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Heritage Classic: Victorian Redbrick Reimagined

Designed by Sarah Richardson & Natalie Hodgins

Photography by Valerie Wilcox


Redbrick Victorian front door

This grand redbrick Victorian is a study in the two Rs: renovation and reincarnation. While the home boasted some glorious architectural details, like original fireplaces and staircases, it had gone through less-than-glorious renovations in the 1970s and '80s. By the time the current homeowners purchased the home, it was important to get the feeling just right by maintaining the character and infusing each space with a lighter, more streamlined direction. Many of the pieces in this home have lived a past life, so it's all about celebrating what you've got and reinterpreting it for a new beginning.

Entry & Powder Room

Victorian entryway with blue doors and red stone floors
Staircase and porthole window

Make An Entrance!

Take your traditional interior and kick it up a notch by painting mouldings and millwork in a sophisticated shade of navy, charcoal or almost-black to create high contrast and eye-catching definition for an all over tailored look.

Powder room with marble and gold vanity with red floral wallpaper

Home Office

Sitting area with series of black and white photos hung above sofa

Adventurous Design Idea:

When the inspiration brief is adventure! The backdrop for this home office and lounge is a group of exceptional African images shot up close and personal by my talented aunt and photographer, Kathy Richardson on her exotic adventures in Africa.

Dining Room

Dining room table against dramatic blue wallpapered wall
Side table with yellow tucan painting above it
Dining room sideboard against blue wallpapered wall with framed iceburg photography above it

Master the Mix!

Collectable treasures, vintage furniture, contemporary wallpaper and bold fabric create a mix that feels fresh, new and now. The homeowner's travel photos are hung proudly above the sideboards to punctuate this regal yet well-loved and lived-in dining room!

Gallery wall of animal pencil drawings


Smokey blue and white  kitchen

The Design Mandate:

A chic space with hardy materials and style for miles! This traditional-meets-today kitchen blends craftsmanship with collected treasures and moody modern hues. It's also got an eight foot island, a breakfast nook, and French doors to the yard!

Smokey blue and white kitchen with island
Kitchn sink with stainless steel farm sink and brass faucet
Kitchen pottery collection

Breakfast Nook

Round tulip table with black chairs

Timeless Design Equation:

Vintage Persian rug + timeless Eero Saarinen table + dynamite RBW Studio light fixture (designed by my brother!) = just the right mix for weekend or anytime hangs in the kitchen.

Tip: If you're wondering whether or not to paint your window trim dark (*hint hint*), this article may just be the sign you're looking for! We happen to think it's a really good idea. 

White cherry blossoms in brass vase

At-Home Work Zone:

Want a work zone in the comfort of your own home that doesn't scream "office" but instead blends in with its environment? Who says you can't take it with you? Good cabinetry can be moved an repurposed to suit your new digs. Once a custom home office in a previous house, this was refitted and reimagined as a kitchen work zone. Get work done and make delicious use of what you've got while you're at it!

Like the idea but don't have "extra cabinets"? You can make a great home office using in-stock components from a big box store and customizing them butcher block counters for a warm work surface.

Living Room

This or That!

Same sofa, different style statements - on opposite sides of the same living room! One is topped with contemporary art (artist: Ron Bolt) and the other is nestled into a bay window dressed with Roman shades in a painterly brushstroke print. Where are you sitting?

Living room sofa in front of bay window
Living room with large beach painting above sofa

Style Mix:

This living room features a diverse collection of art and furnishings within a historic red brick Victorian. Proof positive that mixing styles by introducing only the items you love, can lead to totally cohesive results! 

Tip: Build the palette for an entire room from the ground up. Start with a great rug and extract all the colours to achieve a unique awesome design.

Chair in front of fireplace

Character on Display:

Treasures abound, this handsome inky-blue corner is a comfy-cozy spot for fireside reading. Collected pieces bring all the character!

Tip: Say yes to grasscloth-backed built-ins filled with books and souvenirs that add warmth and personality!

Principal Bedroom & Ensuite

Yellow and sage green bedroom with bay window
Corner of mantel with brass flower vase
Cream and yellow bathroom

Guest Bathroom

Blue bathroom with natural wood vintage vanity

Laundry Room

Blue and white laundry room with large counter

Wash, dry, fold, repeat! 

Tongue-and-groove paneling, a rug, and even a chandelier give this laundry room a decorated feeling that goes with the rest of the house. If space and budget allow, why not make every room awesome?

Blue laundry room cabinets
Golden Retriever in dog shower

Exterior Sources: Benjamin Moore: exterior paint, Forest Green HC-187, front door paint, Ravishing Red 2008-10, porch floor, Chelsea Gray HC-168

Entryway Sources: Elte: stair running | RBW: sconces

Breakfast Nook Sources: Kravet: Roman blind fabric | Design Within Reach: table, chairs | RBW: chandelier | Saltillo: floor tile

Living Room Sources: Sarah Richardson Design: custom sofa, ottoman and upholstered chair | Memo: large pillow accent fabric | Design Within Reach: wood-framed chair, coffee table, stool | Kravet: sofa fabric, accent fabrics, upholstered chair fabric | Royal Antique Rug Gallery: rug | Ciot: fireplace marble | DiNuovo Granite & Marble Inc.: fireplace fabrication

Dining Room Sources: Sarah Richardson Design: custom dining chairs | Kathy Richardson: photography artwork | Schumacher: dining chair fabric | Kravet: drapery fabric, Christopher Farr wallpaper | Patina Antiques: dining table, console table | Bungalow 5: sideboard | Residential Lighting Studio: chandelier

Kitchen Sources: Sarah Richardson Design: counter stools | Saltillo: floor tile, backsplash | Upper Canada Specialty Hardware: cabinetry hardware | Residential Lighting Studio: pendant lights | Tasco Appliances: appliances | Vent-A-Hood: vent hood | Kravet: Roman blind fabric, Lee Jofa counter stool fabric | Taps Bath: sink, faucet

Laundry Room Sources: Tasco Appliances: washer, dryer | Taps Bath: Blanco sink, Rubinet faucet | Restoration Hardware: cabinet hardware | Saltillo: floor tile, backsplash