When interior designer Lori Morris wakes up in the morning, she sees swans; in the afternoon, she watches sailboats. The views are courtesy of her Lake Ontario townhouse in Toronto's west end. Before she moved in five years ago, Morris stripped the place down to the studs and rebuilt it according to her own opulent vision. Besides offering spectacular vistas, the resulting space now includes a home office where she creates art installations (such as one she showcased at last month's Architectural Digest Home Show in New York) and a spacious living room to which she likes to retreat once the work day is over. "It's so relaxing and elegant," Morris says of the living room. "And it has so many things to look at. It moves and inspires me."
"These are a matching pair of antique sofas with paisley embossed-leather surrounds, chocolate-brown suede seats and leather strapping that I made myself. They were Fendi-inspired. I often draw inspiration from fashion when creating my designs. I think of myself as a couturier of interior spaces."
The Marilyn Monroe painting
"British artist Russell Young's work is very moving. He paints iconic people and adds diamond dust to make them sparkle. I got this in Toronto at the Nikola Rukaj Gallery."
"This is textured silk wallpaper. I think every wall should be wallpapered, whether it's patterned or textured, to create visual interest. A welldesigned room is a seamless accrual of many layers."
The light fixture
"This is a 1940s Murano chandelier. I got it here in Toronto at Stanley Wagman Antiques. It's a very interesting piece. The movement of the glass leaves looks as though they are dancing."
The dress painting
"This is a Dorion Scott I got at Gallery 133 in Toronto. I don't usually buy black-and-white art, but this image is very powerful. 'Here I am. A black dress. That's all I have to say.' The simplicity of its message moved me."
"This is an antique bombé chest with a marble top that I got from one of the antique dealers I routinely work with. I think it's very important to mix architectural and design periods in a room, to have modern with old. It creates a feeling of eclecticism and makes the space exciting."
The coffee table
"It's a high-gloss lacquered table I bought at the Ralph Lauren store in New York. Ralph Lauren is an inspiration to me. He understands scale and proportion, and I live by that as a creator."
"I use silver a lot. It's a subtle way to add sparkle and elegance to a room. This antique silver tray is from Cynthia Findlay Antiques in Toronto. I use it to display cut-crystal perfume bottles and inkwells. Accessories like this finish a room. Often, I purchase them without knowing where they will go, but I buy them on instinct hoping their beauty and value will stand on their own, whatever the setting."