JULY 7, 2014
The Leslieville Flea recently had an opportunity to follow up with Maura Grierson and designer Eve Weinberg on the remake of Maura’s Leslieville home. Lovers of vintage and design…read on!
Like any design enthusiast, home owner Maura Grierson, Leslieville resident, actress and morning radio host on 99.9 Virgin Radio Toronto, came to this project with an array of ideas and the additional challenge of how to prioritize her dreams. Working with designer Eve Weinberg gave her a fresh perspective on how she could realize her design desires by staying focused on the few items that would have the largest impact on the entire main floor creating a structured path to that goal.
Eve; A primary goal for the entrance was to provide functionality and give a sense of drama ….something aligned with its owners’ elegant yet quirky sense of style!
Maura; the entrance was previously a forgotten space that was becoming a war zone full of shoes, coats and bags. The bench is great because everything has a home now, even my toosh has a spot for slipping on my shoes in comfort! The door knobs on the wall keep the hall looking funky yet civilized. But my absolute favourite is the industrial cabinet which was installed as a floating storage unit. Keys, mail, gloves….it all goes there….and after I told Eve the vintage mirror was a prized possession of my late father’s; she made it a beautiful focal point. And who would’ve thought an industrial paint funnel could turn into such a chic light fixture? It’s truly one of a kind.
Leslieville Flea; The benches, cabinet, door knobs and lighting fixture….They are all from the Leslieville Flea?
Leslieville Flea; and the stripes? A bold move!
Maura; The space between the entrance and the rest of house previously felt like a dead zone and was definitely on my wish list of things to address.
Eve; The first time I walked in to Maura’s house I was immediately struck by the high ceilings and the concept of an arbor somehow embracing that void came to me. The stripes followed very quickly behind!
Maura; I was initially a little reticent about the stripes. I think anytime you do something bold on the ceiling, something that I’ve never seen done before, you get a little nervous about the commitment…I actually called Eve the night before the painter began for a little design (anxiety) counseling…..Eventually I had to just let go and trust….
Leslieville Flea; And now?
Maura; I love it! My biggest fear was that the stripes would over power everything else in the room, but somehow the stripes let everything else do the talking. People notice my painting first, then the stripes. It seems to be almost structural at certain angles, like they’ve always been there. The room now feels much larger and the hallway has become a part of the dining area.
Leslieville Flea; The stripes are spectacular…..and the dining room….
Eve; The dining room previously felt like it was on display and very open. It now feels connected to the rest of the house and yet cozier. It has a sense of enveloping its inhabitants…
Maura; Agreed! Agreed! We added more picture frames, found during the Leslieville Flea shopping excursion”. Everyone who sits at the table wants to sit under the stripes. I get first dibs, of course…..
Eve; Finding frames was definitely the fun and easy part of our search. With any new client there is always that uncovering of a person’s underlying style, one that may not be evident by their current surroundings. With Maura there wasn’t a need for guessing, her style speaks clearly on its own. The fun was in embellishing the environment just enough to support the eclectic vibe she already had. By adding lighting, texture and function we’ve given the home a sense of flow and balance as well. As a designer one of the biggest complements paid to me is when people come in for the first time in a while and don’t notice what you’ve done; just that it feels right.
Leslieville Flea; Before we get to the living room I just have to ask you about this funky little console and chalkboard wall….
Maura; I always wanted to do a chalkboard wall and Eve suggested the wall under the staircase would be an ideal spot. I had fun creating my own cow stencil and love to put the dinner menu up on the board before parties. And the console…….an impulsive purchase made at the Leslieville Flea. We weren’t quite sure where it would end up but Eve was confident we would have a spot for it. Once it came in the house we knew that was it. The black chalkboard sets off the rustic tones of the wood beautifully!
Leslieville Flea; and your biggest splurge?
Maura; Without question; the Wonderwall reclaimed wood paneling. One of the biggest issues I had was that I loved all of Eve’s ideas, and wanted to do them all! Eve was great a focusing me in on what needed to happen to make the space function, and then gave a few ideas on how I could make a big impact on a budget. That’s why we went with the stripes in the front hall, because paint is cheap. The wood wall was my one and only splurge. Eve drew up a design that showed me how it would look in the living room and I was sold. The texture of the wood is awesome. It’s all reclaimed pieces that would’ve been in a land fill if no one saw their beauty. I can’t believe how more warm and inviting it’s made the living room, and now my painting just pops!
Eve; I had recently attended the IIDEX show where these wood panels were on display for the first time. Wonderwall is made by a Dutch company and manufactured where the resources are found locally. There are several designs, each with unique scale and texture. We rendered our top 3 choices onto a photo and invited followers to vote on their preferred texture. I think the results speak for themselves. The wall also provides a double added benefit of sound insulation from their neighbors’ and good sound absorption from their system directly across the room.
Ultimately I feel we accomplished a large impact for a relatively modest design budget. Matt and Maura are thrilled with their new home and their new adorable family addition, Jerry the cat.
Leslieville Flea; Thanks Eve, Maura.
I look forward to seeing both of you at the Leslieville Flea. We will be at Ashbridge Estate in Leslieville, 1444 Queen Street East on Sunday, July 20th and Harbourfront center on Sunday, August 3rd. For more details and to visit our online shopping and auction go to www.leslievilleflea.com
The thrill of the hunt never gets old!
Checkout the Previous Episodes of Maura’s Home Transformation by clicking below:
A special thank you to all of the amazing businesses who helped make this transformation possible:
Photo by: Nanne Springer Photography nannespringer.com Before & After Photos by: Andrew Fishman ~ VL