Nick & Julia's Modern Family Home

Nick & Julia's Modern Family Home

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Name: Nick and Julia and their three children
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years

Modern, colorful and striking, this renovated home is full of great architectural features, elegant design and clean lines. Nick and Julia love the family- and party-friendly home they were able to create with the help of Solares Architecture, a firm that renovates and builds environmentally integrated homes. Nick and Julia’s home is a mix of both warm, friendly style and dramatic features.

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Julia is an architect, and she collaborated closely with Christine, co-founder of Solares, throughout the design work. They were able to create a home that could accommodate both Nick and Julia's growing family and their extensive art collection. "We both love art, and have a lot of large accent pieces, so we wanted to make sure the finished home had enough wall space to display our art without feeling closed-in," Julia says.

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

If you want to renovate your existing home, Julia’s advice would be, "Wait until you can afford a full-gut job and can work with people who you trust to do the best they can for you. Keep saving up until you can do exactly what you want with your space. That way, you won’t have any regrets about the home that you might spend years of your life in." Julia and Nick's unique, practical and cleverly designed home turned out beautifully, so she must be onto something!

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)
(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Modern, colorful and striking. We like a mix of both warm and friendly styles, and clean, professional features. With three kids, we wanted to make sure that things like toys, puppets, and baby seats didn’t look too out of place in our new reno!

Julia is an architect so she worked closely with Christine throughout the design work. We both love art, and have a lot of large accent pieces, so we wanted to make sure the finished home had enough wall space to display our art without feeling closed-in.

Inspiration: Tom and Christine from Solares are family, so we were familiar with their work. We love the clean, bright, and happy spaces they create, so we knew they were the right firm for our job! They inspired us, along with Julia’s love of interior design.

Favorite Element: The formal dining area, with its fireplace insert. Having a formal dining room opens up our entire home, and makes the space feel large and luxurious. Also, we have lots of family living nearby, so having a huge dining table means everyone is able to come for dinner!

Biggest Challenge: Fitting everything we wanted into the space was difficult. We wanted an eat-in kitchen, a formal dining area, a living room, a play room, 2 kids’ bedrooms, a small study, and master bedroom en suite. Solares managed it, which was impressive! We didn’t want to give any of those aspects up, and we’re so glad we didn’t have to.

What Friends Say: Friends love coming over for dinner and having a drink at the kitchen island while we finish cooking. They also love all the storage in the kitchen!

Biggest Embarrassment: None!

Proudest DIY: Julia general contracted the whole build. She hired the trades and supervised their work. The project took a little longer than expected but it was an amazing experience.

Biggest Indulgence: Our huge backyard and deck is beautiful in the summer. And we love the kitchen’s giant quartz island and giant floor-to-ceiling windows. The entrance to the deck from the kitchen means we can have some amazing parties—we put down snacks and set up a bar on the island, string up fairy lights outside, and let people mingle in and out.

Best Advice: If you want to renovate your existing home, wait until you can afford a full-gut job and working with people who you trust to do the best they can for you. If your budget makes you cut corners you don’t want to cut, don’t try to justify making those compromises—just don’t do it! Keep saving up until you can do exactly what you want with your space. That way, you don’t have any regrets in the home that you might spend years of your life in!

Dream Sources: Dwell magazine, Azure, and of course Apartment Therapy! Also, we were inspired by art galleries such as the AGO: white walls, wooden floors, and tons of colorful artwork.

Resources

(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

ENTRY

  • Entry doors: Bauhaus
  • Study windows: Bauhaus
(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

LIVING ROOM

  • Chair and ottoman: Brothers Dressler
  • Main windows: Marvin
  • Cabinets: IKEA with some custom inserts
(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

DINING ROOM

  • Fireplace: Rais 60
(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

KITCHEN

  • Cabinets: IKEA with some custom inserts
  • Counter: Caesarstone
  • Faucet: KWC Eve
(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

BEDROOM

  • Skylights: Velux
(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

BATHROOM

  • Toilets: Toto
  • Sinks: IKEA Godmorgen
  • Vanities: IKEA Godmorgen
  • Skylights: Velux
  • Faucets: Riobel
  • Shower: Riobel
(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

OFFICE/DEN

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Thanks, Nick & Julia!

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