Lifestyle

A Thoughtful Reno And A Playful New Palette Brighten A Century-Old Home In Toronto

A thoughtful reno and a playful new palette brighten a century-old home in Toronto.

Bring on the Brights

In the living room, a parade of pillows in hot pink, fuchsia, rose and soft blush prance against a backdrop of black-and-grey artwork not too far from a sassy yolk-yellow serving tray. The two herringbone chairs spring to life thanks to their nearly-neon throw cushions. “With hues this vibrant, even the black sofa and dark walnut legs on the coffee table contribute to a feeling that’s open and bright,” says designer Cori Halpern. 

View Point

“We created this window seat to face the tree-lined street,” says Cori. “It isn’t built in, so it can be removed.” The designer’s more-is-better approach to colour can be seen in the fresh geometric pillows she nestled into the window seat. “The rich black tones in the woven jute pouf and charcoal cushion are balanced with that trim on the Roman shades.”

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Photography, Virginia MacDonald

Custom PILLOWS, WINDOW SHADES, Cori Halpern Interiors and Drapes & More. POUF, TRAY, CB2. Custom WINDOW SEAT, Cori Halpern Interiors and Cabinet Furniture.

 “with its deep pinks, the artwork is such a movie star. The moment I saw it, I was determined to bring those beautiful
colours into the home.”

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Photography, Virginia MacDonald

Have I always loved colour? Well, I did grow up in the ’80s, so…yes!” laughs designer Cori Halpern. Which explains why, upon taking on a top-to-bottom, beginning-to-end renovation of a heritage Arts and Crafts family home, she said sayonara to its 16-year-old beige interior. “Let’s face it. Nobody ever says their favourite colour is beige,” says Cori. “I truly believe that deep down everyone loves colour.” That includes these clients, whose home now radiates joy with its brilliant pinks, rich ochres and layers of blue. “And what’s really great is that the jumping-off point for the palette was a painting and a rug, both owned by the clients,” says Cori, who firmly believes that if you’re looking for a reason to bring colour home, you probably already have a pillow or piece of art that speaks to you. And if you’re looking for a second reason, there’s this: “Colour isn’t just something we see. It’s something we feel,” says Cori. “So, this spring, why not choose hues that fill you with joy and delight?”

Pink Power!

When you walk into the dining room, it’s kapow! The vibrancy of the artwork sets a tone of delight. At mealtime, chairs in black performance fabric are drawn up to a silky-smooth walnut table. “You can see that the rug has some of the same hues as the carpet in the living room, so there’s visual continuity from room to room, but it’s subtle,” says Cori. The chandelier is sculptural but airy. “I didn’t want to block the deep pinks in that incredible painting.”

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Photography, Virginia MacDonald

Tonal Value

Cori selected a two-tone wallpaper for the dining room and finished the custom millwork in two coordinating shades of stone grey. “The contrast is quiet, but it brings a real lift to the displayed objects, including the client’s pottery,” she says. Above the counter – so handy for mealtime serving – a pair of handsome sconces flank the striking painting and echo the brass accents in the room. “You’re probably wondering about that row of brass knobs [shown below],” says Cori. “I didn’t want to disrupt the beauty of the wallpaper, so my intrepid contractor installed these brass light switches that I sourced. They’re so beautiful and so well suited to the age of the house.” 

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Photography, Virginia MacDonald

Custom TABLE, CHAIRS, Cabinet Furniture. ARTWORK, Su Sheedy. MILLWORK/BUFFET, Toronto Custom Concepts. rug, Weavers Art. CHANDELIER, Union. SCONCES, Lightmakers Studio. HARDWARE, Shayne Fox Hardware. WALLPAPER, Farrow & Ball. Brass LIGHT SWITCHES, Forbes & Lomax. CANDLE HOLDERS, Elte. 

Lean Into Layering

“We chose blue for the bedroom because the clients love blue,” says Cori. Up went textured wallpaper in striated indigo, soft blues and greys, and in came a hotel-worthy channel-tufted bed. Who wouldn’t want to lean back into its moody velvet headboard? For the ensuite (visible through the doorway), Cori went modern with a dark vanity.

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Photography, Virginia MacDonald

“Your bedroom should feel like the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in. Layer it in a colour that speaks to you.”

The Shape of Things

The antique chair was passed down to the client by his mother. Cori wanted to bring fresh attention to its sweet silhouette, so she reupholstered it in a modern geometric print. Further geo-punch comes in the soft white pendants above the compact beside tables. More layers of pattern come with the stripes and herringbone in the bedding, bolsters and pillows. Fresh flowers usher in room-brightening hues.

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Photography, Virginia MacDonald

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Photography, Virginia MacDonald

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Photography, Virginia MacDonald

Custom HEADBOARD, BED, Cori Halpern Interiors. WALLPAPER, Phillip Jeffries. RUG, Elte. CHAIR REUPHOLSTERY, Regency Upholstery. PENDANTS, sconces, Union. Custom BEDSIDE TABLES, Cori Halpern Interiors and Cabinet Furniture. Custom drapery and bedding, Cori Halpern Interiors and Drapes & More. VANITY, Toronto Custom Concepts. Custom mirror, Elevator Digital. FAUCETS, Brizo.

 

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