In this North Toronto home, designer Cindy McKay says it was all about designing for how her clients really lived. “They’re a busy family of five with three teenage boys and one adorable golden retriever,” she says. “They wanted a home that really reflected them.” The formal living room was removed in favor of a more open concept and larger kitchen and pantry, along with a spacious family room, which Cindy says suits their casual lifestyle much better. “The mudroom was also critical and we built the doggie shower in there before they even had a dog! Talk about manifesting your dreams,” she says.

Cindy began work on the project in March 2020—not necessarily ideal timing—and had to navigate supply chain issues, lockdowns, and more as the remodel progressed. “One major challenge was I had sourced all the tiles for the home in advance of Covid and went to place orders in late March only to find that the tile stores weren’t open anymore; Toronto was extremely locked down at the time. So, in about 24 hours I had to find new sources for all the tiles to ensure the project stayed on track, no stress there,” she laughs. 

“So often people think designers just shop for pretty things, but this was a great example of how we’re really just problem solvers and need to be extremely resourceful,” Cindy says. “My client was thrilled with the result and thanked me for all my guidance in bringing it to life. She said it wouldn’t have been half as beautiful without my touch. That’s always a good feeling at the end of a renovation of this nature.”

Take a tour in the slideshow.