This article originally appeared as “Orange Crush” in CityHome 2014.
By SARAH BROWN
The homeowners, physician Jolanda Turley and professor Robert Stacey, were dedicated to living close to downtown in a neighbourhood that would allow them to bike virtually everywhere. They were also committed to designing a lively house in which they could experiment with colour and have fun as they raised their two young sons. And so the couple teamed up with designer Paul Kariouk to envisage a vibrant home on a modest lot in Hintonburg.
“This couple is fearless,” enthuses Kariouk as he discusses their modernist orange-clad dwelling. “It will only get more colourful as the family inhabits the space and makes it their own.” (The completion of the house in the spring of 2013 coincided with a one-year sabbatical in Europe for the family, so a lucky renter has enjoyed it this past year.)
Because the lot is just 30 feet wide, Kariouk knew he would have to design a long, slim house. Neighbouring houses on both sides are very close, so the placement of windows was restricted. “The challenge was to make a long, potentially dark space into a light, bright one,” says Kariouk.
At the front of the house, expansive accordion windows on the main and lower levels allow light and breezes to flow through, while the back wall boasts slightly smaller windows. In the centre, generous skylights let the daylight spill through to illuminate the heart of the home. And then there is the colour — the joyful orange exterior gives way to hits of vibrant yellow within. “The family wanted the house to be bright, both outside and in,” explains Kariouk. “They’re already planning for more colour.”
The kitchen is situated at the front of the house, its lemon yellow cabinetry visible from the street. To balance the intensity of the cupboards, the warmth of walnut accents and a neutral Corian counter come into play. Deep grey ceramic floors also tone down the look, resulting in a space that makes a statement without being over the top. On warm summer days, the family can open up the accordion doors fully and enjoy the neighbourhood sights and sounds; rolling electric screens keep bugs out.
A high-efficiency woodstove from Scan, a Danish company, adds style and warmth to the kitchen and living room. Photography by PhotoluxStudio.com – Christian Lalonde
This is a house that was a close collaboration between a family dedicated to creating their own unique home in an urban setting and a designer excited by the demands of fulfilling their dreams. Behind the wood stove in the kitchen-living room area hang four bronze plaques. They were a gift from Kariouk to the family and are engraved with a quote by German philosopher Martin Heidegger, whose words were quoted often by Robert Stacey as a direction for the spirit of the design: “It is proper to every gathering that the gatherers assemble to coordinate their efforts to the sheltering; only when they have gathered together with that end in view do they begin to gather.”