Collection by Sam Elmore

A Cramped Boarding House Transformed Into an Open, Modern Home in Toronto


Natural materials and a strong attention to detail connect a disjointed property.

In a Toronto neighborhood, a young couple became permanent residents in a former boarding house and adjacent coach house. With a growing family and a love for entertaining, the clients desired a versatile residence instead a series of confined bedrooms and detached structures. Dubbeldam Architecture + Design designed open spaces inside and out that help connect the two structures for the family to host parties, meals, and activities. “As these were all separate living units, the flow throughout the house was naturally constricted by the numerous walls,” says Heather Dubbeldam, principal and founder. “Converting both the house and coach house into a single family residence gave us the opportunity to open up the building for contemporary living.” Drawing from a diverse palette of materials, Dubbeldam Architecture + Design revived the existing structures and organized the backyard, creating a unified home.

The Parklex facade visually connects the main house and coach house.
“The material choices for the interior were not directly influenced by the facade, but we did use fumed oak flooring...
Beat Stout lights by Tom Dixon glow over the the custom dining room table designed by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design...
“The large cutout is perfect for entertaining, but also frames the Edward Burtynsky print in the dining room,”...
Bright, white, and airy.
“The walnut unit between the kitchen and dining room ties into the fumed oak floor,” Dubbeldam says.
The original turret provides ample sunlight during the day, while a wall-mounted Tolomeo lamp by Artemide is used at...
The master bathroom features a Wetstyle bathtub and Mare Bianco limestone walls.
The outdoor deck is made from ipe. The wood was selected to complement the fumed oak flooring inside the house.