Townhouse

Etobicoke townhouse with showroom shine

Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

2289 Lake Shore Blvd. West, Th 117

Ask for a price: $3,950,000

Taxes: $$11,273 (2021)

Unit size: 2,900 square feet.

Listing Agent: Christian Vermast, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

The backstory

There are some homes where an observer must struggle to find a definition of décor or style, but for Townhouse 117 in the Grand Harbor condo community in Etobicoke, only one word should apply: luxury.

Luxury is the lingua franca of owner Lori Morris, who for 30 years built an eponymous business based on wish-fulfillment and ultra-bespoke interiors for homes in some of North America’s wealthiest pockets.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

Luxury is the lingua franca of owner Lori Morris, who for 30 years built an eponymous business based on wish-fulfillment and ultra-bespoke interiors for homes in some of North America’s wealthiest pockets. She has a showroom for her business ideas in Port Carling for the Muskoka cottage set, and her work has been featured in major fashion, design, and shelter magazines. For his own home, nothing short of showroom quality work was acceptable either.

“I stripped it all down to the nails, and replanned and repurposed it and opted for classic details for a timeless look…If I were to take it on as a project today, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t touch it,” she said. There are elements in the house that clients and fans of her style – which she defines as “’Sexy French’; a collaboration and synergy between modern and classic French” – will recognize, and techniques for using space that she first tried here before bringing them to clients.

This is the third unit Lori Morris has lived in in the Grand Harbor condo community in Etobicoke.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

“We like to think of ourselves as creators, pioneers in the industry, so a lot of the elements here might seem mainstream now,” she said, but they were all but 12 years ago.

This is the third unit Lori Morris has lived in at the resort, and if there are any questions about the value the design can offer, consider that there is a similar sized unit for sale now in the same resort that appears to have original 1993 builder decor and is listed for $1.499 million.

The house today

The black-white-and-gold lobby has deco-inspired touches, and the inlay pattern on the floor is a custom design laser-cut from black-and-white marble, black limestone, and floor black stained elm with wide planks.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

On her company’s Instagram account, Ms. Morris has a saying: “A Lori Morris household has no rules.” Her own house might have one: dress to impress. The black-white-and-gold lobby has deco-inspired touches, and the inlay pattern on the floor is a custom design laser-cut from black-and-white marble, black limestone, and floor black stained elm with wide planks. A skylight in the ceiling tray floods the space with light.

This level was originally designed as a utility space with access to the garage (behind which Mrs. Morris has installed a small gym area) and a boiler room. Ms Morris has painted the exposed brickwork, painted the exposed rafters black and programmed in a TV room which leads to a second bedroom with an adjoining bathroom fully tiled in horizontal glass mosaic. With oversized paisley print wallpaper and a fuzzy faux fur headboard, this isn’t your standard nanny suite basement bedroom.

Another aphorism from Ms. Morris’ Instagram is “A room should never allow the eye to settle in one place” and the level embodies this with something new to look at in every space.

Coffered ceilings feature an oval recess in the formal dining room.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

Coffered ceilings feature an oval recess in the formal dining room and ornate corbels in the living room; wood-panelled walls and thick crown molding and arched doorways and nooks combine with contemporary furnishings and modernist light fixtures. Materials are either richly detailed (animal prints or textiles) or rich in warm wood and white paint. Built-in shelving in the dining area with blank cartouches on top blends into the walls that frame the kitchen entryway, offsetting its small size with high ceilings, marble slab backsplashes, a huge hood cooking and a storm. cloud-shaped chandelier centered by a rococo table with a mirrored surface that serves as an island prep space.

Through a paneled archway is what could be a dining space in most kitchens, but is converted into a lounge/sitting room with bench seating that opens onto one of the house’s four exterior terraces.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

Through a paneled archway is what could be a dining space in most kitchens, but is converted into a lounge/sitting room with bench seating that opens onto one of the house’s four exterior terraces. This terrace is a sheltered dining area at the rear of the building with roughly hewn brick walls for privacy and it connects to the dining area with another entrance.

The largest room on this level is the family room, which does not feature a television but has two reading nooks with built-in bookshelves flanking the fireplace.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

The largest room on this level is the family room, which has no TV but has two reading nooks with built-in bookshelves flanking the fireplace, an idea Mrs. Morris first tried here but has spread to other customers since. “On each side of a fireplace is a kind of no man’s land, so in order to be able to use it, I started putting in built-in benches which we present to customers,” she said.

The sanctuary

The sentiment in Mrs. Morris’ personal spaces is a toned down version of Versailles.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

The third floor is almost entirely Mrs. Morris’ personal space. “I’m a chambermaid, for me every house is a hallway to my room,” she said with a trill of laughter. There is a guest bedroom with its own full bathroom and access to the rear terrace (the largest outdoor space, but the one that shares the view of the courtyard with the neighbours) – both done in cream and blue clear – but the remaining three quarters of the floor is dedicated to a huge dressing room, bathroom and master bedroom.

There is a guest bedroom with its own full bathroom and access to the rear terrace – both done in cream and light blue.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

The feel in Mrs. Morris’ personal spaces is a softened version of Versailles: the patterned textiles, the panelling, the millwork, the scrollwork, the corbels, the arches are all there, but softer, creamier, plusher than downstairs.

A sumptuous marble-rimmed tub faces the lake-view windows, and the L-shaped vanity and makeup table also allow you to gaze past the balcony onto Lake Ontario.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

A sumptuous soaking tub with a marble surround faces the lake-view windows (there’s also a decadent stand-alone shower deeper in the bathroom), and the L-shaped vanity and make-up table beckon you. also allow you to look beyond the balcony onto Lake Ontario. “There’s a fabulous view over the water, it’s like you’ve been transported to some sort of resort,” Ms Morris said. The view contains the Humber Bay Park promenade with moored yachts on the left and the vast green waterfront park on the right.

The view contains the Humber Bay Park promenade with moored yachts on the left and the vast green waterfront park on the right.Wisam Mshati/Wisam Mshati

“It’s so peaceful, so quiet, you don’t realize you’re in Toronto,” she said. “You feel like you’re up north, you feel like you could be in Nantucket.”

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