Who lives here: Gloria Apostolou, Kirk Marshall and their daughters, Penelope (age 7) and Daphne (4)
Location: Annex neighborhood of Toronto
Size: 2,800 square feet (260 square meters); 5 bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms and a basement office
Year built: 1900
Built at the turn of the 20th century, the home has a style similar to many other residences in the area. While most have an entrance at the front, here there is a generous front porch that leads to a side-facing entry. Because it’s perpendicular to the street, the front door is often left open in the summer, allowing the porch to become a sheltered extension of the interior space.
The furniture and art, an eclectic mix, have been collected over time from a variety of places, leading to a cohesive style befitting both the family and the house itself. The bench underneath the window was given to Apostolou by her former boss, Ned Baldwin, the project architect of the CN Tower. He had designed it for his office but later moved back to New York, and it stayed behind with her. Due to its unusual shape and hinged top, Marshall jokingly refers to it as “the coffin.”
The couple doesn’t usually go together to look at art; they agree on a budget and buy what they like, hoping the other will too. It’s a process that has worked well, and the house is chock-full of interesting and unexpected pieces that all seem to work well together.
Table: designed by Post Architecture, built by Paus and Grün; area rug: Relative Space
Floor-to-ceiling sliding windows open to a tree-filled backyard, and a long, linear window replaced the traditional backsplash. The new oak hardwood flooring was sized and stained to match the existing floors, ensuring a continuous visual flow from room to room.
At the end of last year, she renovated the front half of the basement to house a larger studio space, with room for herself and a newly hired designer; it’s now a walk-out space for easy client access. An antique table base sits on top of a purple area rug matching the one in the dining room. It was purchased from the flooring shop Relative Space, which, until recently, was in the same neighborhood.
With two young children, Apostolou has found that working from home is an ideal arrangement: She can be close to her work as well as to the kids. She often works in the evenings, but with a large amount of flexible time throughout the day, she manages to maintain a great work-life balance.
Chairs: Esbjörn, Ikea
The west-facing backyard pulls in the setting summer sun and is the perfect place for watching squirrels scurry around, listening to birds chirping and looking over at the neighbor’s yard to see how his garden and baby chicks are doing.
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