A luxurious, bespoke modern new build comes to life in a North York neighbourhood, setting a new precedent for two design-and-build forces who hit their stride and surpassed all expectations.
By Silvana Longo
Photography by Larry Arnal


Although achieving standout design takes the proverbial village, this 4,000-square-foot, two storey home rose from the ashes, so to speak, thanks to a longstanding cohesive and collaborative history between Darlene Janeiro, principal of Darlene Janeiro Design, and Marlon Daley of MD Innovative Developments, who acted as the general contractor on the six-bedroom, seven-bathroom show stopping abode.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Janeiro. Having worked on much smaller-scale projects together for more than 14 years, “this one was the largest one we had ever done together.” And the pinnacle of alluring and captivating design elements reached new heights along with it.

This game-changing project begins with Daley, who had purchased the property in 2018 with the intention to tear it down and build a home he would ultimately put on the market. He involved Janeiro in the design from the onset — she was present from tear-down in September 2020 to completion in June 2022. The duo dealt with the typical building- throughout-the-pandemic delays, such as backorders and rising construction fees, as well as a wish list that evolved over time, favouring heightened function and elaborate yet non-pretentious custom solutions.

“I know Marlon’s edgy and bold style aesthetic,” says Janeiro. And his predilection for modern open concept style was tempered by Janeiro’s addition of natural materials such as wood and mixed metals, emanating much-desired warmth, which instantly transforms a house into a livable (albeit exquisite) home. White oak wood floors staggered throughout add contrast to the predominant black-and-white with grey tones colour scheme, and a mix of matte and glossy black finishes in the millwork, mirrors and spectacular stone wall in the powder room adds interest and layers of sumptuous texture.

As you walk through the oversized door and into the light-filled entryway, the visual impact of a soaring 20-foot fireplace clad from floor to ceiling with porcelain slabs takes centre stage in the great room. The design details abound as this feature wall is framed with black laminated fluted panels on each side, accented with tinted mirrors, a metal finish, as well as LED strip lights that change colour from white, blue or red and highlight the superiorly crafted millwork details. Originally, Daley had allotted $7,000 for the electric fireplace, but knowing this feature could seriously offer the ultimate visual impact, Janeiro pushed for the majestic two-storey fireplace. With a bevy of design details and expert collaboration, this feature turned out to be one of their favourites in the home. “We also did a bold fireplace in a previous home we worked on together. These showpieces are now a signature detail we will incorporate into our future collaborations,” she says.

“There is a sweet spot in the living room where you stand in the corner by the fireplace and just look around, and you can actually catch a glimpse of each room on the main floor.”


Adjacent to this design darling is a pièce de résistance glass staircase, which continues the LED lighting show and further enhances the open-concept theme while mastering the use of space. Here you find a seven-and-a-half-foot hallway that would be any art aficionado’s dream. “Marlon wanted an art gallery feel in the home,” Janeiro explains. A wall of blackand-white photography on one side and sculptural art on the other is the prelude to a lavish second floor that houses six bedroom suites, each taking their design cues from a luxury hotel. “Each bedroom has a spa-like ensuite with heated floors. We opted for 5-foot-by- 7-foot porcelain slabs because Marlon wanted minimal grout lines throughout,” she informs. “Each room truly has wow factor, yet there is a cohesiveness of sprawling splendour everywhere you look without being over the top,” says Janeiro, who also credits her colleague and senior designer Dalia Eikhatib for assisting with the project and design decisions.

The design strikes a certain delicate balance, and it worked flawlessly throughout. “There is a sweet spot in the living room where you stand in the corner by the fireplace and just look around, and you can actually catch a glimpse of each room on the main floor,” says Janeiro. “It’s a spectacularly divine sight.” Layers upon layers of bespoke design details — from the built-in wine niche encased in glass in the dining room to the oversized island in the kitchen with a leathered granite finish — reign supreme. Janeiro is an expert when it comes to balancing boldness with simplicity, and it shows. Take the cabinetry in the kitchen: The upper metal cabinets achieve a minimal look with a push-to-open feature, while the lower cabinets don cohesive matte-black edge pulls that speak to the bronze metal and black laminate velvet finish in the millwork. It’s the epitome of opulence and comfort combined.