Melanie and Bob Sorvo’s one-of-a-kind 1920s family home in Toronto

The city, Toronto, has been a handsome, well-built city for more than a century. Even through its darkest times, it has remained one of the most intriguing places to live in North America.

Melanie and Bob Sorvo are both architects. Melanie specializes in houses that are remarkable for their simplicity and doable for families. Bob specializes in conserving old buildings and buildings threatened with demolition. Their careers combined to create a stunning renovation on their family’s 1906 house, on Old Dovercourt Road, in the Marconi neighbourhood.

Gorgeous light-filled interior, with light-filled and beautifully done Arts & Crafts-style kitchen.

Right out of the beginning, Bob wanted the house to reflect the elegance and simplicity of Modernism, an old and thriving style that flourished in the 1930s and didn’t die for another three decades. A white-painted yellow brick fireplace, for example, was the first to go in.

The kitchen opens to a L-shaped family room. If one or the other parent was in charge, they could use it as a sitting room or nook.

Upstairs there are three bedrooms, two of which could be used as a master bedroom.

I love these two bathrooms: Neutral colors, simple fixtures and high sinks for clean, fresh and functional rooms.

A great idea for interiors: Other rooms make perfect places to sit. Four perfect spots for children: One looks out onto the back garden; the other, the sliding-glass door from the outside entry; the third, which the balcony. The fourth, toward the front of the house, is a pergola with a ladder, a place for children to watch the world going by.

A history of a family’s home will help you figure out where to put accessories.

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