Photos by Janis Nicolay

You wouldn’t expect a duplex built in 2010 to need a facelift nine years later. But as project manager Emma Kelly, co-principal of Rudy Winston Design, describes it, the house was “startlingly dated.”

It was no wonder the homeowner had approached Kelly and RWD partner, interior designer Francesca Albertazzi, for help as soon as she took possession of the property in 2019: she wanted to say goodbye to the beige, old-school design and bring the home to life with colour, textiles, and modern finishes. “She wanted something relaxed, fresh, and multi-layered to reflect her family,” says Albertazzi.

The completed renovation (finished in October 2020) brings the 3,800-square-foot home into the modern era, with special attention paid to comfort and calm. 

The concept was “curated casual,” explains Albertazzi. “We wanted pieces that tell stories and imbue personality.” Beige tones were turned into warm whites, with colour layered in; awful track head lighting replaced with central fixtures providing a warm, welcoming light. Flat walls and ceilings were given depth and interest with coffering and paneling details, and furniture and decor were selected to suit the functional needs as well as an expression of youthfulness and vibrancy of the family — for instance, the homeowner’s artwork and photos were reframed and mixed in with vintage finds. “I really enjoyed —in the way a designer can ‘enjoy’ fretting over every last detail  arriving at a place where I felt the living room reflected the client’s aesthetic, and I could see them relaxing in the space,” says Albertazzi. 

BEFORE: Living Room

AFTER: Living Room

BEFORE: The Kitchen

AFTER: The Kitchen

BEFORE: Bedroom

AFTER: Bedroom

BEFORE: The Calm Space

AFTER: The Calm Space