A Toronto Residence Gets Comfortably Chic

Finding and making a house a home can work wonders when you're trying to settle into a new city.

Designer Stéphane Chamard's three story semi detached Victorian home, helped him with this. It was virtually abandoned for the previous 30 years, lacking even a bathroom and a kitchen. Chamard liked this house because the original character had not been tampered with over the decades. The historical features remained, but he essentially had a blank slate to work with.  He brought his design ideas to his new dwelling, and created his "imperfectly perfect home".


Photograph Courtesy of Lisa Petrole


The original space plan, which had survived the past 120 years, was preserved as it suited the needs of Chamard.

He brought his French style of home design to the property, creating enough circuitous pathways throughout the house that two people can move around effortlessly without ever interacting. The divided series of room allow people to spread out around the house, and give the illusion that it is much larger than it truly is.

Although North Americans gravitate to the contemporary open concept plan, which has fewer distinct rooms, a well-designed series of articulated spaces can make even a modest dwelling FEEL like there is an abundance of space. 


Photograph Courtesy of Lisa Petrole 


Chamard covered one room's wall in black and white images.

I adore this unique wall treatment, as it's eye-catching yet understated.

The photos reflect the design program seen throughout the house; classic and simple, showcasing a strong point of view but not "flashy".


Photograph Courtesy of Lisa Petrole 


Chamard also took advantage of the historical features of the house.

The wood floors were left bare.

The trim, doors and fireplace mantel were simply painted black.

The effect creates crisp clean lines without losing the beauty of the wood work. 


Photograph Courtesy of Lisa Petrole 


The furnishings and colour choices create a setting the doesn't feel cluttered or crowded. 

Against the neutral backdrop, selective colour accents were added throughout the home. They add brightness and contrast, reining in the risk of making the environment feel too stark. 

I love this next image, where the books are playfully arranged with a nod towards their colour.  I would be delighted to have these bookshelves in my home.


Photograph Courtesy of Lisa Petrole 


This residence demonstrates how a well-designed space can be created to be unabashedly 'lived in'.  Chamard's style is one of a sleek modern space, yet it isn't overly-coordinated nor a highly-controlled environment.

It demonstrates how one can marry modern and old, creating a space that is comfortably chic.

Here's an article on the property from the Globe and Mail.

Designer Stéphane Chamard

Photographer Lisa Petrole

Researched and Written by Sarah Coates, Masters Student of History, University of Toronto

Posted In: Ontario

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