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How Carlo Colacci’s made his dining room the 'heart of the house'

Michelle Siu/The Globe and Mail

It's fitting that Carlo Colacci lives in a former store. Along with partners Joyce Lo and Jeff Stober, the 35-year-old is a co-founder of the Drake General Store, a small chain of eclectic Toronto gift shops. The venture started in 2008 inside the Drake Hotel as a pop-up for Shared, Colacci's line of cotton tees and sweatshirts. Today, there are three locations in the city and a national expansion is in the planning stages. About 18 months ago, Colacci purchased another store, this time with the notion of converting it into a single-family home. He and wife Laura renovated the 1923 building near Dupont Street themselves, tearing the interior completely apart before building it anew. At the centre of the refurbished dwelling is the dining room, to which Colacci added an arched doorway. "It's the heart of the house," he says of the space. "It's where we spend a lot of our time."

The settee

"This is something my wife and I found as we were going to dinner one night in Toronto. It was an impulse buy. We saw it in the window of a store and immediately liked the lines and the indigo velvet upholstery."

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The floor lamp

"I sourced this at the Brimfield antique fair in Massachusetts. It's a very modern piece. Even thought it was manufactured more than 50 years ago, it still looks contemporary."

The cabinet

"This is a dental cabinet form the 1920s. I found it just outside New York City. I like surgical-type things, and this is one of two such cabinets in the house. The entire inside is made of metal, which is cool. We use it as a bar."

The flooring

"This hardwood flooring comes from Spain. I chose it because it is a simple light grey wide-plank oak. I was the first thing purchased for the new house and everything thing we then did was influenced by it. It was a good canvas to start with."

The print

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"This is a Derby crowd print. Friends of mine found it on a trip to Argentina. I like it so much that we now sell reproductions of it at the Drake General Store. It adds a bit of humour to the room."

The light fixture

"This is another mid-century modern piece. It's wrought iron and hangs from a moulding I found at an antiques fair in Massachusetts. I like how the simplicity of the light contrasts with intricacy of the moulding's design."

The mirror

"We bought it before we took possession of the building. It's from the historic Hotel at the Lafayette in Buffalo, N.Y. While the hotel was being renovated, materials were being tossed. My friends saw this mirror and were able to get it for me."

The table

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"We found this in upstate new York. The designer is Paul McCobb, a famous mid-century modernist. It's got very clean lines. But it was missing its leaf when we first found it. We decided to add one in a darker wood for contrast."

The chairs

"We searched for a long time for chairs to match the table. We wanted them to also be by McCobb, but it was impossible to find four alike. So in the end we chose to feature two different pairs."

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