A Per­fect Fit

How Six­teen De­gree Stu­dio coaxed an im­pres­sive amount of func­tion­al­ity out of a Lea­side home

Designlines - - Contents - BY IRIS BENAROIA

Six­teen De­gree Stu­dio coaxes the ideal amount of func­tion­al­ity out of a Lea­side home

SIX­TEEN DE­GREE may be a new stu­dio, but the prin­ci­pals are hardly rook­ies. Ar­chi­tects Stephanie Ver­meulen and Kelly Doyle spent eight years at an es­tab­lished, lo­cal firm, strik­ing out on their own af­ter be­com­ing fast friends. A jew­ellery store, a brew­ery and a win­ery are a few of the stun­ning non-res­i­den­tial projects they’ve since crafted to­gether. “Be­cause we’re a small firm, we do all the work our­selves,” says Ver­meulen. “If is­sues arise on-site, we can solve them eas­ily.”

Hap­pily, their first res­i­den­tial de­sign, a five-bed­room in Lea­side, was has­sle-free. As it turned out, the own­ers – Marisa and John, who also have a tod­dler – shared the ar­chi­tects’ taste for un­com­pli­cated in­te­ri­ors, down to an affin­ity for sharp black ac­cents. The three-year-old firm, whose name is a nod to Toronto’s wonky grid set 16 de­grees west of true north, crafted the con­tem­po­rary home with her­ring­bone-de­tailed brick so it wouldn’t look out of place in the es­tab­lished neigh­bour­hood.

The chal­lenge was how to fit a se­ries of spa­ces into a com­pact, open-con­cept foot­print. Pre­vi­ously, the clients had lived in airy lofts and loved them for en­ter­tain­ing, so they were not keen on chop­ping up the main floor of the

280-square-me­tre house. And so, in­stead of walls, strik­ing di­vi­sions de­mar­cate each zone. “Large open floor plans ac­tu­ally feel smaller when the en­tire area is re­vealed at first glance,” says Doyle. “We pre­fer to strate­gi­cally place a few el­e­ments to con­trol the views and en­cour­age you to ex­pe­ri­ence all cor­ners of the space.” 

To wit: a dou­ble-sided wood-burn­ing fire­place, made by Stûv, acts as a com­mand­ing di­vider be­tween the front and rear rooms, while al­low­ing views of the back­yard and the min­i­mal­ist’s dream of a kitchen, which is rife with chic un­der­stated cab­i­netry. A bril­liant mo­ment also comes in the en­try­way, where float­ing bench seat­ing for the ta­ble merges into the stair­case. The fear was that “it would feel like you’re sit­ting in a cor­ri­dor,” says Smith, but sky­lights and glaz­ing around the front door take care of that, flood­ing the space with natural light.

A sun­beam from the sky­light leads up­stairs to the gen­er­ous land­ing, which offers a re­prieve and is as im­por­tant to the ar­chi­tects as the rooms be­yond. “We didn’t want it to feel like you’re in this tight maze fil­ter­ing into each in­di­vid­ual space,” says Doyle. The bed­rooms aren’t huge but cathe­dral ceil­ings trick the eye into think­ing oth­er­wise. A walk-in closet is out­fit­ted, like two of the three bath­rooms, with so­lar tubes to quell the win­dow­less dark­ness – yet an­other smart flour­ish in this ex­ceed­ingly well-planned home, where ev­ery de­tail has been con­sid­ered, prov­ing that you re­ally can have it all if you’re cre­ative enough.

SIXTEENDEGREESTUDIO.CA

A Cae­sar­stone­topped is­land an­chors Tre­visana cab­i­netry. School­house Elec­tric pen­dants; stools from The Mod­ern Shop; ac­ces­sories from West Elm and Drake Gen­eral Store.

Alu­minum-clad win­dows ex­tend

cen­time­tres from the Glen-gery Brick fa­cade to soak up south­ern rays.

 A four-me­tre­long bench joins the white oak stair­case by R&A Stairs. Pen­dant from Deschênes Lu­mi­naire; din­ing ta­ble by John­son’s An­tiques; fire­place from Igne Ferro.

Fam­ily pho­tos on Ikea pic­ture rails cre­ate an art-gallery feel. Natural-oiled oak through­out from Gre­bian Floor­ing So­lu­tions; Ar­ti­cle pen­dants; sky­light from Artis­tic.

Lin­ear slot dif­fusers turn cir­cu­la­tion in­fra­struc­ture into a graphic ac­cent. Velux sun tun­nels bring am­ple natural light into the win­dow­less bath­rooms and mas­ter closet.

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