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A Roncesvalles Edwardian Gets a High-Contrast Reno


With a statement staircase and contrasting palette, AAmp Studio sets the scene for a celebratory makeover of a century-old townhouse

An open mind and a willingness to take risks define this Roncesvalles-area home, one replete with texture, millwork and large swathes of colour. The three-storey Edwardian-era semi underwent an overhaul that knits together the ideals of one creative family and the inventive minds at AAmp Studio. The owners, one a lawyer with an affinity for art and woodworking, the other an educator and avid quilter, initially approached AAmp to expand the third-floor footprint, but the architects’ vision for the whole house proved too irresistible.

Colour-blocking starts upon entry with a welcoming green-on-green focal wall and swathes of black and white. Mutina tile from Stone Tile covers the fireplace; art by Cleon Peterson and Sara Andreasson; armchair from Drechsel Studio.

Anne-Marie Armstrong and Andrew Ashey of AAmp Studio proposed an open-plan concept centred around a dramatic staircase. A striking black and white palette introduces bold contrast and depth throughout the home. “Texture and colour were something the clients really embraced from the beginning, and that gave us a chance to play with various aspects,” says Armstrong.

AAmp Studio Roncesvalles Edwardian

White oak is the star here, trimming the window–mirror hybrid and running across the floors (by Graf Brothers). Bench from DWR; rug from Quasi Modo.

The architects, who worked with Plan A design-build, began by opening up the main level, tearing down dividing walls and transforming a series of small rooms into a single light-filled space. White oak populates the living room, while a stained black version takes on verticality with the contrasting staircase. Upstairs are two bedrooms, a bathroom and a family room that leads into a spacious home office. The latter two are separated from the more intimate spaces by a large pocket door, a feature that AAmp Studio used throughout the house to create privacy and openness as needed.

AAmp Studio Roncesvalles Edwardian

The second-floor bathroom is another high-impact space, wrapped with blue starbursts (from Saltillo) and white subway tile. Tub by Mirolin; Moen shower system; Ikea stool.

The top of the staircase spills onto black-stained oak flooring – a deliberate material change that acts as an artful endnote. The entire third storey is dedicated to the owners’ private quarters: a large master bedroom with an airy ensuite bathroom and an east-facing roof deck. The connection to the outdoors is a theme that runs throughout the design, making this once dimly lit home look and feel a lot larger than its modest 210-square-metre floorplan. The narrow townhouse also gained a deeper sense of depth and volume thanks to AAmp Studio’s ability to deliver on the clients’ enthusiasm for contrasting colours and textures. AAMPSTUDIO.COM



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