Interior designer Stephan Howard and husband Mario were looking for a home to grow into when they discovered a renovated Victorian in Toronto two years ago. With 158 square meters spanning four levels, the house offers an abundance of space for their young children Mari-sol and Benjamin.
"Our decorating style is French meets industrial " Stephan says. "I love gilded French pieces mixed with mid-century aesthetics. We wanted a home that the kids were able to grow in and not to be fussy There will never be a room or a chair that they cannot sit in - everything is accessible to the kids."
"Mari-sol has the master bedroom so we looked for larger pieces such as French armoire and Louis XVI dreser, which in turn made it look formal in a way. We then added a simple light from Ikea to add whimsy." he adds. "We want the children to have classic furniture pieces in their rooms that are worth investing in and will keep for a lifetime."
Hits of colour - such as the fuscia cashmere egg chair in the living room - contrast with a neutral background. Restricting the range of accent colors and repeating them throughout tie it all together. "The pink in Mari-sol's room is a Benjamin Moore colour and I love it on the wall. Pink is a colour that I always figure is both masculine and feminine." Some of the children's artworks have been used for inspiration and led to colour choices throughout the house.
The dining area features a Saarinen table with Earnes side chairs and French chandelier. "I have always loved mixing old and new together," he adds. "I love the patina at old and the contrast it brings to new pieces. A collection of art vases on an antique weathered piece of furniture is very much our aesthetic."
"My best design advice is to make it personal. I find everyone sticks to trends and specific aesthetics - make the space your own by involving what you really love."
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