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Five Fabulous, Real-Life Foyers

How local architects, designers and artists enlivened five entryways

By Tory Healy

Photo by Naomi Finlay.
Photo by Naomi Finlay.

1 Open to drama. For his family home in Forest Hill Village, Patrick Fejér (partner at B+H Architects) struck a balance with concealing and revealing. From the curb, little is given away about the interior, despite the two storeys of glazing. And the entrance, to the side of the garage door, below the cantilevered kitchen, is barely detectable. When you do find the stairwell however, concrete steps lead up through a light well shrouded by a wall of masonry. At the top, a wide wall of glass exposes the dining room, as well as the kitchen and living room that bookend it. Past the door, millwork conceals a ton of storage for the family of four, as well as a powder room. Hardwood flooring in Norwegian oak from The Sullivan Source Inc.; dining table by Porro; rug from Elte.

DL-0217-Foyers-Dubbeldam-2
Photo by Shai Gil

2 Lighten the load. For Skygarden house, an award-winning residential project in Summerhill by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, the owners wanted a little slice of country calm. This meant rebuilding the west-facing front facade and strategically placing windows for snippet views of sky and tree canopy, and creating a private outdoor dining space street-side that opened to the interior through large planes of glass. To make this happen, Dubbeldam moved the entrance to the side and shrouded the new patio in slatted ash. Inside, a grey-stained oak wall on a sliding track moves to adjust access to the foyer, as well as sunlight and views. Table by Commute; chairs from Mjölk; flooring from Moncer; doors from Bigfoot.

DL-0217-Foyers-Thrush
Photo by Naomi Finlay

3 Consistency counts. As you might expect from an artist, Thrush Holmes took on the reno of his High Park area home as he would one of his massive, multi-media canvasses: with equal parts planning and spontaneity. The result is a home as unique as its owner’s aesthetic, inside and out. Mosaic flooring and Birch panelling in the foyer (which has cut-outs for a vent and the door chime) is a continuation of the look he’s created in the front yard, with its cedar clad porch and turf block–tiled lawn. And like the fun hits of furniture out there, the foyer is brightened up by two Samare benches from Klaus and, among a spattering of mismatched coat hooks, cast antlers by Castor Design.

DL-0217-Foyers-WandaEly
Photo by Scott Norsworthy

4 Hot, hard-working materials. The amount of love and care architect Wanda Ely put into transforming a former rooming house in Brockton neighbourhood into an eclectic family home is evident at the door. With three young kids traipsing through, the vestibule had to be wide and ready for everyday rough and tumble. Ely installed the type of industrial grate mat you’d find at mall entrances, to catch dirt and water with its hidden pan, as well as a washable marble mosaic up one wall and across the ceiling. Three colourful reclaimed metal-mesh lockers (from Smash), embedded in a slick plywood storage unit, circumvent the typical front hall coat-boot-and-backpack jumble.

DL-0217-Foyers-ReigoBauer-2
Photos by Lisa Petrole

5 Touchy, feely textures. At this Forest Hill home, architectural designers Reigo & Bauer transformed a typical runway-style foyer by adding dimension and interest. Inside the door, the walls are treated to a photo-realistic tissue pattern by Erica Wakerly (available at Are & Be). Large format tile meets hardwood flooring and white walls give way to a custom screen of vertical slats (made by Mariani Metal) that allow peeks at the colourful living room beyond, and on the other side, glossy red millwork by Michael Amantea tuck coats and boots away. Bench from Kiosk; lighting by Vibia.


Categories: Spaces
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