Ashley Botten Design revives a historic Toronto home

Ashley Botten Design presents an interior renovation that infuses heritage architecture with modern living. Home to a family of six, the Georgian-style residence was recently expanded to extend the kitchen and a primary bedroom and ensuite bath on the second floor. The clients wanted to preserve some of the original details, including elegant crown moulding, Cremone bolts, and French doors, while adding a new layer of contemporary expression. With four grown children and two dogs, they also required the house to be easy to live in and maintain.


The interior places much of its emphasis on the experience of space, and on an overall earthy scheme consisting of white and brown marble, grey limestone, raw copper, and the quiet softness of smoked white oak used on the floors and built-in cabinetry. Abd paid close attention to blending its own custom furniture designs with new additions and the clients’ existing pieces. In the dining area, the family’s vintage Eero Saarinen tulip chairs are now surrounded by a complementary oval dining table by Yabu Pushelberg. In the living room, an abd-designed mantelpiece, made of limestone, echoes the geometry of the room’s traditional door casings and mouldings.


One of the boldest expressions of old meeting new is experienced in a deep entryway leading from the formal front rooms to the newly expanded kitchen and adjoining family room. The unique transitional space is now clad in live copper on all sides, with a slightly protruding edge providing a minimalist framework.


On the second floor, the warm palette continues within the primary bedroom, walk-in closet, bathroom, and office. The finishing details here are no less discrete, quietly woven into the visual rhythm of the house. Rather than matching hardware, door pulls, knobs, and hinges are a mix of shapes and warm metals, with abd’s own T-bar in polished brass featured on one set of dresser drawers, and in contrast to the linear finger pulls chosen for another custom sideboard. The pure intention of these inconsistencies gives the home a timelessness ambiance that transcends trends. The aim is for every element of the house to be enjoyed in the here and now, and also last a lifetime.