Art Deco Inspiration with a Paris Flair



Paris: The City of Light. A place where romance blossoms and where style is an integral, omnipresent aspect of life.

So it should come as no surprise that the owners’ visit to Paris was the inspiration for this issue’s outstanding home — a home that blends passion for travel with a love of contemporary art and the elegant simplicity of Art Deco.

Located in a suburb of Toronto, this home greets its many guests and visitors with 10-foot French doors that open into a dazzling foyer — a white-on-cream confection resplendent in Persian limestone, Crema Marfil marble and intricate onyx inlay. This is the central hub — a space other rooms radiate outward from so circulation is easy and fluid. Exploring each new room unveils a different variation on the soothing, grey-blue colour palette, a palette that acts as the thematic visual foundation. Custom crown moulding, paneling, and baseboard details are then used to create the textural richness and depth that give the entire home an urban, gallery-style ambiance.

“Part of the fun of this project was creating an extremely sophisticated, ‘international’ residence, where the clients could showcase the many art treasures they’ve collected during their travels around the world, yet would still have a tranquil, serene ambiance,” says Neil Jonsohn, principal-creative with UNION31.

“But when you look closer, there are also many subtleties that bring a sense of whimsy to this home,” Jonsohn says. He points out a matched pair of sparkling egg-shaped chandeliers with ‘floral wreath’ crystals above the 18-foot dining room table, the circular motifs that occur unexpectedly in places like the ensuite’s tub surround and vanity, and the vertical accents of silver-leaf mosaic tile that bifurcate the master bedroom’s two nightstands. “I believe that no matter how formal your style is, your home should always make you smile every time you walk into it.”

A dramatic, stand-alone style is found in the family room. Here, blond wood paneling, dark marble-topped coffee table, and the inimitable luxuriousness of a silk Persian rug echo the feel of an exclusive gentleman’s club of the 1940s. The period chandelier is crystal, sourced by the owner on a trip to Austria and loved as much for its sense of playfulness as its pedigree.

Proving beyond doubt that small spaces can have big-time impact, the adjacent powder room introduces yet another intriguing detail with Parisian roots and Deco artistry. To complement a treasured antique chest that was converted to a vanity, a floor-to-ceiling wall mural is framed by mouldings to become a visual focal point. The mural was created in France from a motif found on a wrought iron gate in Paris. 

“You’ll find meticulous attention to nuances like this everywhere in this home,” Jonsohn says. “The way marble is used white-on-dark in one room and dark-on-white in another. It’s what creates the continuity that marries formality with comfort. So wherever you are, you feel like you’re reading the same story, just a different chapter.”

 powder room mural replicates the motif found on a wrought iron gate in Paris.
powder room mural replicates the motif found on a wrought iron gate in Paris.

 Wrought iron inserts add an element of Art Deco to the third floor skylight.
Wrought iron inserts add an element of Art Deco to the third floor skylight.

 Jac Jacobson Photography