Designer Evelyn Eshun’s well-curated contemporary design pays homage to the well-established homes of Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood. By emphasizing gracious simplicity, the designer focuses attention on materials and family comfort.
Eshun applied light and dark elements in the kitchen. “We used bright white cabinets and a deep walnut finish on the maple doors below. We pulled the cabinets all the way to the exterior wall and chose to finish them in white in order to keep the open and bright feeling,” she said.
Eshun advises keeping “all your dark elements below eye level” to ensure a sense of expanse in a room.
Art Deco’s slim symmetrics and geometrics guide the design of the living room’s refined lines, while the cream-coloured understated furniture blends with the neutral walls.
“For the purpose of longevity and decorating flexibility, I like to choose a neutral colour for the largest pieces of upholstery,” Eshun notes.
The long rectangle of the red mahogany fireplace is echoed in the striped rug. Its cream and black strokes add resonance to the furniture’s dark woods.
“The rug was chosen for its linear, graphic look. It adds a dynamic feeling to the room,” Eshun said. The room’s subtle details express themselves gracefully. “I love the crisscross pattern on the cocktail table.”
Accessories throughout the home add concise complexity. Their materials bring depth of feeling as well as reflective surfaces to lighten the dark woods with sheen and sparkle.
Throughout Eshun’s design for the 4,000-sq. ft. living space, lighting provides “jewellery” for each room. “To me, lighting is functional art. It allows you to inject personality and style into a space,” Eshun said. The light fixtures’ non-traditional interpretations of chandelier motifs, such as crystal and delicate metallic, blend traditional and contemporary aesthetics.
The dining room furniture is burnished with subtle luxury. “The chairs are a take-off from the classic parson’s chair. The studs add detailing which elevates the simple design,” Eshun said. “Choosing chairs with a low back profile keeps them from obstructing the view and lends a more contemporary look.”
A quiet complement to the stained white oak flooring, the dining table adds streamlined warmth to the room.
The design for the family room’s fireplace is casual and emphasizes convenience. “Storage on either side is perfect for audio and miscellaneous items. Cladding the entire fireplace with stone keeps it simple and clean,” Eshun explains.
A leather ottoman provides both seating and storage space. “Decorative trays can be used for added style and functionality of an ottoman as a cocktail table,” Eshun adds. The rug diplomatically blends the room’s neutrals and linear shapes.
“Putting all the details together well before the project begins is the best way to ensure success in the planning and execution process,” Eshun advises.
“There is a flowchart involved from beginning to end which must be adhered to. Otherwise, delays and budget overruns can be encountered.”
Space Designed by Evelyn Eshun, Evelyn Eshun Interior Design, www.evelyneshun.com
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