A sleek cook space emerges from a standard-issue kitchen.
A house from the 1880s that's narrow, small, and in terrible shape: is this the place for a great modern interior? In the hands of Toronto architect Heather Dubbeldam, it turned out to be exactly that. Her client, doctor Yash Patel, had a green agenda and a commitment to contemporary design. "I wanted it to be small; energy-efficient; and beyond that I let Heather and her associates figure it out," he says. "I let them run." Dubbeldam used a variety of strategies to keep it green (the tiny utility bills prove this), but also created remarkably rich spaces and textures in this small house and equally tight yard. Her remodel of the house kept its 1,450 square feet of interior space, but carved it into an open plan, and established strong visual connections between the house and the yard. Now both zones flow into each other—limestone, ceramics, cedar boards, and a row of beech trees all working together in subtle harmony.