Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Jamie Alexander, reads in the living room of his loft located in Toronto.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Jamie Alexander likes walking to work, so five years ago he purchased a 560-square-foot loft located near the Peloso Alexander interior-design business and retail store he co-owns and operates in Toronto's King Street East furniture district. A former concierge for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts who grew up in Moncton, NB, Alexander oversaw the four-month-long renovation that transformed his small corner of a former munitions factory into a well-dressed home to share with his hairdresser-husband, Joshua Breau, and their dog. The reno involved tearing down walls, which revealed a fireplace that now features prominently in the living room, Alexander's favourite room, where he likes to entertain. "We've had parties of up to 40 people here," he says of the fluid space that "people like to congregate in. Believe it or not, we have the room."

The couch

"I designed it and my husband hates it. It's a fairly firm sectional and I made it that way on purpose. I am not fond of plush seating. I don't want to sink when I sit. So this is more like hotel lobby seating and less like den seating. It's got cool metal legs and an overall low back with taller back cushions so it keeps a straight line. It makes the room look very open."

Story continues below advertisement

The clocks

"Each August I celebrate my birthday with clients and friends, and each time everyone asks me what they can bring. One year I said the biggest gift they could give me was time, and this prompted many of them to give me clocks as presents. These are among the 30 or so I have in the apartment. They all work, but twice a year, when the clocks change forward or backward, I choose just one to reflect the right time. When people come over they never really know what time it is. I tell them that no one needs to be in a rush."

The wallpaper

"That was a year in the decision-making. I'm a designer. I see a lot of wallpaper. If you look inside our company library, you will see we have about 300 wallpaper books, so choosing one presents a difficult design dilemma. I am always thinking a better one will be coming out. But then we were preparing for Christmas and my husband just said to me, 'Choose one.' So I had to make a decision. I chose this because of the greys and blacks, which [tie into] the room."

The mirror

"There are two in the room, flanking the fireplace. Part of my personal design philosophy is that one wall in a room should have perfect symmetry to make a room feel larger. The matching mirrors accomplish this. These aren't mirrors for fixing your hair. They are mirrors you use for reflecting light."

The painting

Story continues below advertisement

"This is my pride and joy. It's by the Quebec artist Gisèle Boulianne. I found it in a gallery in the old part of Quebec City, my favourite place in all of Canada. When I saw it I knew I had to have it. It depicts a car going down a major street in a city. The city is not identified. It could be anywhere. I also like the scale of it. It's around 48 inches square. I've had it for some time but never had the perfect place to hang it. When I painted the fireplace black I knew I had the right background for it."

The carpet

"I designed it and had it made at the Rug Company. They'll take any pattern you give them and carve it right into the weave. I knew I didn't want a lot of colour or pattern, so I chose an art deco theme with a circle on a circle on a circle. It creates texture."

The chairs

"Josh selected these. I came home one day and there they were. He went to the purchasing department of the store I co-own and ordered them. He wanted something bold. And these two egg chairs in red wool are just that. People pull straws to see who'll sit in them, they're that cozy."

The fireplace

Story continues below advertisement

"It's my favourite thing in the room. Because I design furniture for a living, I like things that look architectural. We found this hidden behind crumbling plaster and then had it retrofitted to burn using an ecoflame made of ethanol. I could never design this, which is why I love it."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies