Justine & Angus Cook Up Some Style
in Toronto

House Tour

Name: Justine Fowler, Angus Bennett, and baby Oscar
Location: Downtown Toronto, Canada
Size: Approximately 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years; Owned

She's a fashion professional and he's a great chef. Together they own one of Toronto's most popular (and delicious) restaurants. Is it any wonder that their home is also delectable? The stylish and creative pair renovated a 120-year-old downtown home, and the result is simply beautiful.

While overseeing the renovations themselves, the couple had some additional design help from their multi-talented friend (and subject of a previous House Tour) Courtney Wotherspoon. Like Courtney's home, Justine and Angus' boasts a fresh and simple color palette, with decorative touches of wit and humor all around. The three-bedroom home works well for the couple, who love to cook and entertain their friends. As in most homes, the party often gravitates to the kitchen — Angus' favorite room for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, Justine's favorite room has always been their serene bedroom. One can only hope that with the recent arrival of baby Oscar, she is still getting some rest in that cozy bed of theirs.

The gender of little Baby Bennett was unknown before his arrival, and the nursery is an adorable example of a gender-neutral nursery. Oscar's room is comfortable, safe, and fun, while still retaining aesthetic appeal for the adults. It's easy to see Oscar growing to appreciate the comfort and warmth throughout the rest of the house, too. Maybe one day he will even agree that his parents are cool.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: User friendly, Scandinavian, cozy… while much of the decor is neutral, we are a shoes on, comfort focused house.

Inspiration: My friend and decorator Courtney Wotherspoon, design magazines, travel, Angus's "garbage" finds that become beautiful furniture, fashion.

Favorite Element: I'm not sure I have just one. Courtney succeeded in making the atmosphere of the house exactly what we were after. It's not one thing, piece or room, it's all of them combined that make it feel like home. I think when you are working with such a small space, you need to focus on an overall feel.

Biggest Challenge: Space and storage. While these older homes have lovely character, they certainly lack in storage and closet space. One must get very creative/sneaky!

What Friends Say: We entertain a lot and often feel like our house isn't complete until our friends are enjoying it with us, so how they feel in the space is as important to us as how we do. As much as they all loved being here before we finished our renovations, the general consensus is that our house "grew up". It has matured a bit while still remaining a comfortable enough space to pop in unannounced and put your feet up!

Biggest Embarrassment: I guess I would say, the "fun house" aspect to our house. In the 100 plus years since it was built, the house has certainly shifted. Best not to look too closely or it's quite easy to notice that none of the walls are straight or even. The floors are slightly slanted — everything is a little off.

Proudest DIY: Tough to narrow it down. I'm very lucky in that Angus is very handy and has built many gorgeous pieces, but certainly the dining room table and bench at the end of our bed are two of the most gorgeous pieces of furniture he's made, in my opinion.

Biggest Indulgence: Our kitchen. With a chef for a partner, I was basically told when we bought the house that I could decide on and decorate the rest of the house, if he could do the kitchen. I agreed, and must admit that despite my resistance at times, our industrial 6 burner gas range certainly feels "special."

Best Advice: Live in a space before you decorate it. I'm not saying I fully adhered to the advice, but in hindsight it's very sound. All the most recent work we have had done is the best. Once you have a chance to live in a space and see what you want from it, you are able to make it what you want and need.

Dream Sources: ABC Home, antique markets, Elte, Post & Beam Reclamation, Nella Cucina…

Resources of Note:

LIVING ROOM

    • Sofa and coffee table - Structube
    • Arm chairs - Reemka Imports
    • Rug - West Elm
    • Mirror and sidetable - GH Johnson
    • Neon Pork Sign - Hope Neon
    • Mantle - Vintage
    • Stump Sidetable - Made by Angus

DINING ROOM

    • Dining Table - Made by Angus
    • White dining chairs - Vintage
    • Black dining chairs - Home Sense
    • Sideboard - Ikea
    • Black and White Photographs - Talia Shipman
    • Cut Coffee Table Bookshelves - Umbra

KITCHEN

    • Cupboards, sink and countertops - Ikea
    • Stove - Garland
    • Appliances - Samsung

TV ROOM/ BREAKFAST ROOM


GUEST BEDROOM

    • Brass bed - Vintage (belonged to my parents)
    • Embroidered chair - Home Sense
    • Bookshelf - Made by Angus

NURSERY

    • Crib - Moms to be and more
    • Dresser, Armchair - Ikea (dressers knobs from Anthropologie)
    • Blinds - Pottery Barn Kids
    • Rug - Home Sense
    • Rhino Footstool - Marty the Millionaire
    • Triptich Cow Painting and "you are my hero" - Courtney Wotherspoon
    • Pendent Light - Morba

UPSTAIRS HALLWAY


MASTER BEDROOM

    • Bed - DIY project
    • Dresser and Closets - Ikea (dresser knobs from Chatelet)
    • Wood Bench - Made by Angus
    • Bedside tables - vintage
    • Bedside lamps - West Elm
    • Mirror - Design Republic
    • Easel - Woolfitt's

Thanks, Justine and Angus!

(Images: Abby Cook)

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