are practical for warming and drying towels and add sculptural interest. The curvy floor tile has a Moroccan feel.