By Lisa van de Geyn
Photography by Nicole Aubrey
For Robin Nadel, it’s not just about creating a beautifully designed, perfectly appointed space that exceeds her clients’ requirements, expectations and aspirations. The designer — one of two principals along with Harvey Wise at Wise Nadel Design — profoundly cares about infusing warmth, comfort and practicality into the homes of the families she works with.
A dynamic couple with three young children resides in this newly built 13,000-square-foot above-grade manor in Mississauga, Ont. Located in a prestigious neighbourhood filled with estate properties backing onto wooded ravines, this home was designed with luxury and warmth top of mind. “We embarked on this project to create a beautiful environment that the family could grow into. They enjoy hosting friends and relatives and wanted a hotel-chic place where they could gather and feel at ease and have fun,” says Nadel. “Overall, the homeowners were exemplary; committed to high-level design, open to new ideas and they ultimately trusted the professionals who were guiding them.”
The dream team includes Richard Wengle Architect, Bosque Landscape Architecture and PURE Building Group, a high-end construction firm specializing in executing meticulously designed and constructed statement homes. “This was the first of many projects we’re working on together. There’s a clear alignment between our offices — our common goal was to execute a beautifully designed home and to ultimately provide exceptional service to our clients,” she says. “The execution of this house, with all of its complexity and detail, wouldn’t have been possible without a builder who shares the same commitment to their clients.”
That complexity and detail are unmistakable in the statement-making architectural features in this home. At the centre of it all is the spacious and airy kitchen with its striking, contrasting elements and remarkable use of materials. “The selected stone slabs have an inherent warmth and we used matte textures instead of polished for a softer, more casual look. We also opted for lighter, warmer tones in the cabinetry, which are accented with black hardware to create contrast,” she says. Nadel is proficient when it comes to using black to accentuate the architecture and design. The neutral shade she selected for the cabinetry and countertops works flawlessly with the matte-black metal hood and the black ribbed-glass doors leading to the servery and prep kitchen area. Even the island sink itself is a black stone composite surrounded by a moody black quartzite. “There’s definitely a playful connection between all these elements — the hood, the sink, the hardware and the doors — they all work with each other exquisitely and really play off one another while offering a distinct contrast in the streamlined space.”
You can certainly argue the most prominent features of the kitchen are the two 12-foot islands — one that’s used as a working surface, the other for family and guests to sit around for meals. Both offer plenty of storage for cookware, appliances and various kitchen accessories. “Two islands in a kitchen are truly impressive features,” Nadel says, adding that the surfaces are clad in valentino quartzite with a brass reveal around the perimeter of each island. “They’re designed perfectly to accommodate the need for extra surfaces in the room, and there’s a clear separation in terms of which one is used for prep, and which one is used for hosting.” Above the islands, Nadel selected a playful, asymmetrical light fixture designed by Zac Ridgley. “The gem pendant is a custom creation and installation that’s meant to bring an artful nature into the space,” she says.
Moving upstairs, Nadel seamlessly transitions her design from the public spaces of the main floor and kitchen to the couple’s private suite. “I designed their bedroom to be a calming sanctuary with light, soothing tones. For their bathroom, I wanted to evoke that same serene and tranquil feeling, while ensuring functionality and durability like I did in the kitchen.” First, she chose to work with exceptionally beautiful, large-scale porcelain slabs for the walls and custom cut them into a stunning mosaic for the floor. “It’s a combination of white onyx interwoven with a soft-blue onyx done in a beautiful pattern. It’s the intricacy of the pattern that pulls all the tones of the room together,” she says, adding that the blue onyx is also used in the bathroom’s showstopping fireplace and shower feature wall. As for the rest of the room, Nadel brilliantly incorporated a mirrored effect with matching his-andher vanities on opposing walls; the top drawers are clad in the same quarzo bianco stone that makes up the countertop. “It’s a very luxurious look while being extremely durable. Even the top of the vanity and bathtub’s faucet handles match the same stone.” Finally, in this spacious bathroom, a 12-foot shower stands centre stage, complete with his and- her temperature controls and separate rain heads. “There are not too many bathrooms that have the space to accommodate a gorgeous chaise lounge.” That in and of itself is the epitome of luxury!” exclaims Nadel.
Now that the project is finished, Nadel says her clients are proudly living in their home and enjoying their new space. “They were such a big part of the process and so passionate about the design and their reaction to the house and all that we created has been overwhelmingly positive,” she says. “This home truly has presence and even though it’s grand, we were successful in creating a really warm and inviting home, perfect for this incredible family.”