The late-19th-century row houses on this block are very charming – and very narrow. PLANT gutted the interior of one and extended it at the rear and up to a third-floor deck with commanding views of downtown. The addition’s minimal presence on the street made it possible to enlarge the house while meeting stringent local restrictions on heritage-block alterations.
Although the addition elongates what was already a skinny house, it floods it with light. The expanded kitchen now steps down into a new, garden-bordering lounge with seating by a small fireplace. Overhead, a skewed bar of open shelving blazes an orange trail through the kitchen and lounge, concealing the mechanical ductwork. One of the house’s owners is a minimalist who favours a neutral palette; the other is a collector who loves colour. With the minimalist in mind, we unified the interior with a grey and white palette. At the same time, the ground floor’s crowning expanse of orange shelving satisfies the maximalist’s craving for colour and provides a highly visible – yet clutter-taming – system for displaying possessions.