By Lisa van de Geyn
Photography by Angus Fergusson
“I didn’t really want my kitchen to look like a kitchen,” says celebrated architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace with a laugh. “It was important to consider the integrity of the historical building so that the kitchen flows into the overall design, making sure everything is seamless.”
When it came time to restore the 1906 red-brick, Edwardian house, originally designed by architects Symons & Rae at 85 Bedford Road in Yorkville, the historical property was acquired fully restored and then converted to a luxury condominium. Dee Dee is the founder and owner of the prominent firm Taylor Hannah Architect Inc., acting as both the architect and interior designers for the project. One of the three boutique condo units within the building is a remarkably luxurious, spacious place that’s light, airy and opulent. It’s the epitome of cool, calm and comfortable, and features a bevy of lavish stone, onyx and semi-precious metals, stunningly unique art and cherished pieces she’s collected over the years. Her condo has incredible depth and personality, and her appreciation of iconic design truly starts in her ultra-chic kitchen.
” When designing a kitchen, it all comes down to how people cook, their appliance list, their requirements and what they need to ensure their kitchen is working perfectly for them.”
“These rooms are function-driven first and foremost. When designing a kitchen, it all comes down to how people cook, their appliance list, their requirements and what they need to ensure their kitchen is working perfectly for them,” says Dee Dee, who has designed more than 100 kitchens (both residential and commercial) in her 30-plus-year career. “That doesn’t mean aesthetics don’t come into play; of course, function and design are both inherently vital when it comes to creating a kitchen.” In terms of function in her space, Dee Dee opted for one wall to be dedicated to appliances, and the other side to act as a pantry and storage for dishware. She has separate fridge and freezer towers, three ovens (including a steam and micro-convection oven), and two appliance garages with a coffee centre and juice station, an induction cooktop, a wine fridge and two dishwashers. “It’s important to have appliances that have amazing functionality that are incredibly well-designed. Everything in the space should be purposeful and work seamlessly. All appliances are Gaggenau. “They are truly the Rolls-Royce of appliances,” she says. The first thing you notice upon entering the room are the pair of matching bronze islands that act as showstoppers. “I wanted something on the exterior of the island that would continue to look incredible with wear and tear. The bronze will patina as it ages,” she says. “It also has an intricate detail on the top where the bronze protects the corner edge of the black-honed matte granite countertop. It’s just beautiful.” Between the two islands lies a slab of the same black granite and the remainder of the floor is wood. “Whoever is cooking in the middle of the space has a sink on one side, a cooktop on the other and the oven below. There’s also seating on both sides of the islands — there are fabulous antique Cleo Baldon stools from the 1970s — so everyone can have a delicious meal in the kitchen and sit across from one another.”
” The experience of the condo is to be unique, artistic and full of detail.”
Another antique piece figures prominently in Dee Dee’s kitchen — it’s a console table she purchased at an auction house 15 years ago. “I wanted to break up that wall and opted to bring this piece in. It’s mahogany marquetry and I recently had it ebonized — I’ve done that with many of my antiques to give them a more modern feel. I also put a new stone top on it for functionality.” On the console are two antique bronze lamps, pulling in the bronze from the island.
Aside from the lamps, Dee Dee included thoughtful lighting throughout the space. While the floor-to ceiling doors allow for lots of natural light to stream into the room, she also incorporated LED strip lighting and LED pot lighting in the beautifully articulated ceiling. Specifically, the area above the island and the cabinetry both have above strip lighting for added ambiance. “These details have slim profiles and are made to fit seamlessly into the ceiling space,” she says. “They’re functional and accentuate the linear details of the kitchen.”
For her cabinetry, Dee Dee kept that linear, streamlined feel — there are no handles on any of the doors. “I wanted the perimeter of the kitchen cabinetry to fade into the background, so I didn’t put hardware on any cabinetry, as I did not want to distract the visual. The interior architecture of the room speaks for itself — the black-framed windows, black-mahogany-stained doors, the matte black faucet and the low-profile casing and baseboard with a simple reveal is the magic.”
“At the end of the day, my approach to design is to look to historical references and to design in today’s materiality,” says Dee Dee. “The experience of the condo is to be unique, artistic and full of detail. I’m really proud of this restored building with its contemporary interpretations. I truly think it’s a masterpiece.”