From a Flower Bulb Factory to an Entertainment Hub
When Cruickshank’s, a beloved Toronto flower bulb distributor, shuttered its doors in 2001, the owners left behind a three-story home and warehouse with a rich history. Several years later, when the weathered building went up for sale, its new owner saw the space as an opportunity. Using the history of the site as a source of inspiration, the buyer commissioned Roundabout Studio to convert the two buildings into a single cohesive home with a focus on music and entertainment.
Determined to expand the home and bring in light, Roundabout Studio focused on growing the space vertically and incorporating clean lines, natural materials, and as much open air as possible. The owners kept the interior palette minimal and light, wanting an easily traversable space for large-scale events and fundraisers of up to 200 guests. The open-plan kitchen and dining room, as well as an interior courtyard and double-height performance space, makes these gatherings possible.
Beyond the space’s function as a public space, the owners were insistent that their home reference the site’s exterior location as well as its history. The three-bedroom home is located on a busy Toronto thoroughfare, and the interior space hints at the site’s location through carefully placed windows and a series of large-scale skylights that filter in natural light from the outside. Furthermore, the home calls attention to the building’s former life as a bulb warehouse through its use of materials reclaimed from the original home. Roundabout Studio also incorporated a large-scale light fixture in the interior courtyard that is ornamented with an abstract tulip motif, a design that’s repeated in several smaller perforated window screens inside. This reference to Cruickshank’s reputation for high-quality and interesting tulip bulbs keeps the building’s history alive in a modern, light-filled home.
Emily is a design historian, teacher, and writer/editor. She credits her early interest in architecture and design to helping her boat-builder dad as a kid, which cemented her love for home decor projects like building furniture, reupholstery, crafting, and decoration. In addition to crafts, she studied English literature at Brown University and holds a MA from Parsons in design history.