In the summertime, Olga, Anthony, and 3-year old daughter, Freya, enjoy almost daily family time and barbeques in their West end Toronto townhouse’s renovated backyard space.
Following playtime and dinner, the family will move indoors for cleanup and bedtime. Olga and Anthony look forward to family time with Freya after picking her up from daycare at 3:30 p.m. Freya has been in daycare on and off throughout the Covid pandemic, while Olga and Anthony have been working from home during lockdown. “Although we do have a custom built office in the basement that gets natural light from the upstairs room windows,” Olga explains, “we pretty much float from room to room throughout the house while working.“
Newly built when they first moved in, the family’s house, Olga says, “felt like square blocks stacked on top of each other, but we saw it as space we could change and make our own. Although I do have so much appreciation of older Victorian homes, I also do appreciate the functionality and features of our home – enough space to accommodate our family of 4 (cat included), high main floor ceilings, two separate outdoor spaces, and a good amount of sunlight despite the house facing west.”
“Although we do have a custom built office in the basement that gets natural light from the upstairs room windows,” Olga explains, “we pretty much float from room to room throughout the house while working.“
Olga and Anthony’s décor style is evident throughout their four-story home and both are very involved in their home’s décor. In fact, Olga says of Anthony, “interior design is one of his hobbies and he absolutely loves it. We are both very analytical and creative, so we both appreciate function and beauty.” Olga goes on to describe her décor style as “smart and functional meets modern beauty with a good balance of colour and drama.”
Olga goes on to describe her décor style as “smart and functional meets modern beauty with a good balance of colour and drama.”
While Olga has a great appreciation for all decorating styles, especially mid-century modern and bohemian, she states, “I really love colours as well as balance so I try to add colour very intentionally.”
Also showcased throughout their home are influences from the family’s travels. “As a family, we try to incorporate travel as much as we can into our lives. In fact, it has inspired us so much that our future dream projects draw directly from our travel experiences.”
Olga notes that she admires Kenyan art “where my husband is from – from vintage masks and pottery to TingaTinga art and soapstone sculptures”. Her plan is to “incorporate into our décor more art from our cultural backgrounds”.
Although the family has acquired unique pieces from their travels, Olga confesses that, “I am a little addicted to Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and everything handmade. I have so many amazing items from these sources. I love the idea of investing in a good piece. Most pieces in our home mean something, and I try not to follow trends.”
Olga goes on to explain that, “the way every day items are experienced is very important to me, from the way a cup feels in my hand and keeps my coffee warm to the way the space works for us when we relax or play with our daughter. It has to be purposeful, functional, and beautiful.”
"I love the idea of investing in a good piece. Most pieces in our home mean something."
Asked to describe some of her favourite décor pieces, Olga says, “I love our light fixtures, especially the chandeliers over our kitchen bar. They are made of different glass beads and I always think about the painstaking effort it took someone to put those chandeliers together. The glass beads diffuse light so beautifully. I love all our light fixtures on the main floor, all made of hand-blown glass. I am constantly amazed at how glass diffuses light.”
Olga goes on to speak about other of her favourite items: The vintage granite coffee table in the living room. “It’s a bit on the large side for the space but I absolutely love it.” In their bedroom is a heavy wooden bench that Olga describes as “a timeless piece handmade in Brazil.”
Other of her favourite items includes “The Sun God sculpture by Paul Bellardo is in our living room. The resin coasters, made by a good friend, have so many layers and depth to them. The small vintage statue of a boy fishing made in the USSR reminds me of my grandfather. The porcelain Siamese cat given to me by a childhood friend and the papier-mâché sculpture gifted to me by an artist I met on Kijiji. Her small act of kindness left an impression on me and made me want to do the same for others.”
“The way every day items are experienced is very important to me, from the way a cup feels in my hand and keeps my coffee warm to the way the space works for us when we relax or play with our daughter. It has to be purposeful, functional, and beautiful.”
Although pleased with the creative and functional changes their home has undergone thus far, Olga expresses that “there are many unfinished projects including our dining area that is being updated and amazing wall art still waiting to be framed and two gallery walls to start and finish”.
With these future projects in mind, the family’s philosophy when it comes to decor and design – that use of how the family uses space in their home – is always at the forefront of all such decisions.
Written by Francine Fleming
Photography by Tanvi Madkaiker
To get the colourful maximalist look Olga and Anthony have achieved, try these Hacienda pieces: