The incredible transformation from outdated Victorian, into a historically restored contemporary estate.
Nestled in the heart of Toronto’s Rosedale area is a 1900s Victorian estate that boasts stunning character and incredible contemporary art. The renovation and restoration process of this home was a massive undertaking that spanned over two years. The homeowners were adamant on restoring the original craftsmanship of the home, while also incorporating new floorplans and amenities that were custom-designed to fit their lifestyle.
Throughout this article, we will walk you through the home to showcase the incredible transformation it has underwent. Through the tour, you will see the immaculate design features, incredible craftsmanship and historically restored portions of the home. It was an absolute pleasure to work on this project alongside the homeowners and we are thrilled to finally be sharing it with you all.
In the photos below, we see the front foyer and main staircase during and after the renovation process. The majority of the wood paneling was restored with changes being made primarily to the paint colour, staircase runner and lighting feature. The wood floors were refinished to match the tone and colour of the wall paneling. The lighting installation in the ceiling was custom designed to offer subtle light throughout the entry without taking away from the rich historical design of the home.
The renovation in the kitchen consisted of new appliances, a custom-built range hood, a new island and countertop, cabinetry hardware as well as all new flooring throughout. The kitchen was in fair shape when our homeowners purchased the house. We added touches of their personal style to customize the space. It was important that the layout be functional for the young, busy family of four. We added more storage in the island as well as a new island countertop that is durable and beautiful. Island seating provides an area where the kids can do homework or have meals while staying within sight and reach of mom or dad in the kitchen.
The fridge was custom built with cabinet panels to camouflage the large fridge and freezer. The size of the fridge is ideal for the homeowners when entertaining, as well as for preparing meals in advance for their busy lifestyle. Because this home has a number of guest bedrooms as well as an entire guest wing, ample storage space and fridge space is necessary.
The Informal Dining
The informal dining space directly off the kitchen is a beautiful spot to enjoy a meal, use as a workspace, or relax and unwind with views of the forest and ravine. The double arched doors were restored during the renovation. The custom built-in fireplace was added to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. The flooring from the kitchen continues throughout this space to establish a cohesive flow. You can see that a partial wall between the kitchen space and the informal dining area was taken out to open up the space completely.
This mudroom underwent a complete overhaul during this renovation. Before the transformation, the space was not utilized to its full potential. During the renovation, we installed custom cabinets and storage to change this unused area into a functioning mudroom. This young family was in need of a dedicated space that was conveniently located (off the driveway) for the kids and dogs. The hooks and bench seating provides easy accessibility for boots, coats, and bags, while the cabinets can be used for items that they would like to keep out of sight.
The flooring is durable in order to take on the wear and tear of wet boots, winter clothing, skates, and other sporting gear. It also has a hint of inspiration derived from the original brick on the walls. Although we didn’t cover up all the original brick, we did paint it white to give a brighter and cleaner look to the room. The wallpaper on the opposing walls bid ode to the dogs that also use this space as an entry to the home. A combination of fun and functionality is seen throughout the entire home, but especially in this magical mudroom.
This breezeway connects the main house with the garage and coach house. The garage can be accessed through a door on the left of the stairway. Following the stairway up will lead to the second story coach house, which is used as a home gym, spa and sauna. We will tour this space later on in the article. In the winter, the breezeway is a perfect transition area to get from the garage to the main house without going outside. As well, it provides easy access to the gym and spa so the homeowners don’t have to brave the cold Toronto winters to utilize this part of the property.
The grand stairway and multiple landings span three levels of this home. The hallway arches, seen below, are undoubtedly the standout feature of the staircase. They are the original arches that were constructed with the home. We were able to restore the structure and give them a fresh coat of paint. The contrast between the white painted arches and walls against the dark, rich wooden banisters, and flooring anchors the space, creating a juxtaposition in the design.
