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The Manning Avenue, Toronto home of Mary Bredin; renovation by architects Adam and Katja Thom. “I demanded a kitchen that wasn’t black and white, I wanted colour,” says Ms. Bredin. Adds Mr. Thom: “Mary has a lot of jazz in her personality so we felt like we could actually propose this, because not many people would want that,” says Mr. Thom. Ms. Bredin finishes: “People talk about resale value—I want to live here for 20 years.”

photos by Steven Evans

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Exterior showing fin wall and windows lining up with canopy. Looking at the addition from the backyard, Mr. Thom says: “You would never know this, but the fact that the glass lines up where the cantilevered roof comes out, as opposed to them not aligning, to make that happen structurally was a lot of gymnastics.”

Steven Evans

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The renovation of this Manning Avenue house included bespoke elements like rusty red shaker cabinets by Gibson Greenwood and a pop-out addition that cradles an informal dining table. “I get the best compliments on the wallpaper: everybody loves it,” says the homeowner.

Steven Evans

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Exterior showing rain chain. Ms. Bredin says that she has never questioned her decision to use architects: “I can’t even imagine! I mean, if you want the cookie-cutter kitchen from Ikea - and a lot of people do - that’s fine, but I said I want colour and something with character. I pretty well feel like I got most of what I wanted.

Steven Evans

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Old brick, new clading.

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Transition from old brick to new siding, with sliver window between.

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Exterior clading.

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During their research, Adam and Katja Thom learned that the Shakers always put knobs in the middle of their cabinets, and they always painted them the same colour.

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“Most of the money, if you analyze it, went into this very small room,” says the architect about the addition.

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A view of th small window detail made to highlight the transition from old to new. “What is interesting is finding an architect who was sympathetic to what you want to do,” offers Ms. Bredin. “A lot of them are into their uber-modernism/gut-the-place.”

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A view of the millwork.

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