Despite the significant challenge of completing a renovation during the biggest health crisis of our time for 2 doctors on the frontlines of the pandemic, the final restoration is a masterful blend of mid-century modern features and modern design principles. House 21 now boasts 4 bedrooms and several key spaces: a spacious eat-in kitchen, separate dining room for hosting dinners, a study, a gym and recreational room in the basement, and large outdoor spaces for both adults and children.
The exterior brick facade of the home remains largely untouched, echoing the original facades of neighborhood homes, while a new Neolith slab wall adjacent to the front door hints at the updates found within.
Like any true 1950’s home, the kitchen remains at the heart of this one. A small hallway wrapped in walnut slatting opens up to the bright, modern kitchen, where a custom, curved walnut slatted island anchors the room to provide a sociable, functional workspace. Original hardware saved during demolition warms up the matte white flush-mount cabinets – an important design consideration from the beginning.
House 21 is a masterful blend of carefully restored elements from its original mid-century design, alongside modern updates required to make it ideal for life as a young, growing family.
When the clients first found House 21 in 2019, it was love at first sight. Tucked inside a small enclave of original 1950’s style homes in Toronto’s Upper Forest Hill Village, they knew it would be the forever home where they’d raise their 3 young children. The couple engaged Izen Architecture to complete a loving restoration of the mid-century modern gem, carefully preserving the most important historical elements while reimagining the spaces to make them suitable for modern family life. Izen Architecture’s meticulous attention to detail in our approach and intuitive understanding of what a home needs when raising young children made us the ideal choice.
The beautiful, original terrazzo floor at the entryway was carefully preserved, inspiring the preservation of other key elements. A circular wooden screen, originally used as a room divider, found new life as a large mirror tucked just inside the front door. The warm tones and colour palette of the entryway act as a starting point for the new finishes throughout, bringing an organic sensibility to the clean lines and modern feel of the updated layout and finishings.
New custom walnut millwork intentionally recalls the original walnut millwork, contrasted against a bold stone Neolith wall in the family room, complete with integrated recesses for TV, storage and fireplace – an Izen signature.