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How an Old Coach House Became a Modern Laneway Home

Not needing his home in Toronto anymore, but still wanting a place in the city to call his own, a globetrotting creative director looked to his back lane

By Matthew Hague
Photography by Riley Snelling

When creative director Stéphane Monnet crowded himself out of his Argyle Street house – renting out the top floor to a tenant, turning the ground floor into an office – he was not the victim of his own bad planning. Living part-time in Rotterdam, he no longer needed all the space. What he wanted instead was a pied-à-terre while in the city for work. His century-old coach house just off of the back lane was the perfect candidate to become a modern laneway home. “We had to shore up the structure, insulate the walls,” says his architect, Timothy Mitanidis of Creative Union Network. “Otherwise, we tried not to change the envelope. It’s a charming part of the neighbourhood’s fabric.”

modern laneway home
Next to the kitchen (by Arc Form Custom Millwork) is the bathroom, tucked discreetly under the white oak staircase.

The interiors, however, have been completely overhauled, thoughtfully reconfigured to put a lot into a tight footprint – a kitchen, living–dining area and full bathroom on the ground floor and a master bedroom up top, in the former hayloft, all in under 50 square metres. “It doesn’t feel crowded at all,” says Monnet. The big windows help, flooding the space with light (screened by a hedge for privacy). As does the subtle integration of storage, with cubbies punched into the wall by the bed, cupboards integrated into the stair guard, and a pop-out cabinet door hidden in a wall by the kitchen counter.

Collar ties shore up the ceiling in the converted hayloft. Radiant-heated white oak flooring from Stone Tile.

“I also love the bright white palette,” says Monnet. “As a designer, I don’t often use a neutral backdrop, but in a small space, it helps make other things – a yellow bathroom floor, art on the walls – stand out more.” CREATIVE-UNION.NET

Want to see more projects by Creative Union Network?

How Creative Union Network Realized the Potential of a Little Loft

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This Laneway Home is the Way Forward for Urban Living

 


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