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Old World Feel

McLaren Senna
May 16, 2019
Spotlight on Mani Jassal
May 17, 2019

H oping to create an open, contemporary space, the residents of St. Germain home, located in Toronto’s Bedford Park, enlisted the help of Nicholas Ancerl of Ancerl Studios, and Architect, Daniel Karpinski to help them bring their vision into reality.

From the start, both Ancerl and Karpinski knew they wanted to add an ‘old world feel’ to this modern-day alteration. They were able to execute this by adding warm, rustic elements throughout the comfortable and inviting transitional design.


When designing within the city, a reoccurring challenge is working with narrow lots that result in long homes, getting little to no light from anywhere but the front and rear. The duo planned for nearly a year prior to the construction and considered all of the challenges that could arise from the unique narrow lot of this modern cladded, traditionally shaped New York brownstone.

Ancerl opted to place the kitchen in the center of the house, opening up the ceiling above and placing an 80 foot skylight which floods the space with natural light while making the area open and spacious.

“The two-story kitchen is my favourite room in the house,” explains Ancerl. “We couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. There is so much life found in that space.”

The kitchen was finished with imperfect Calcutta marble to maintain the homes’ rustic and warm theme, along with filling jars with produce to bring in earthy tones and give it a punch.

Sky roof

A lovely hidden gem of this home is the sky roof. Many neighbourhood homes maximize square footage, however the St. Germain home maximized its footage while going up to a half third floor, rather than peaking the roof. This allowed for a 400-foot roof deck with a modern extension that overlooks the streetscape.

Powder Room

For the powder room, Ancerl was challenged to try something different from his usual modern rustic ideas. During a visit to a local tile shop, he found his inspiration when he stumbled upon some beautiful wood plank tiles. He then selected a live edge slab of wood for the vanity and paired it with the rustic tile. To finish off the room, the designer included one tile with the word “recycle’ written on it and placed it directly in front of the toilet creating a unique focal point.

In order to perfectly complete the space, furnishings were handpicked, custom made or refurbished to bring together the varying textures and rustic theme found throughout the home. In the end, the residents of St. Germain home were thrilled with their newly designed home.