Somewhere around the framing stage of construction on the house in Toronto, communicating between the homeowner and his architect broke down, so the proprietor called in interior designer Shirley Meisels, someone he knew that he understood the way he needed to live. “I had worked with this client before, and therefore he had a lot of faith in my abilities to plan space,” Meisels says. “He wound up shooting the architect and leaving the layout up to me”
In figuring out what would work best, Meisels asked lots of questions. “We spoke a lot about life — how much entertaining and cooking was he likely to do? Did he want a TV downstairs or upstairs in the den? That sort of thing,” she says. “After we established how he planned to live, I was able to allot exactly what I call’real estate worth’ — something that you do not intend on utilizing often simply doesn’t get as much square footage. Following is a look at Meisels doled out the real estate to match.
at a Glance
Who lives here: A bachelor who owns and runs his family company
Location: Midtown Toronto
Size: About 2,000 square feet
Photography by Stephani Buchman
Meisels’ client is not one to have big dinner parties, so that she designed a dining space.
The entry opens right to this dining space. “We didn’t want to split the space by including a wall, even a glass wall,” Meisels says,”so I had a custom seat made from steel that is both practical for the entry and defines the eating place.”
Light fixture: Moooi; painting: Bill Boyco
In the sleek kitchen, the island and also bank of cabinetry define and anchor the cooking place. Walnut contrasts with white.
The kitchen is a good illustration of a movement Meisels made throughout the house. “I layered the woods and stone all in shades of warm grays and whites to soften the modern borders,” she says.
Island counter: Blizzard Ceasarstone; backsplash and cooktop counter: Calacatta marble; bar stools: Onda, Stua
In terms of living room”real estate worth,” the client would prefer to lounge and listen to audio, therefore Meisels designed a big fireplace with cabinetry to house his turntable and audio collection.
“My client was really excited on a superclean, modern look with bursts of colour and punch,” she describes. A massive fireplace wall and clear coffee table provide the superclean, the Eames Lounge Chair gives the iconic modern, and the rug and pair of bright yellow seats offer the colour and punch.
Chairs: Ligne Roset
“We had originally planned to your fireplace wall to be poured concrete, but it ended up being a bit time and cost prohibitive, therefore I used 24-inch by 48-inch ceramic tile that has a superb concrete look,” Meisels says.
The window treatments are Sheerweave mechanized blinds; they diffuse the light similar to translucent glass does.
In the family room, there’s a TV with a full wall of built-in storage across from this sectional sofa. The framed rock posters have traveled together with the homeowner following his final collaboration with Meisels.
Light fixture: Armadillo, LZF; seats: Paulistano, Epasso
The bedroom is dark and minimalist yet warm, thanks to a thick rug and walnut bed. “I had the mattress custom made from a local shop here known as Commute,” Meisels says. “They sandwiched a classic bit of distressed barn board to the walnut of this headboard.”
Wall-mounted studying sonces save space on the nightstands, even though a Hans Wegner CH07 seat adds additional warm wood and some curves.
Sconces: Restoration Hardware; background: Elitis
The client was not a TV-in-the-bedroom type, therefore Meisels created a master cabinet which feels like a den and contains a TV.
“Hetravels a lot, so the coffee table in the middle is a great spot for him to pack his bags; the drawers double as laundry ,” she says.The exceptional lounge has built-in cupboard cabinetry, a wall-mounted TVplus a comfortable bright yellow Womb Chair and an Ingo Maurer chandelier. A gray area rug softens the modern lines.
The master bath was only about 8 feet broad, and the client wanted to include a freestanding tub.
“It was very tricky area, as it’s actually rather small for a master,” Meisels says. She solved the bathtub problem by putting it at the shower stall. “Though it’s a little tight, we wanted it to feel very luxurious, therefore I used lots of stone and mosaic to make layers of warmth and texture,” Meisels says. She used full sheets of 4-by-8 Calacatta marble to create the shower room and balanced it out with a far smaller mosaic tile on the floor along with other walls.
“Given the small area, I designed the chimney to be streamlined airy,” she says. A cantilevered vanity makes the space feel bigger and more open. Again, the colour palette softens the straight modern lines.