StartPublished on September 24, 2023


  • Photo by: Justin Thomason

  • Photo by: Justin Thomason

  • Photo by: Justin Thomason

With the purchase of their Glebe home, a couple fell in love with the neighbourhood and the location but knew the house needed a refresh.

At first, they thought they could make some minor updates but quickly realized a more significant redesign was needed. “I thought maybe we could change some countertops and paint some walls. But once we moved in, we knew it wouldn’t work,” the homeowner stated.

“I had been following West of Main on social media, liked their work, and saw they’d won various awards,” they explained, regarding their decision to bring the design firm on board. “I’m also busy at work, so I wanted a turnkey service. I showed them pictures of what I liked, and we went from there.”

To identify their 'dream home' requirements, the West of Main team went through a list of questions to help the couple develop their ultimate wishlist and priorities.

“We always say give us as much information as you possibly can at the outset and, based on this, the investment level, and inspirational images they might provide us with, we then put together a concept,” said Sascha Lafleur, Co-founder and Principal Designer at West of Main Design. “That concept will have particular finishes, a look and feel, a direction, and functional zoning. We present that, and from there, we can see what they like, what resonates, or where we need to change something up.”

“This gives us our North Star of where we’re going. We can then dive into the construction package and design details with our collaborators, whether cabinetry, counters, or tile. And we’re putting together all those budgets, ensuring all the details are accounted for.”

The Dutch Revival had terrific bones and was in structurally great shape, but It needed to be taken down to the studs for all three floors.
“The use of space wasn’t great at first, so we opened the space and gave it flow,” said Sascha. “They’re sophisticated and stylish homeowners who like to entertain, so we needed to keep this in mind for our design aesthetic.”  West of Main went for a neutral colour palette with some glam to blend relaxed elegance throughout the home. 

The front door was scaled up and given more stature by removing the transom window. The flooring was kept but was revitalized with a chocolate stain that provides warmth to the space. A vintage Tabriz rug adds a statement piece to the living room.

Sculptural lighting brings some mood across the spaces, with alabaster and opal lighting choices giving it a beautiful diffused glow. “We wanted to bring that level of sophistication and aesthetic from the minute you walk through the door,” 
said Sascha. 

The kitchen has an old-world mood with quartz on the counters and unlacquered brass for hardware that will patinate over time.

The owners wanted a relaxing oasis and a place that would be easy to maintain, especially given their travel schedules and three-dog household. Sascha’s team chose high-performance fabrics for easy maintenance and designed storage so everything could have its place.

“We handle every logistical and aesthetic need. This included all the furnishings and final details. We load everything in, style it, wash the sheets, and they can come home and literally go to bed,” said Sascha. “We take these projects on like they’re our babies, and we have a lot of pride and passion in what we do.”

Renovating an older home is almost guaranteed to have its challenges, but can also bring creative solutions. A lot of ductwork and plumbing had to be thoughtfully incorporated into the bulkheads and cabinetry. In addition, they went with a Parisian styling in the kitchen with tiling and decorative shelving to perfect the vertical and horizontal lines.

“It’s got a warm feel while still being contemporary. It’s a mix of some key older pieces we were keeping and new elements, so they’ve done a great job tying in details throughout the house," confirmed the owner.

The home was featured in this year’s Glebe House Tour, an annual event to raise money for the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group’s Community Fund. Suzanne McCarthy, who helps organize the tour, says they were very excited to be able to showcase both the home and the local design firm.

“We live in the neighbourhood, and it’s our way of giving back,” commented the homeowner.

Alexia Naidoo

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