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Dancer Christopher House gets multi-purpose in his living room

Choreographer Christopher House's living room

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

For the past 10 years, Toronto Dance Theatre artistic director and choreographer Christopher House has lived in an industrial-style loft in Toronto's i-Zone building - formerly the Diament Knitting Mill - in the city's east end. "I wanted as much open space as possible, to have plenty of room to romp around in," says the Newfoundland-born dancer. "Here, I can warm up, play with movement ideas and even rehearse a solo dance if need be. It's also where I keep the books, journals, films and other materials I use in my artistic practice and get lost in my thoughts."

1. The red wall

"The wall was painted Moroccan Red by James Robertson. We bought the loft together in 2001. He is a former dancer and is a wonderful designer. We did three projects together from 2000 to 2001. He is also a very successful art consultant. He also designed the layout of the bookshelves and the Parallam desk that runs underneath them."

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2. The couch

"It's a mid-century modern piece by the Danish designer and architect Grete Jalk. It looks gorgeous from any angle."

3. The coffee table

"This is actually two benches pushed together, exact copies of two benches that I lost in a break-up. They were made to order by my friend David Hoekstra before the departure of the originals. The small glass-topped coffee table [between the two chairs]was given to me by my sister Rosemary when she moved back to St. John's last year. It's solid teak and weighs a tonne."

4. The bookshelves

"They're made of reclaimed barnboard and are suspended from the ceiling by aircraft cable. David Hoekstra, who made them, pulled the planks off a barn up north by himself. He also saved the rusted 19th-century nails embedded in them, throwing them at a big magnet [to make a sculpture] It's sitting on a window sill [elsewhere in the home]"

5. The wicker chairs

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"These are part of a 1960s dining room set, from a shop on Queen [Street]East near my home. I somehow managed to convince the owner to break up a set of four."

6. The flooring

"It's all original hardwood, dating to when the building was built as a sewing factory, in the early 20th century. I love the floor because it still shows a lot of history on its surface even though I had it refinished a couple of years ago. It is one of the most beautiful aspects of the loft."

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