In Toronto, collaboration was key for this exquisite home—with interior designer Shirley Meisels of Mhouse Inc, architect Heintzman Sanborn, and custom home builder Alair Homes Forest Hill transforming a mansion in midtown. 

The property is South Hill, to be specific. “It’s a more established and more urban neighborhood just south of Forest Hill, featuring beautiful brick homes and mature trees,” Shirley tells us. “There is a maturity and grace to the neighborhood. It was important to all of us that the home feel as if it were always there…meticulously maintained, yet with a very current feel that could stand the test of time.”

The clients were a young couple ready to build their dream home. “They wanted a home that would be welcoming and ready to grow with their family,” Shirley says.  They entertain often and wanted plenty of opportunity for guests to gather, but with private spaces as well—rooms separated in the typical Georgian style, while still open enough for it to feel airy and light. They also wanted quiet luxury that was both durable and family friendly. 

The design and build team gutted the Georgian-style house and added a three-story extension and an attached garage, and renovated the detached coach house. “The interior was gutted from top to bottom, replacing and enhancing the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, insulation and windows before cladding the home in custom finishes,” Shirley explains. “Special attention was paid to create custom trim details to give the home a unique feel.”

To pay homage to the home’s original architecture and coveted location, all of the design finishes stayed quite traditional—while layers of contemporary furnishings and artwork added the warm, modern edge the couple was hoping for. 

Shirley tells us more about the two-year project in the slideshow, and shares that the clients are over the moon with their new home. “They were very pleased with how everything came together with just enough tradition while still feeling young,” she says. “They loved how we were able to highlight some of their personal treasures like old family paintings and the large hallway mirror found at the Paris Antique Market. Everything we chose has a purpose that works for them and how they live and is still beautiful.”

Builder: Alair Homes Forest Hill
Project Manager: Adam Bryce
Interior Design: Shirley Meisels of Mhouse inc.
Architect: Heintzman Sanborn
Cabinetry: Impressions Kitchens
White Paint is Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117; Grey paint (in library) is Benjamin Moore Overcoat CC-544
Custom sofa, ottoman, dining table, hallway console table and bench, primary bedroom bench: Muskoka Living
Area rugs: Elte Carpets and Home