In between the three levels of the stairway are extravagant landings that offer the homeowners additional living spaces. The landing seen below was transformed into a seating area and dry bar that is situated around an original fireplace. The fireplace has been restored to pristine condition, while the wall paneling that surrounds it was crafted to mirror the original paneling in other areas of the home. Although this landing features modern seating and contemporary artwork, it is very similarly utilized here as it would have been in 1902, when it was first constructed.
The Master Bedroom
The master bedroom didn’t undergo extensive renovations, however, the updates that were made are impactful. The fireplace kept its original mantel and marble surround. The insert was polished and restored, as you can see in the photo below. The crown molding was custom made to match the mantel on the original fireplace. The built in’s were added during the renovation, which provides the homeowners with more storage within the bedroom while also adding character to the design. We added an automated drop-down television that can be remotely controlled from anywhere in the room.
The south wing of the top floor was an empty canvas waiting for someone to bring it to life. We completely gutted the entire area, adding a library, billiard room, bar, and cigar room. The luxurious look and feel of the design came to life through the combination of antique furniture, contemporary art installations, deep rich wood tones and top of the line technology. The wall and ceiling paneling was all handcrafted to replicate paneling from the early 1900s, keeping it in line with the original era of the home. The intricate fireplace mantel was influenced by the gothic era of the 12th century. There is a variety of different period-inspired art pieces and craftsmanship integrated into this one floor..
The Billiard Room
The billiard room, like the library, was gutted to the studs and rebuilt during the renovation to match with the design of the rest of the home. The standout feature of this room is the incredible, contemporary billiard table. It is the only piece of furniture in this room, aside from a few bar stools. This is purposeful to encourage play as well as to give the billiard table all the attention it deserves. This space is accessed through a swinging door that is disguised in the library as a bookshelf.
Also housed beyond the hidden doorway are the bar and cigar room. This space was by far the most drastic transformation in this full home renovation. It went from a dark, dingy, unused space into a spectacular, completely custom and authentic English inspired bar and cigar room. The cigar room is situated on top of the bar, accessed by a set of steel spiral stairs. The bar itself was shipped overseas from an original English pub. It had to be craned into the third level of the home and constructed back to its original form. The custom work and unique features that are showcased in this space truly create an authentic atmosphere. It is as close to an original, era-appropriate English pub as we could construct for the homeowners.
The Cigar Room
Once you scale the steep spiral staircase you enter into the upper level of the bar that has been created into a designated cigar room. Although this is a small, compact space, the mirrored ceiling makes it feel larger. The opposing ceiling is fitted with velvet paneling, which creates a quiet, private environment. The cabinets that line the right wall of the photo below have temperature-controlled settings to ensure the cigars are kept at an adequate temperature to prolong the quality and longevity of the products. It is such a remarkable space that is completely custom made for our homeowner’s needs and desires.
The Coach House
The coach house, as described earlier in this article, is attached to the home by a breezeway. It houses a custom garage on the lower and main levels. The home gymnasium, sauna, and spa are located on the second level. When you climb the stairs you enter into a space that feels as though you are in a treehouse. It floats above the ravine and forest that the home backs onto. We constructed an entire wall of windows so the homeowners could enjoy the stunning views while working out in their custom home gymnasium.
The gymnasium is fitted with top-of-the-line gym equipment that offers the homeowners a variety of workout and training options. Behind the wall opposing the windows is a hallway that leads you through to a large pine-clad sauna, a two-piece bathroom as well as a walk-in steam shower and spa. The amenities that this coach house has to offer beats any luxury gym in the city. The homeowners have designed this space to accommodate every aspect of their healthy lifestyle.
Renovations of this size and scale are a massive undertaking for both the homeowner and the general contractor. This project spanned over two years. It presented a number of obstacles that required creative resolutions. Renovations always offer us a new set of challenges and learning experiences. We are so thankful we had the opportunity to be a part of this incredible transformation. Our homeowners now have a city estate that offers them all the accommodations and amenities suited for their families’ needs.