Designer Sloan Mauran had always admired this six-bedroom neo-Georgian further uptown, and had even photographed it as a source of inspiration. So when it came up for sale, she and husband Adrian Tauro jumped at the chance of making it their dream home. Inside, the turn-of-the-century house was a time capsule from the 1950s — well-loved but in need of an overhaul. The space was gutted, though the footprint and the window and door openings were left virtually the same. “I like the idea of a personal history,” says Sloan. “There’s something comforting about things that are familiar.” As a result, it’s a true fusion of cozy and cool — ideal for both entertaining and curling up on the sofa.
The turn-of-the-century Georgian is elegantly framed by boxwood hedges and an allée of linden trees for a formal, yet understated look. New windows and doors were designed based on the originals. “I love things that are classic — that have symmetry and great proportions,” Sloan says.
In Sloan and Adrian’s living room, a painting that’s been in Sloan’s family for years takes center stage on a bold black wall. The black extends to the carved Irish limestone fireplace surround and the candlesticks (on mantel), give this focal point more presence. “The living room has a transitional look, with some contemporary elements, but it’s still elegant in the way it’s appointed,” says Sloan. A fig tree and a vase of sculptural branches add movement and life.
A corner of the dining room is a study in contrasts: shadow and light, black and white, squared and rounded. “I like having the art really speak in a room, while everything else is quiet,” says Sloan. Manila Hemp wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries is an arresting backdrop that lets the accessories and art stand out. “You need a good foundation — but the finishing touches make all the difference in the world,” Sloan says.
Long and lean, the kitchen is almost an exaggerated galley with a 17 1⁄2′-long island that offers ample prep space for Adrian, who loves to cook. A dramatic wall of Statuario marble serves as a luxurious backdrop to the stove area, which is handsomely framed in by the pale cerused-oak cabinetry and a slim matching bulkhead. “I like to have separation between the kitchen and the family room — I don’t want to be looking at dirty dishes,” says Sloan.
Formerly a laundry room, the serene breakfast area at one end of the kitchen is flooded with light from the back garden. Sky-high, cerused-oak built-ins by Downsview Kitchens sleekly conceal everything from serving platters and table linens to coats and mittens, and an artful gold-lined pendant from Catellani & Smith adds another bold black accent.
“A family room is best in a contemporary style with few tchotchkes and no hard edges, especially with kids,” says Sloan, who upholstered all the seating in hers. The fireplace and doorway beyond are panelled in striated onyx. Walnut built-ins by Downsview Kitchens help disguise the TV.
A new hand-wrought iron balustrade topped with a brass rail dramatically changes the look of the staircase. The couple’s love of art is apparent in the upstairs hall, where a large piece by David Joron sets a warm, thoughtful tone leading into the library. A zebra-print runner by Stark Carpets and modern cube art add a playfulness, while wide-plank cerused-oak floors soften the look.
The fluted lines of an Art Deco-style desk by Barbara Barry and squared platform bed play off each other nicely in the principal bedroom, where a calm palette of greys and browns sets a restful tone.
Recessed handles on the principal bathroom vanity are reminiscent of old campaign chests. The use of stone continues here with floors and walls in Bianco Lasa marble contrasted by a black marble countertop.
Drama reaches new heights in the principal bath, where a glossy Bianco Lasa marble floor and egg-shaped soaker tub are contrasted by a black marble pedestal and lone sculptural chair. “We opted for a large room with separate water closets instead of two smaller his-and-hers bathrooms,” says Sloan.
Author: Catherine Sweeney
House & Home February 2015