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Favourite Room: A bedroom turned office turned yoga studio turned family hub

Author Joanna Goodman works in the bedroom of her Toronto home in Rosedale on April 9, 2018.

Tim Fraser

It’s not surprising that Joanna Goodman’s favourite room is her bedroom. Goodman runs Au Lit Fine Linens, inherited from her mother, Peggy Byron, who opened the luxe bedding boutique in Montreal in 1981. Goodman calls it a “good, old-fashioned family business.” Today, she and husband, Miguel, are at the helm of the Toronto and online stores, and Au Lit’s linens, silk velvet studded king-size bed and tufted bench grace their bedroom at home. (Au Lit sells furniture in store but not online.) But Goodman believes the room is not just for unconscious reveries. In fact, the five-time author (her latest is The Home for Unwanted Girls, released by Harper Collins mid-April) does most of her writing here.

Goodman says the bedroom is 'one of the living rooms of the house.'

Tim Fraser

“The bedroom is one of the living rooms of the house,” Goodman says. “There are some people who are like, your bedroom is just for sleep. But for us,” (the couple have two children, their daughter, Jessie, is 13 and son, Luke, is eight), “there are no hard and fast rules. This is our movie watching room on a Friday night. It’s my yoga zone. It’s where I write and read. Maybe it’s because it’s what I do, I just feel so comfortable using this room,” Goodman says. “But it’s for sure not just where we sleep.”

The antique perfume bottles belonged to Goodman’s mother.

Tim Fraser

The bedroom was one of the deciding factors when the couple purchased their Lawrence Park, Toronto home in 2013. In recalling the moment when they first entered the space, Goodman gives a drawn-out exhale. “There’s such a good feeling in this room. I really love my bedroom, can you tell?” Architectural details such as the coffered ceiling, mouldings, Juliet balcony and dark, wood floors were already in place. The former owners, too, had accented the space with voluminous draperies, which Goodman recreated with custom curtains from Thread Count. “A white silk perfection,” she says.

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The palette for the furnishings is a light, silver-blue, achieved with a silk rug from Designers Guild and white leather chairs and a side-table with gold accents. Twin framed drawings of beds (a gift from a colleague) and antique perfume bottles on a mirrored tray belonged to Goodman’s mother. An artwork depicting a seated woman is from Art Interiors. “I don’t know who she is, but I love her,” Goodman says.

Goodman enjoys her bedroom so much that it has also become her working space.

Tim Fraser

Under the mystery woman’s soft, pastel gaze is Goodman’s writing desk (from Bungalow 5), often strewn with papers and books – and most always a laptop – for her latest project. When not writing while caffeinating at a coffee shop in proximity to her business, Goodman can be found here, seated on a gold Kartell Masters metal armchair from Gabriel Ross, typing away. “Some people are like, ‘How do you find the time?’ ” says Goodman, but she likens it to those busy professionals that train and run marathons on the side. “It’s my passion, and the minute I walk through the door and I have free time, that’s what I want to do,” she says.

Her latest novel is very loosely based on her mother’s life, taking place in 1950s Quebec in the eastern townships. Goodman had always wanted to tell the story of that era and found an appropriate history to sink her teeth into, in the discovery of the Duplessis-era orphanages turned mental institutions. “It’s really the story of the bond between a mother and daughter and their search for each other,” says Goodman. Fairly dark subject matter – in spite of the lightness of her writing space – and Goodman was feeling a range of emotions at the launch. “Excitement, panic, bittersweetness, everything,” she says. Sadly, Goodman’s mother isn’t here to see it come to pass, “but she’s probably up there instigating the whole thing,” she says.

Get the Look

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Kartell Masters metallic armchair, $825 at Gabriel Ross (grshop.com).

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En Pointe desk, US$1,995 at ABC Carpet & Home (abchome.com).

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Kismet banana silk rug, $425 at Elte MKT (eltemkt.com).

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Allover textured jacquard velvet curtain (96 inch), $74.99 at West Elm (westelm.ca).

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Figure study by David Ladmore, $200 at Art Interiors (artinteriors.ca).

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