Design and Decorating

Design and decorating related blog posts.

Nine Annis Road is a one-of-a-kind architect designed custom home in a unique Toronto neighbourhood, offering layers of discovery and surprise; sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic, but always rewarding.

Put aside any willingness to compromise. This home - with four bedrooms, five baths, and 4,200 square feet of finished space – flawlessly blends the efficiency of downtown living with a high standard of gracious country life. From the moment you turn in from Kingston Road you enter a separate world - a community of exclusive properties defined by wooded lots and meandering lanes within sight of Lake Ontario and edged by the stunning Scarborough Bluffs.

Begin to breathe again. Enjoy the birds the sound of wind in the trees, and the cool lake air. In the winter, bask in the incredible silent blanket of the surrounding snow covered forest.  Try to remember – you are just 25 minutes from Toronto’s city core, and a 10 minute drive to Highway 401.

Not Just Anywhere - A third of an acre, 100’ Frontage

Immediately upon arrival you’ll be struck by the property’s mature trees, generous lawns and landscaping. But you will discover something more as you move towards the stately 20’ high portico; a growing sense of calm as your senses are embraced by stone walls, stone walkways, cedar screens, and your unique Zen garden.

Twenty-four stately, mature spruce and pine trees flank each side of the house. This incredible forest backdrop is complemented by a stunning twenty-five foot high English Oak - carefully selected from a prestigious nursery and planted in the front garden to grow along with the memories and life experiences of the new owners.

Looking outward from the living room through the floor to ceiling window, your eye moves over the serene Zen garden, the, Japanese style cedar screen, the stately ledgestone columns and walls, and across the imported limestone paver steps and walkway. As your gaze traverses the road, it takes in glimpses of neighbouring houses several hundred feet away, each nestled in their own enclave of trees.

Heading to the rear garden, summer living is enhanced by a floating 400 square foot cedar deck, overlooking the pool, and with walk-outs from both the kitchen and the lower level family room. For those families with small children, the deck has been designed to be easily enclosed with a low glass or wrought iron railing system.

A pristine 12’x35’ heated swimming pool -small enough to be easy to maintain but large enough to be suitable for playtime, fitness, or entertainment - is the most obvious feature of the rear yard. A more careful look into the rear garden will reveal a shaded ‘secret forest’ of meandering paths and gently sloping rock gardens tucked under the towering evergreens and flanked by a Japanese style cedar fence. It is easy to visualize the endless opportunity for imaginative play for children, and creative gardening for adults.

Architecturally Vibrant - Continuing Layers of Discovery

Designed and built by award-winning Toronto architect Wayne Olson, Nine Annis Road offers a singular lifestyle experience – one that combines spacious elegance with contemporary convenience, open and airy interior and exterior views, and living areas that lend themselves to an inclusive, vibrant family life.

Although grand in scale, this home is defined by flowing living space that is both elegantly spacious and comfortably intimate. The artfully crafted functional floor plans provide an amazing diversity of spaces designed for living, complemented by open sight-lines, soaring ceilings and abundant natural light.

A rich, unified design pallet combines elegant contemporary surfaces with warm woods and texture-rich stone, and that blurs the boundaries between the interior and exterior world.

The theme of loft vertical space is established by the dramatic the two-story high front foyer, which provides views into multi-level living spaces as well as views from a glass-enclosed balcony down to the ground level.

Stunning visual aesthetics are matched by careful attention to enhanced and upgraded construction details. These include:

  •  Upgraded energy-saving insulation in the walls and roofs: typically 20% to 35% above building code standards.
  • Generous premium quality solid fir Loewen windows with Argon filled low-E coated insulated glass and maintenance free prefinished exterior.
  • Seven large, premium quality Velux skylights – four with remote control electric operators and all with argon filled low-E coated insulated glass.
  • Concrete slabs on insulated to R8 for comfort and energy efficiency all areas of new construction.
  • Flooring at new concrete slab-on-grade areas below ground level installed over “Dri-Core” composite panels for additional comfort.
  •  40 year shingles, a computerized rain sensing irrigation system
  • Quality Carrier heating and cooling package with a heat recovery system for increased energy efficiency along with improved indoor air quality.

Technology and entertainment enhancements include:

  •  24/7 monitored ADT security system complete with door contacts, motion sensors, smoke detectors, and a prepaid 1 year contract.
  • Data cabling from a central hub location to all bedrooms
  • Coaxial CTV wiring to all major rooms
  • Toro commercial grade landscape irrigation system front and back, with computerized controller and rain-sensing water saving feature.
  • Built-in high-quality speakers in the Living-Dining areas and the Family room
  • Media room prewired for surround sound.
  • Newly upgraded electrical (200 amp), gas (1 ¼”) and water (3/4”) services provide generous capacity for a contemporary home.

Principal Living Areas - The Main Level

Once through the 20` high foyer, the focus of the main level living spaces is the open plan Living-Dining area with 10`-6 ceilings, a central ledgestone gas fireplace, cove lighting, floor to ceiling windows, a large specially commissioned art-glass divider, openable  skylights, and built-in speakers.

 Features include:

  • Warmly contemporary ¾” solid Birchwood flooring
  • Numerous solid Douglas Fir windows with natural stain and accented brushed nickel hardware
  • Lofty ceilings accented with perimeter coves containing sparkling halogen down-lighting along perimeter walls and concealed, stylish up-lighting.
  • A dramatic 10’-6” high ledgestone hearth as the center-piece of the living areas, featuring a contemporary fireplace with river-stone bed, and a brushed stainless steel surround.
  • A stunning 8’ high custom designed art-glass screen beside the fireplace
  • Dramatic daylight shafts with operable skylights that draw fresh air and light into the interior space, for those numerous days near the lake when natural ventilation is preferred over heating or A/C.
  • Glazed sliding French doors
  •  Oversized Douglas Fir terrace style glazed doors at the main entry and solarium entry.

