St Clarens House / Wanda Ely Architect

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (1)

Designed by Wanda Ely Architect, St Clarens house was conceived to embody the identity of a young, active family. The house has 213 square meters and is located in Toronto, Canada.

The client, an industrial designer, expressed an appreciation for the weight and texture of materials and a deep concern for ergonomic design. Drawing from this set of priorities, strong consideration was given to the material integrity, functionality and durability of every object and surface selected. The palette, a playful mix of rich, rustic materials paired with clean, contemporary and lustrous surfaces sets a stylistic tone that is carried through the house. Photos by Scott Norsworthy

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (4)

The new sleek materials were carefully composed to juxtapose the warm brick wall and exposed wood ceiling joists, creating a harmonious balance of old and new. Feature steel and glass stair provide a focal point in the space.

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (20)

Rich, wood elements balancing cool, sleek, reflective surfaces

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (2)

A unique, carefully crafted intersection of spaces and materials

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (5)

The client’s desire for a kitchen that ‘felt like a machine’ informed the selection of robust, commercial-grade finishes, hardware and fixtures.

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (7)

The composition of materials, dropped ceiling, and millwork storage element work to distinguish the entrance to the home

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (9)

Storage closets were designed around three vintage metal lockers, one for each child in the family. Inset metal floor grate captures dirt and mud at entrance

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (6)

Switch cover insert into entrance millwork

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (8)

The projection of the dropped ceiling expands the entryway, while the millwork acts as a warm wood backdrop for the living space

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (10)

Open-tread stair allows for maximum light and visibility through the space

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (16)

In the open studio area, a vibrant blueprint-blue chalkboard ‘idea wall’ – a nod to the client’s industrial design background – acts as a surface for playful messages, drawings, and homework

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (12)

Trough sink allows all three children to brush their teeth at once. Inset open wood shelves are custom designed to hold bathroom accessories

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (14)

Carefully composed shelving placement

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (13)

Steam shower fits full family of five

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (11)

Oversized porcelain floor tiles with board-pressed concrete texture was chosen to compliment the industrial material palette, while maintaining a spa-like sophistication

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (15)

A bright, generous bathroom for a family of five to share comfortably

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (17)

Whimsical elements integrated into the functional design, add subtle splashes of colour into the space

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (18)

Off-the-shelf glass containers are inset into wood shelves to allow for the orderly storage of bathroom supplies

St Clarens House by Wanda Ely Architect (19)

Stainless steel toothbrush holders for each of the three children are inset into the wood shelves.

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