Pride of place
A dynamic globe-trotting couple, Pheona and Tim had their hearts set on this handsome 1930s heritage house in Toronto’s trendy Roncesvalles neighbourhood. “We’d been living just around the corner for three years and had always admired it,” says Pheona. Its handsome brick frontage, front portico, third-storey dormer and original wood paned windows exuded an English charm. The couple purchased it in 2011 and set about making it their own.
The three-bedroom house was in good shape, but the cramped kitchen and boxy floor plan weren’t conducive to modern entertaining. Pheona and her husband, Tim, a filmmaker, added a two-level, 500-square-foot extension to the back of the house. Although they chose a contemporary look, the couple were careful to preserve the heritage home’s character. “We wanted to retain the beauty of the front portion of the home,” says Pheona. “We didn’t take the decision to knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room lightly — but I love to cook and entertain and don’t want to be stuck behind a wall when friends are in the house.”
The couple’s wish list for the new addition included a bright main floor living room, a home office on the second floor and an additional bedroom. They spoiled themselves by using the entire third floor of the original house as their master bedroom, with an ensuite bathroom and spacious deck over the extension.
Tim collected bits and pieces of modern decor when he lived in New York and L.A., and Pheona added in furniture she sourced locally. The result is an interior that’s a lively fusion of their combined tastes, with an array of mismatched mid-century furniture, contemporary Italian lighting and personal treasures. Yet even with all of these international elements, there is something undeniably Canadian about the family’s style. “Travelling greatly influences our esthetic, but Canada represents home to us; it’s where our roots are.”