When designer Nicholas Ancerl came across a "For Sale" sign in Toronto’s artsy, multicultural neighborhood of Parkdale, he knew the property was an opportunity for Ancerl Studio. The lot held two semi-attached homes that "were in such disrepair that they needed a complete overhaul: just the type of project we love to take on," says director Maxime Bocken.
The plan would be to mimic the peaks and rooflines of the existing homes but turn the two dilapidated structures into two detached, single-family homes, now known as Sorauren 116. It would be quite the challenge working within such a narrow lot.
At only 18 feet wide, the home relies on verticality to hold functional spaces. "We had to be resourceful and innovative in our space-planning," says Bocken. "The tight lot also brought challenges when the home’s steel staircases were craned in and brick facades were assembled on-site."
Designed with the barn vernacular in mind, Sorauren 116 reads as one volume of brick, steel, and glass from the street, but closer inspection reveals a separation of the two homes.
Ancerl Studio chose a mix of contemporary and traditional materials including yellow-toned brick, reclaimed hemlock barn boards, and black steel-framed windows. From the materials to the homes’ unusual shed-like forms, it was all about "creating a sense of arrival, so guests are fully engaged as they explore the property," he says.
Nearly 3,000-square-feet with 30-foot ceilings, each residence has three bedrooms and easily fits a family of five.
Inside, Ancerl Studio designer Tara Finlay played up the materials, including the warm and inviting feel of the timber, exposed brickwork, and wood-paneled staircase, keeping the finishes "as honest as possible while adding emotive touches," she says.
The first floor holds the main living spaces, including the spacious, all-white kitchen with imported marble countertops and handmade subway tile. From there, the home leads into the living room: a cozy, compact space at the back of the property with a minimalist color palette, layered textures, a custom sectional by Ancerl Studio, coffee table from Arteriors Home, and textiles from Homesense. Guided by the look and feel of a loft, the entire home feels open and airy thanks to large windows.
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Moving up, the third floor is meant to be both glamorous and energizing and dedicated to the master bath and en-suite.
"It includes a lush bedroom and private balcony overlooking mature treetops with a specious dressing room leading to a marble-tiled bathroom," says Bocken. There’s a double vanity, standalone tub, and open shower.
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Builder/General Contractor: Quantum Spec Project Management
Structural Engineer: RPS Engineering INC