Stylistically,” notes Montesano, “we have always been fans of classic architecture and design. We wanted the interior architecture to be an extension of the exterior design. It feels like an updated classic.” Further updating came from Toronto designer Lori Morris. “I love old-world architecture, particularly French,” says Morris. “But we design with a modern edge. It’s very important that every house have a balance of the two.” So she mixed aesthetic periods with a liberty and confidence that are consummately contemporary, ushering the classical architectural envelope into the 21st century.
In the entry hall, 1940s Murano-glass sconces and a floor of marble and black onyx provide art deco flair, but also present are Italian 1950s black-lacquer consoles from Stanley Wagman & Son Antiques and a Louis XV gilt mirror from Trianon. Doorways are framed in brass fretwork reminiscent of the belle epoque, but more streamlined. In the dining room, classical doorways and French-style paneled walls ground the space with traditional continental details. Morris layered these, however, with Christian Lacroix wallpaper in the panels and a contemporary cut-pile rug. Above an ornate 18th-century French console with ormolu mounts is a contemporary deco-style mirror, and beneath the console is Elte’s hide-covered Celine ottoman with brass banding. On the other side of the door, a contemporary painting by the Toronto artist Neil Young hangs above an art deco–era commode.