Toronto design firm East Design House knows the importance of form and function. “With our clients having a full and busy lifestyle; a young family with 3 kids, it was important to mix family friendly with aesthetically pleasing finishes,” design associate Courtney Randall says. “We executed this by keeping the formal structure and flow of the home but reconfiguring the layout of the back of the house to feel larger, more open, and conducive to a busy family environment.”

Located in Toronto’s vibrant and family-friendly Beaches neighborhood, the house had great bones—so East Design House’s top priority was to keep it classic while elevating the interiors. “An eclectic collection of materials was put together to provide an inviting and comfortable atmosphere that still packs a punch,” Courtney explains. “A lot of our inspiration came from period features original to the home’s 19th century era. Leaning into hints of a New York Brownstone but with modern comfortability.”

The reimagination of the home took roughly seven months, and the design team brought in formal finishes that would honor the traditional elements but employed a modern twist—there’s the checkerboard tile, a tonal-but-bold eat-in kitchen, and modern glass staircase. “When you’re merging old and new, you’re left at times to find needles in a haystack; sorting through architectural salvage yards, etc.…Fighting off raccoons looking for a new home and discovering quirks behind walls,” Courtney says with a laugh. “It takes diligence and strong industry connections as well as dedication to the task to truly achieve the desired outcome. Not everything needs to be brand new!”

The homeowners were thrilled with the result: “They were speechless with the transformation!”

Take a tour in the slideshow.