Name: Dave & Shauntelle LeBlanc
Location: Toronto — Ontario, Canada
Size of Home: 1,500 square feet — 3 bedrooms
Years lived in: 5
On Wednesday, we had the chance to tour the first half of Shauntelle & Dave's Controlled Kitsch 1960s split-level home. Today, we get to see the rest of their house. A caveat: the tour may leave you with extreme martini cravings.
Stepping into Shauntelle and Dave's home is a throwback, and it's easy to grow nostalgic looking around. As avid collectors, they have acquired many period items and pieces that aren't often seen around anymore, but still evoke strong memories. The two make a point of supporting the local art community, and lovely local and Canadian art hangs on the walls and adorns their shelves. Dave has a soft spot for any art depicting Toronto City Hall, an iconic Modernist building. Shauntelle's skills as a designer are evident in the precise placement of their vintage modern classics throughout the house. And who but a professional could pull off their varied and vibrant, yet completely cohesive color scheme?
Part 2 of the House Tour begins in the hallway off Dave's study, where I notice that the colors from the large print on the wall are precisely the hallway paint colors, which also play off those colors used in the dining room and lounge below. When I ask if the print inspired the color choice, Dave tells me it was coincidental. "When you have a really defined sense of what you like," he explains, "the colors come naturally."
At the end of the hallway is Shauntelle's office, which used to be a more relaxing place for her to hang out, but now acts as Ethel's headquarters. Besides using the space to keep on top of her business, she uses it to house an interesting collection: midcentury modern dollhouses! The last room on the ground floor is Shauntelle and Dave's bedroom. The bedside lamps, overhead shelf, and headboard combine to make the most outrageously playful lines.
When Shauntelle and Dave entertain — and they often do — the party always ends up in the lower level lounge. And with a Tiki-bar like that, why not? Opposite the Tiki-bar is an original and amazing flagcrete fireplace that they were advised to tear down when they had their home inspection. Thankfully, they managed to keep it. Adorning the room are much loved cocktail glass and tiki mug collections.
From the lower level, a sliding glass door leads to their beautiful backyard, where a groundhog dubbed Scarborough Sam resides. As I open the door to take pictures, Dave and Shauntelle spot a second groundhog. Scarborough Sam has found a mate! Perhaps the love vibes from the happy couple indoors are contagious.
Be sure to check out Shauntelle's blog, where you can see more pictures and get more information about all the goodies she's got in her lovely home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
<Our Style: Controlled Kitsch. We like to think of it as a place where Charles Eames could meet John Waters for a Mai Tai.
Inspiration: Shag art, the art of Vera Neumann and Mary Blair, The Friendly Atom, midcentury Canadian artwork and furniture, Polynesian Pop, swingin' jet-set life, Palm Springs everything, Toronto City Hall.
Favorite Element: How the house unfolds spatially; how it borrows space (i.e. the 'air' over the double-height foyer visually extends the living room); little touches like the pocket doors and the skinny window in the living room.
Biggest Challenge: The huge front and back yards: 21st century schedules with routine 9pm dinners don't permit the kind of intense maintenance these require. Sometimes it's all we can do to keep it all at bay.
What Friends Say: "It feels like a movie set." "Is it always cocktail hour in here?" Architect friends say: "Why can't they build small houses like this today??!"
Biggest Embarrassment: Early 80s-era kitchen with almond melamine cabinets and butcher-block laminate countertops. Sometimes, we're embarrassed by all the weeds in the backyard.
Proudest DIY: The Lower Level Lounge. This room already had a flagcrete fireplace and a countertop along one wall with a bar-fridge built into it, so it was just crying out to be a swellegant basement lounge. We added a sink with a groovy tile surround, a bar that was rescued from a demolished midcentury home, the orange vinyl sofa, and a turntable to play our 4,000 pieces of vinyl, which are housed in a converted closet. A garage sale down the block produced the Finnish orange ball fixture, which matches the original black one in our dining room.
Biggest Indulgence: Gutting the Dynasty-era brass-tacular bathroom for a luxe and period-specific one. Deadstock Bisazza glass tile, new Boomerang Formica and a vintage pink sink make for groovy daily ablutions.
Best Advice: Dave: "It's okay to make yourself happy with little projects like buying new light switches if the big reno projects are getting you down."
Shauntelle: "Don't be in a rush to furnish your place from top-to-bottom; wait until you find the right pieces, it's all about the thrill of the hunt."
Dream Sources: A fire engine red, round-cornered fridge from Elmira Stoveworks; a new Kerf kitchen, a new laundry pair in seafoam green…the services of a really talented landscape architect for free…Palm Springs on garbage night…
PAINT & COLORS
• Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern paint palette seen in dining room and living room
• Tropicana Cabana from Benjamin Moore (the most perfect turquoise paint colour EVER), seen in lower level lounge and hallway
• Eurolight for rewiring our four vintage sputnik light fixtures
• Queen West Antiques Centre for vintage Womb chair and Saarinen coffee table base
• Ethel — 20th Century Living for bar in basement (bought before I took over the store last year from the original owners)
• ZigZag for desk in Dave's office
• G.U.F.F. (Good Used Furniture Finds) for Spanner sideboard in dining room
• Frontier Sales for front hall table
• Craigslist for both sofas
• Kijiji for small desk in Shauntelle's office
• Princess Perfect upholstery for cushions on side chairs in living room, webbing on dining chairs
• Vienna Upholstery for reupholstery of blue sofa in living room and green Canadian Coconut chair in living room (otherwise known as the A.J. Donahue chair)
• Aristocrat lighting for custom lampshades on teak floorlamps in living room
• Olympia Tile for white mosaic tiles on the backbar sink surround to match the vintage tile on the bar
• Roman Bath Centre for bathtub and lo-flow Toto toilet
• M Modern Gallery for Shag art, Derek Yaniger art, Tim Biskup art, Chris Reccardi art
• Reprodepot fabric for side chair fabric and throw pillow fabric
• IKEA for bookshelves in both offices (they do bookshelves best!)
• Value Village, estate sales & garage sales for pretty much everything else!
Don't miss more of Dave & Shauntelle's home in Shauntelle & Dave's Controlled Kitsch - Part 1
Thanks Dave & Shauntelle!
Images: Abby Cook