When I’m looking for a piece of fantasy real estate, I usually don’t go for detached, suburban (albeit in a very Dwell magazine sort of way) homes that sit north of the 401 (which, for people who don’t live in Toronto, is a bit like living on the moon). But when I saw 20A Senlac Rd. on Torontolife.com today, I made that soft, sad whimpering noise that I make when I’m thinking “damn, I’m poor and I wish I weren’t.” With an asking price of $1.7 million, it would take me over 40 years to save up a 10 per cent down payment, and then the rest of eternity to pay back the mortgage. If I had kids, I would especially long to live here. True, me having little ones is as much of a stretch as ever being able to afford this house, but whatever paternal feelings I have were stirred by the ravine setting and the perfectly decked out little nursery. Sigh, here’s how I’ll never decorate the house for the kids I’ll never have.
The Place: The four bedroom prefab was designed by celebrated American architect Ray Kappe — who has, incidentally, been featured by Dwell magazine.
The Bones: The spaces are bright, open and fluid, with 10′ ceilings and oak floors.
Having an expansive living and dining room would mean my kids would have a lot of space to be forbidden from running around in. Yay.
The view out the windows is pretty beautiful.
The master bedroom could easily fit a pool table and a Slip ‘n Slide.
I imagine that bathing in a tub shaped like that would make you feel like an egg yolk. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.
If I had a baby (and a seven figure salary), I would buy him a Kalon Studios crib and dresser, and a mini Eames rocker. I know the little one wouldn’t know the difference, but the nanny would appreciate having something nice to look at.
The Fix: The place is pretty well perfect, so there isn’t a whole lot to fix really. I would just replace some of the expensive furniture with more expensive furniture and call it a day.
Of course, having said it was perfect, one sort of major thing I would do is get rid of the big, black fireplace that sits between the living and dining rooms. It’s clunky and conspicuous and I don’t like how the chimney elbows out of the wall. I would be tempted to replace it with a chimney-free version, like this ethanol-burning model designed by Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius.
Or, for something a little less blinged out, one of Vauni’s Globe fireplaces.
Because this would be a family place, I would look for a bigger, more robust dining room table, like Philipp Mainzer’s TA18 ZEHN Table.
I would contrast the clean-lined table with some homey, Michael Thonet-designed chairs.
I don’t know where I would put it, but I would stash this Finn Juhl-designed sofa somewhere. The rich brown would add a lot of warmth to the somewhat stark white home.
In the principal en suite, the egg-shaped tub can stay, but I wonder if there’s a more creative way to treat the walls and floor than played-out subway tiles and blah squares?
I think I would paint the bedroom a restful shade, like Benjamin Moore’s Sylvan Mist.
And although I would probably go with a white bedding, I would add colour with Josef Frank-designed accent cushions.
I would definitely put a Niels Otto Møller bench at the foot of my bed. In fact, it’s so sexy, I would probably bring it into bed with me on some nights. Okay, every night.
Related: A House I’ll Never Own or Decorate – The Bedroom Dance Party Edition