Heading one of Canada’s leading furniture brands can come in handy when it comes to envisioning your own home, as Avenue Road’s Stephan Weishaupt found out, when he embarked on a project involving the transformation of an old Toronto townhouse.
Weishaupt collaborated with local architects Chapi Chapo Design on a complete overhaul of a derelict Edwardian structure, in one of his favourite neighbourhoods, Cabbagetown. ‘I was initially thinking of moving into a larger home and I realised that it wasn’t really what I wanted or needed,’ he explains. ‘What was more interesting to me was to work with the artisans I collaborate with at Avenue Road. I aimed to have some unexpected and inspirational pieces that would allow them to demonstrate how far their talents could be taken. I wanted to focus on the details to refine a home I already love.’
Working together to inject new life into the old house, the team studied the original building’s architecture in order to incorporate its essence in the interiors, explain the architects. They also wanted to respect their client’s needs and personality. ‘In this particular residence, the client’s identity is multi-layered – there is a public persona and a private persona that need to be reflected in the home’, they add.
The architects response included creating an open space for entertaining – something fun, that ‘stimulates the senses’ - while also defining a series of private spaces, which would counterbalance the public areas and serve as sanctuaries to retreat into after the owner’s busy daily life. Highlighting Weishaupt’s significant art and furniture collection – without ‘being ostentatious’ – was also central to the design.
Achieving the level of detailing Weishaupt was after, was another of the project’s key challenges. ‘[It] required a lot more time and changes that originally anticipated’, he recalls. ‘It went from a renovation to more of a rebuild. It was important to make the house as environmentally responsible as possible for well into the future.’
The result? A playful and homely environment with a carefully thought out private and public areas that together form a refined and composed whole; peppered of course, with Weishaupt's carefully curatred personal art and design collection.