A Historic Home in Uptown, Toronto, Gets a Contemporary Touch

Ashley Botten Design strikes a balance between modernity and Georgian-style architecture.

After a family of six expanded a Georgian-style residence in Uptown Toronto, they wanted to make the old and new environments cohere, combining some of the home’s original details—crown moulding, Cremone bolts, and french doors—with interiors that felt contemporary.

The original home had been expanded in the back. For the threshold that links the more formal front rooms with the new kitchen and family room to the rear of the house, Toronto-based Ashley Botten Design marked the transition by covering the entryway on all four sides with copper, creating an elegant contrast between old and new.







That type of contrast carries through with the furniture selection. A new Yabu Pushelberg-designed dining table anchors the dining room. But around it, the design team used the family’s vintage Eero Saarinen tulip chairs. In the living room, ABD designed a custom limestone mantelpiece that echoes the geometry of the room’s traditional door mouldings but has a clearly contemporary presence.

One of the hallmarks of ABD’s work is how it pairs natural materials with a sense of subtle inventiveness. Take the walk-in closet of the primary suite, where, in a room lined with custom wood cabinetry and wide-plank wood floors, the designers covered the top of an island with a cream-coloured leather and hung a roman blind made with raw linen, giving the space a soft light.






In addition to its busy interiors practice, ABD also creates design objects, partnering with distributors like Avenue Road and The Rug Company. For this Uptown Georgia project, the interior design includes elements from ABD’s object design practice, including copper potter vessels, T-bar drawer pulls, and the Rosey stool.



Photography by Patrick Biller.