When a Family and House Grows Up in the Beaches


Modern updates honour the character of this Toronto home in The Beaches.

OUR HOMES Toronto & York RegionA version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of  OUR HOMES The City of Toronto, p.52. Find local businesses in our Toronto-York Region directory. 

With two kids nearing the end of high school, this Toronto family of four  decided it was time to invest in a new look. The family had enjoyed their home for almost a decade in The Beaches when they reached out to designer Elena Gouchtchina of Maison Interiors.
“The furniture was getting old and beat up,” says the owner. “It had been through the kids growing up and bringing friends over. The kitchen was looking tired.”
While the home is newer, built in 2001, it is typical of the area. “Like most houses in The Beaches, it’s not gigantic, but it is open concept, with a spacious kitchen and dining area. The main floor also has a cathedral ceiling; we really liked that,” says the owner.
Initially, the couple consulted with Elena on new furniture for the living room. “One of the requirements the homeowners had was for the space to be minimalistic but comfortable, so the whole family could use it. They wanted to create a cosy room where they could watch TV and entertain.
"We came up with a floorplan that included a custom sectional from BoConcept, two custom tub chairs from EQ3, and for additional seating, two square ottomans that could be tucked away or brought out when needed,” says Elena. A chandelier from Living Lighting accentuates the height of the cathedral ceiling. 
But to make it all fit, they first had to move a bulky fireplace. "We designed a custom unit with a minimalistic, modern look that created more space and a better flow to the room.” The owners love it. “The swivel chairs can face the sectional and fireplace or face the other way. They’re functional as well as super cool. It flows beautifully. Now my wife and kids are always in this room,” he says.
One thing they didn’t necessarily agree on, however, was painting the windows and doors black, as Elena suggested. “It’s not something we would normally do,” says the owner, “but now I can’t imagine it without it. Elena said we should just wait and see. She was right to push us to do that. Now it looks fantastic. I love it.”
Next up was the kitchen and dining room. It had to be a continuation of the living room because of the open space, and they settled on a white kitchen, with walnut accents for warmth and gold hardware and a mosaic backsplash for an elegant, sophisticated feel. In the dining area, Pierre Frey blue-and-white wallpaper from Primavera Interior Furnishings Ltd. makes a statement with its bold look.