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All in the Family

Young architects often design homes for their parents. But for Toronto's Julia Knezic, it was an especially intimate job: her mom Susan Farkas's new house is next to her own. When the property became available, she lured her parents into moving from their suburban neighborhood. "My mom said, 'Fine, but I want a new house.' "

It was a deal: Julia designed a new 2,100-square-foot open-plan house, with generous public rooms and only one bedroom, for the site. The process became more intense when her father passed away—and more so as Julia gave birth to her two kids. But Julia's mother moved in, and welcomed Julia's clan to live in the basement as they remodeled their own place. "This was conceived as a house for one person," Julia explains,"but the idea was to make the spaces as comfortable as possible for the whole family." And with an intergenerational mix of decor and two happy kids, it's working out fine.

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