385 Brunswick

One of our repeat clients is a real estate investor who regularly purchases, restores, lives in the property for a few years, and then finds their next challenge. 385 Brunswick was his latest project. The 2,500 sq.ft. condo is in the former Loretto Abbey Day School, a property converted to condos in 2007. The building, constructed in 1914, featured high ceilings and large windows, and two private outdoor terrace areas, making it unique for a downtown condo layout. 

Having gutted the condo, our first step was to re-examine the floor plan and most notably the primary bedroom. In the original layout, the closet was on the main floor, and you had to pass through it to reach the bedroom, tucked into a loft area up a small stairway off the back of the room. We flipped it. The Primary bedroom and small ensuite is now just off the main floor hallway with a double door entry. Up the small staircase, now hidden away, is a long gally closet and centre island, leading to a second, larger ensuite. 

Visitors are now welcomed into the re-invented condo with a view down the dramatic, arched hallway. There were two arches in the original design. We added two more into the main corridor, a pattern repeated into the entry of the kitchen and living room areas to either side of the hall. The decision was both aesthetic and functional, strategically covering bulkheads. The hallway becomes a perfect vehicle to display the owner’s contemporary art collection. 

Throughout the entire condo, we used a black and white palette, set off by warm oak, wide plank flooring. The repeating molding patterns, and use of 7” planks to border larger areas flooring of 10” planks, all comes together to give the space charm, without losing its modern edge. 

Within the dining and living area, a custom-made, black marble fireplace stands as the focal point, created by Trumeau Stones. The room carries through the same soft white colour palette as the hallway. Its reading window is set off by the owner’s own antique pieces, heirlooms that rest below a distinctive lighting feature set within a recessed ceiling feature overhead. Off this area is a private office, painted in a dark blue, which becomes a focused retreat that can be hidden away from company as needed. 

You can tell the kitchen is where most of the living takes place. Entertainers and cooks, the kitchen carries through this black and white palette with even more dramatic effect. On one side is a black and white marble covered island, a material picked up in the countertops and back splash. The large, simple black fume hood stands in contrast with the white cabinetry. In the island, the owners chose to incorporate two fixed lamps instead of the traditional overhead chandelier, a steampunk type design with equally dramatic black shades. 

On the opposite wall, the cabinetry and entry area, leading to their private garage entry, is painted a dark charcoal. Here, a light sofa and living area is where the owners spend time watching television. 

Throughout, the design though dramatic, is flooded with light through tall, shuttered windows that capture the sun at all stages of the day.