When it comes to design, mansions tend to fall into one of two camps — the contemporary, neutral-coloured estate, or the century-old Victorian manor frozen in time. If you love the aesthetics of both, why should you have to choose? One Toronto mansion recently listed for sale seems to have gotten the hang of combining both styles.
On a tree-lined street in the southern region of the city’s affluent Rosedale neighbourhood sits 88 South Drive. Hopping on the market this week for an asking price of $9.9 million, this 19th-century six-plus-one-bedroom redbrick residence has held onto much of its historical charm, while still making room for some modern updates.
Pulling up on the heated paved driveway (bid adieu to your snow shovel), there are a few tell-tale signs of Victorian architecture that stand out. Miniature hedges frame deciduous trees, while an archway leads to a set of double front doors below a curved bay window.
Inside, a plaster arch ushers you into a traditional foyer. A curved staircase is accompanied by a dainty candelabra chandelier, and some detailed wainscoting and inlay tile flooring.
Take a left, and you’ll arrive in the front sitting room. The open fireplace and bay window that looks onto the driveway makes this room a spacious spot to sip tea, or spill it with your friends.
On the other side of the foyer is where we see more of the home upgrades have been made. Formal dining rooms are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but it would be a shame to rip out this dramatic eating area. High, curved ceilings rest above a thick layer of crown molding, while a modern gas fireplace with a girthy mantle sits behind a circular dining table. Dim the scones and close the French doors, and you’ve got the perfect place for a romantic dinner, or a seance.
At the end of the hallway, the home spreads out into an open-concept kitchen and living room space. A wooden built-in provides a snug office nook next to another gas fireplace and a comfortable sitting area, sans granny couches. On the adjacent wall, a door leads out to the backyard pool and patio area.
The eat-in kitchen didn’t play it safe when it decided to mix kitchen styles. A multi-halo chandelier hangs above a wood island topped with a hunky stone countertop and a double stainless steel sink. Meanwhile, the white Shaker-style cabinetry is punctuated with matte black knobs, and the subway-tile backsplash plays off the similarly-coloured stainless steel appliances.
Past the fridge, there’s a discrete staircase down to the family room. The inlay wood flooring and overhead projector make for a comfortable home movie theatre, but these features aren’t the star of the lower floor — no mansion is ever complete without a walk-in wine cellar to store your finest vintages.
If you’re really into the whole Millennial granny chic theme, then you’ll maybe want to pin this master bedroom to your Pinterest board. The fireplace stands as one of the few contemporary features among the striped wallpaper and matching patterns of the curtains, twin armchairs and bedside tables. Have your pick between two sets of double doors that open onto the adjoining balcony.
On the third floor, another bedroom went ham with the wallpaper, lining every dimension of the sloped ceiling with red-on-white toile. The bedspread and reading chair, of course, are matching.
If you’re looking for a home that will blast you to the past, without sacrificing any modern comforts, then perhaps you could give 88 South Drive a try.