The Case of the Disappearing Clutter in Toronto

Architect Tony Round admits that there is nothing romantic about a home renovation, especially if you’re an architect. “I revived with my spouse, who is alsoan architect — you could say that that was one of the biggest challenges that we faced,” says Round with a laugh. He and his wife, Andrea Kordos, worked on their semidetached, multilevel home in Toronto for nearly five decades, shaping it into a place that works for how their family lives.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Tony Round, Andrea Kordos and their two kids
Location: Toronto
Size: 1,850 square feet
Year constructed: 1908

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Family meals, homework, notebook sessions for work or fun, Lego building and craftmaking all occur on the kitchen table, which is connected to the kitchen island to make a long, central workspace. Across from this control post, Ikea cabinets compose a long banquette. The benches provide storage and seating.

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Modern Eglo pendants light the dining table and kitchen island. Honey-brown floor-to-ceiling, Granite cabinetry lends the mainly white, minimalist room a warm feel and helps to bring out the bamboo door trim.

The closets give enough space for a coffee maker and other kitchen essentials, corralling visual clutter and freeing up dining table and countertop space. “We’re just like every household; we have stuff. But because our kitchen is really our only real open living area, we try to not have too many things lying about,” says Round.

Chairs: Eames

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Round and Kordos realized that the kitchen area worked best with no cabinets above the cooktop. “Upper cabinets would have divided the area a bit a lot, and we liked the open feel of the area. But we still had this blank wall which had something,” says Round.

The couple decided on a faux mosaic made from tape, paint and, based on Round, “lots of patience” when it came into both cutting and peeling the tape off. Soon, their evening craft project snowballed into a larger art installation.

They eventually plan to tile the walls, but for the time being, the faux mosaic provides just the correct amount of visual attention to their main living area.

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“It was pretty critical for all of us to have a relation to the deck and also our garden from within the home,” says Round. “The lift-and-slide doors also have made such a big difference in how we experience living in the home. They’re also functional; even the kids can open and shut the doors with ease.”

He also installed the doors on the west side of the home, so the day light warms and floods the space — even at the dead of winter.

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On an everyday basis, the home does not look as accumulated and minimalist as it will in those photos. “Our ethos is more about having places to put stuff when business is coming. But above all else, we’re aiming to make a comfortable, livable area for our entire family,” Round says.

The banquette cushion covers, a custom job, are removable and washable. “The kids doodle on the covers, so we’ve already had to benefit from its machine-washable attribute on a couple occasions,” he says.

One thing which you don’t find a lot of in this residence is decor. “Outside of the kids’ rooms, anything that you may typically call decor is integrated within the area,” says Round.

Banquette cushions: Ideal Sofa

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A sturdy, weatherproof ipe deck plus a cedar-slatted fence include visual interest into the garden; the fence additionally makes a translucent privacy screen. It is a terrific outdoor play area for the kids.

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Broad steps going up to the deck double as seating when guests are about. “We like that our kids can spend some time outside and we can see them in the kitchen. We’ve got this romantic connection with our environment,” says Round.

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Round and Kordos constructed the coffee table from a mild desk ten decades back, creating its own shape by creating a stack of staggered strips of plywood and assaulting it with a power planer and belt sander until it was smooth. While it resembles a solid stack of baltic birch plywood, its interior is hollow and ringed by fluorescent lighting — ideal for the tracing paper function of these two architects.

The couple recently gave the table an update because it was looking a bit tired after numerous spills, being hauled across states as the couple moved into various cities, and more lately what Round notes as “the impact of kids.” The couple sanded off the finish and reveneered the top with ash.

“After employing a natural oil finish, we’re hoping it is ready for another 10 decades,” says Round.

Sofa: Visitor Parking

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This white oak dressing table is custom made; the oil sink fits perfectly on it. The mirror reveals a glass tile mosaic on the opposite wall, doubling its visual impact.

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The couple’s son occupies one of three rooms on the second floor, just down the hallway from his sister’s room and the master bedroom.

Playful touches fit for a toddler include a vintage desk and chair set, whimsical wall art and a horse rocker. “No matter how much storage we’ve upstairs, the kids’ toys constantly creep in the kitchen and dining area somehow. It is just the nature of having kids,” Round says.

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A working kitchen in the basement suite of the home came in handy while renovations were occurring on the first level of the home.

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