A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of OUR HOMES The City of Toronto, p.28. Find local businesses in our Toronto directory.
Despite being surrounded by and shopping for beautiful pieces to fill client’s homes all day long, designer Lisa Sterio returns to a place she loves. A century-old Rosedale home filled with pieces she has collected over the years. The home can only be described as an elegant yet quirky mix of antiques and new items, combining bold patterns and subtle colours.
The knack for knowing in an instant is something Lisa describes as having the ‘design gene.’ While shopping for her clients, she has often found some of her favourite pieces, including the ‘marshmallow mirror’ over her fireplace. A happy accident, much like two cream-coloured settees, which originally belonged to a client, were reupholstered and customized for her home.
Lisa’s philosophy is that design needs to be more than just something that looks good in the space, it also needs to make sense for real life. This practical approach to design translated into her own living room, where a 13-year-old couch is still going strong as a faithful and functional staple among some new additions. Most of Lisa’s collections are lucky finds through her work life, however the dining room table was a planned custom piece designed to fill the unusually large room.
As to be expected, change is inevitable for designers like Lisa. To maintain the feeling of home, she chooses to impart change by trying new wall colours or window treatments. Of course a staple in any designer’s handbook, Lisa like to change things up with coloured pillows, including green leopard print pillows for summer, because she believes “every home should have a little animal print.”
Lisa’s patient, open-minded and practical approach to design makes her unique, setting her apart as someone who enjoys change but can also find a place, either for herself or a client, for the pieces to which, “you just can’t say no.”