Skip to Main Content

Odami’s Light Touch Updates Form and Function in this West End Home


Instead of a top-to-bottom reno, the studio opted to tread lightly

A focused reno can be a difficult thing. Solve one problem, and another presents itself, so why not solve it, too? And on it goes. But a deft touch is sometimes all that’s needed, especially for Odami’s Aránzazu González Bernardo and Michael Fohring. Rather than overhaul this West End home, Bernardo and Fohring rationalized a trio of spaces on its first floor, showing equal parts restraint and initiative. With help from contractor Oakdale Construction, the result is a foyer, living room and a small nook that better support the busy day-to-day life of the client’s three-child household, while also providing an aesthetic refresh that unifies all three spaces.

Odami West End Home Renovations - powder-coated steel railing, fabricated by Gallery Metalworks

The powder-coated steel railing, fabricated by Gallery Metalworks, features soft curves that echo the millwork.

Function comes first, though, especially in the foyer. Previously the site of loosely organized jackets and shoes, Odami designed a closet and a Hi-Macs-topped bench and drawers that neatly bookend the first steps of the winding stair. By raising the wall along the open side, they better delineated the staircase from the foyer as well, while a narrow, powder-coated steel banister, curved millwork and subtle arches lend a softer, contemporary touch that’s repeated throughout.

Odami West End Home Renovations

The previously unused nook now works a small, central workspace. White oak provides a material match to the flooring, while the arch recalls those int the foyer.

The nook was likewise characterized by untapped potential. Here, Odami realized it with a small workspace featuring a built-in desk and overhead storage set within a metre-wide archway. A white oak desk and cabinetry matches the flooring, while a recessed strip LED provides subtle lighting. Situated next to a step, a small cutout provides a handhold, while its central position in the home means whoever’s occupying it can monitor the kids, too.

Grasscloth wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries - fireplace re-clad in tiles from 41Zero42's Biscuit collection

Grasscloth wallpaper, by Phillip Jeffries, provides a textured canvas for the client’s furniture and artwork. The fireplace was re-clad in tiles from 41Zero42’s Biscuit collection.

In the living room, light, textured grasscloth wallpaper replaced dark painted walls, providing a contemporary backdrop for the family’s unique art and furniture. Meanwhile, the old stone fireplace was re-clad in vertically stacked matte white ceramic tiles, half of which curve outward like small financiers. Along with the contoured fireplace frame and narrow lintel, the new mantle repeats the motifs used throughout each space – gentle curves, a soft palette – making for a cohesive whole with only a minimal intervention, like the re-designed home in microcosm.


More projects by Odami:

Odami’s Downtown Condo Redesign Takes in the View



Your Weekly Dose of Modern Design

Sign up for the Designlines weekly newsletter to keep up with the latest design news, trends and inspiring projects from across Toronto. Join our community and never miss a beat!

Please fill out your email address.

The Magazine

Get the Latest Issue

From a sprawling family home in Oakville to a coastal-inspired retreat north of the city, we present spaces created by architects and interior designers that redefine the contemporary.

Designlines 2024 Issue