 An Extraordinary Chef’s Kitchen Experience

Connected to the Foyer and Living-Dining area via French doors and a sliding pocket door you will discover your premium chef’s kitchen, where aesthetics and efficiency coalesce into the lifestyle focus of the home, and where entertaining can achieve new levels. The kitchen features a large walk-in pantry and a seating counter for four. Enjoy cottage-like views from this professionally appointed space with walk-outs to the back deck, garden and pool areas.

Nothing has been overlooked, including carefully considered work flow, beautiful and functional appliances, elegant lighting, seating for informal meals and entertainment, and large amounts of storage.  

Features include:

  • Rich, contemporary styled wood cabinetry with dark brown Maple finish, solid wood dovetail jointed drawers, soft-close door slides and full extension drawer hardware.
  •  High performance, near zero maintenance Cesarstone quartz off-white countertops provide utility and dramatic contrast to the sparking brushed stainless appliances, dark wood cabinets and warm hardwood floors.
  • An adjoining 10’ by 6’ pantry contains:
    •  a full wall of 24” deep x 8’ high pantry cabinets for dry and canned storage,
    • Twin 20 cubic foot Jenn-Air stainless French door refrigerators with bottom drawer freezers,
    • Ample room for a custom appliance garage and additional storage.
    • A huge center-island combines prep, cooking, storage and seating, featuring a Jenn-Air five-burner gas cook top, a Jenn-Air stainless steel and glass exhaust hood, a prep sink and a unique Jenn-Air drawer-style microwave oven.
    • Twin 30” 4.5 cubic foot convection wall ovens provide the ultimate in culinary flexibility
    • A high efficiency Jenn-Air dishwasher accompanies a large double pot sink set into a 14’ long work counter.
    • A 5’ wide full height cabinet for glassware and dishes takes the place of typical hard to reach overhead cabinets.
    • Flowing ceilings ranging to 8’, to 10’-6” up even up to 14’ in height at the skylight well.
    • Dramatic views of the 8’ high art-glass focal point specially commissioned as a visual divider between kitchen and living areas.

 A Three Season Solarium

This unique and versatile transition space between the indoors and outdoors - with extensive glass and skylights, a natural cedar ceiling and durable porcelain tile floor, is designed to function as a spring and fall greenhouse; as an extension to indoor entertainment and play areas;  and as a bright and spacious “vestibule” to the outdoor activities in the back garden and pool.

Key Living Space Features

  • Music/Family Room: Just 3 steps down from the main living areas, this brightly lit 240 square foot Family Room combines 11’ ceilings with dramatic 8’ high corner windows and warm cork composite flooring. The room is pre-wired with built in speakers to be connected to a future central music base station.
  • Media/Fitness Room: Just 4 steps down from the Family Room, an additional 240 square feet of family entertainment space provides for a home theatre, games rooms, or fitness equipment. Supplementary ceiling soundproofing has been installed for enhanced sound isolation.
  • Office/Bedroom: Whether used as a bright and generous home office or a fourth bedroom, this 170 square foot space located beside the Media/Fitness Room features back yard views with ample natural light and a large built-in closet with double French doors.
  • Mudroom/Laundry: Located conveniently adjacent to the interior garage entrance, this 125 square foot Mudroom and Laundry area, with its durable porcelain ceramic flooring,  is designed accommodate all of those rough and tumble comings and goings. It includes space for generous wardrobe storage, a full size pair of LG laundry appliances, and a work counter and cabinet with sink.
  • Main Level Powder Rooms and Bath: A two-piece Powder Room is located off the kitchen with easy access from the pool and rear garden. A three-piece bath is conveniently located near the Media/Fitness room and lower level Office/Bedroom as well as the Mudroom.
  • Lower Level Play Area and Nanny Suite: A generous lower level children’s play area and nanny suite is provided
  • Storage, Utility Areas and Clean Crawlspace: Nine Annis Road is serviced with ample storage throughout all the building living spaces

 Bedrooms, Baths and Dressing Areas - Personal Spaces that Reward and Renew

No part of a home is more important than private spaces where one rests and prepares for each day. In addition to secondary guest suites, Nine Annis Road provides a Master Suite that features a gracious bed chamber, dressing area, and luxurious en-suite bath. Two upper level children’s bedrooms are also provided.

  • A 400 Square Foot Master Bedroom is the centerpiece of the home. With expansive windows overlooking the back yard and swimming pool, it features soaring 10’ to 14’ ceilings with wood-details and rich carpeted floor coverings

 Designer and Project Manager Credentials

Wayne Olson – Architect, Urban Designer, Development Advisor, Builder

Wayne Olson has 30 years’ experience producing quality architecture and interior design, as well as advising in the creation of high-value real estate for his clients.

While sustain professional standards for integrity and responsible action, his firms’ expertise has been recognized through awards from the City of Toronto – 2009 Urban Design Winner for Beach House Loft Condos, NAIOP – 2008 Industrial Development of the year, and the 2008 CISC Steel Design Award. He has twice been appointed by the Toronto City Council to advise on neighbourhood development and redevelopment.

Wayne pursues a design aesthetic that is finely crafted, clean, modern, open and inviting. Activity and view flows between carefully proportioned and detailed rooms and spaces, bathed in generous natural light. Material selections favour the simple and elegant, and seek contrast between the warmth and texture of natural stone and woods, with the lightness of contemporary steel and glass accents.