Wes & Melinda’s Cozy Toronto Home

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Name: Melinda Josie and Wesley Doerksen and their cat, Malkmus
Location: The Junction; Toronto, Ontario
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years Lived In: 1 ¼ years; Rented

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Upon entering this home you immediately feel like you’ve been transported to a cabin in the woods. On a quiet street in Toronto just west of downtown, the couple have managed to cultivate a quaint and cozy environment inspired by their love for the outdoors. The space is influenced by refined minimalism, and only their favorite and most personal items made the cut when they moved in a little over a year ago. A highlight of the home is the fully functional sauna, which is especially appreciated during the cold winter months!

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Melinda is an artist and illustrator whose work can be seen in a range of places, such as children’s books, magazines and galleries. Since Melinda works from home and is often up late working to meet deadlines, having a dedicated studio/office is essential. Melinda remembers the early days of her career when she first moved to Toronto and lived in tiny studio apartments with little natural light and one table that functioned as a desk, countertop, and dining table! After over a decade of hard work, being able to have her own, light-filled studio space is somewhat symbolic of how how far Melinda has come in her career.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Many of the pieces of wooden furniture (dining table, credenza, and bed frame) were custom designed and built by Melinda’s father. The dining room table is the newest addition and will be put to great use for many years to come during gatherings with friends and family. Not to mention—the smell of the maple wood is still fresh! Melinda and Wes are two of the most friendly and laid-back people, an attitude that is genuinely reflected and felt in their home.

(Image credit: Melinda Josie)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: A combination of both our styles, which are fairly minimal, Scandinavian, and natural.

Inspiration: Natural materials, warm colors, and neutrals.

Favorite Element: All the furniture made by Melinda’s dad.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping cat hair off the furniture, and the steep and narrow staircase.

What Friends Say: The back patio is a great place for a BBQ.

Biggest Embarrassment: Bad laminate in the kitchen and carpet down the hall and stairways.

Proudest DIY: Melinda surprising Wes by painting the whole upstairs while he was away on a work trip.

Biggest Indulgence: The record player/tuner.

Best Advice: Once you’ve moved into a place, take some time to settle in to it before buying a ton of things to fill it. Over time, you’ll accumulate things you really love.

Dream Sources: Likely General (especially a tapestry hanging up in the shop currently), Design Within Reach, Mjölk, Smash.



  • Bedrooms: Home Hardware Natura Eggshell
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Maple syrup bucket: B’s Antiques in Huntsville, Ontario
  • Floor mirror: IKEA
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Leather sofa: EQ3
  • Old mustard yellow armchair with ottoman: Wes’ oma and opa
  • Wool blanket: Geysir in Iceland
  • Woven lampshade: Morba in Toronto
  • Wool cushion cover: CB2
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Dining table: built by Melinda’s dad of Woodworks
  • Pair of Sibast Danish dining chairs: Queen West Antique Centre
  • Pair of mustard vinyl dining chairs: Wes’ oma and opa
  • Chair at head of table: Wegner Wishbone
  • Record cabinet: built by Melinda’s dad of Woodworks
  • Beethoven system (record player, etc): Bay Bloor Radio in Toronto
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Bamboo counter: built by our landlord before we moved in
  • Wooden cutting boards: Melinda’s dad
  • Burr grinder: Green Beanery
  • Chemex coffee maker: Green Beanery
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Bed: built by Melinda’s dad of Woodworks
  • Dresser: Wes’ oma and opa
  • Floor mirror: IKEA
  • Rug: vintage via Kensington Market
  • Wooden boxes: built by Melinda’s dad of Woodworks
  • (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


    • Eames Soft Pad Management Chair: Design Within Reach
    • Drafting table: IKEA
    • Filing cabinet: Craigslist
    • Lamp: Jielde
    • Teal task lamp: West Elm
    • Eames shell rocker: Modernica via Quasi Modo Modern
    • Globe: Mjölk
    • Small Eames-style footstool: Melinda’s dad
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    Dining table seating is a mixed of sourced antique chairs and yellow vinyl chairs–hand-me-downs from Wes’ grandparents. (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

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    Thanks, Melinda & Wes!