Photos courtesy of Tricon Capital Group
When it comes to interior design inspiration, there are the usual go-to sources we rely on when we are thinking of renovating or renewing our living spaces. The various HGTV shows, design magazines and blogs, Pinterest, boutique hotels, or perhaps, an actual, newly renovated home of a friend or relative you just visited set the inspiration wheels in motion. There are endless resources for the homeowner, but there is one place we don’t typically consider to look when dreaming and planning our refreshed spaces: rental suites…yes, rental suites.
The tables have turned
The Selby by Tricon House , is the first in a series of upscale, purpose-built rental apartment buildings that will spatter across Toronto’s downtown core. There are a few in the works, (57 Spadina Avenue in the city’s fashion district and Scrivener Square in Rosedale/Summerhill), with The Selby debuting in The Six last year in late November. Located at 25 Selby, it is set to redefine rental living with luxury apartments bordering the neighbourhoods of South Rosedale and Cabbagetown. Up until now, renters may have looked longingly to the various design options offered to homeowners (budget-permitting, of course) to totally transform their interiors. But now homeowners who are ready to upgrade their abodes, can find inspiration by the sophisticated design of this unique rental property in the heart of the city.
Raising the bar
The 50-storey tower offers suites featuring high-end finishes and appliances. “Thoughtfully designed and appointed purpose-built rental apartments have been a mainstay housing option in U.S. cities for years, says Gary Berman, president and CEO of Tricon Capital Group. “We are leveraging our experience in the U.S. and Canada to bring a new type of rental offering to Toronto. Our goal is to create communities that reflect the changing needs of a world-class city, to deliver buildings of exceptional quality, and to set the bar for a new type of city living.” All 502 apartments are meticulously edited to maximize space, curated with high-quality materials, which provide both a sumptuous and comforting feel. They partnered with notable brands and talented designers to offer this unparalleled environment with impeccable artistic details to bring their vision to fruition.
It takes a village
Starting with the kitchens and bathrooms, The Selby set their sights on a beloved lifestyle brand from Italy. “Tricon House paid very special attention to the design details and who they partnered with, and they chose to partner with Scavolini,” says Horia Gruia, president of Scavolini Toronto . The family-run, Italy-based company is the leader in kitchen design for over 50 years, and the company has been in Toronto for 15 years. It was the natural choice to build the luxury kitchens for all of The Selby’s one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, which also feature quartz countertops from Caesarstone. A household name in Italy, where houses are sold without a kitchen, and homeowners must furnish all the cabinets and appliances in their home, “this is the first foray in the rental market for Scavolini,” confirms Gruia, and the modular nature of the design allows for easy installation as well.
The Sax kitchen reveal
The Scavolini Sax kitchen was personalized and premiered in Canada at The Selby. It comes in two colour palettes: one light and one dark. The light scheme is comprised of Batista Oak and Mist Grey; the darker scheme is Calicoat Oak and Graphite Grey. The Sax is a combination of cross-wood texture in a matte finish, a modern, minimalist design with hardware on base cabinets only, not on the upper cabinets. The colour scheme was selected to reflect a distinctive, yet cohesive design esthetic from floor to floor of the building. “There are five or six layout kitchen designs in the building, but one floor has one colour scheme and the next floor will have the other,” informs Gruia. Sounds like a checkerboard or the perfect Instagram feed. All kitchens include a breakfast bar, stainless-steel appliances, induction stove, dishwasher, (and a wine fridge!), a stunning wall unit and matching accessories.
Award-winning and internationally recognized Toronto designer, Johnson Chou, was Tricon’s pick to design the suites, main lobby, including the common spaces for residents housed in the exquisite 150-year-old Gooderham mansion, which once was the dwelling of Ernest Hemingway when he wrote for the Toronto Star . This historical Toronto treasure was moved and lovingly restored for the project, and it now stands adjacent to the building for residents to enjoy the building’s amenities, which among others, include a 3,500-square-foot fitness centre, spa, and bistro, bar and lounge by Oliver & Bonacini.
“We worked very hard to give designer Johnson Chou a profound understanding of what Tricon House meant and he successfully translated our brand esthetic in design,” says Chief Marketing Officer at Tricon House, Alexandra Blum. “For The Selby, it was a mixture of the vibrant geographical area, honouring the past and incorporating a very layered interior design, like rich caramel leather sofas in the mansion, cow-hide back chairs and a stunning copper chandelier in the lobby.”
The suites include oversized windows, which allow for plenty of sunlight, and walk-in closets with organizers that are conveniently located in between the master bedroom and bathroom. But beyond the design considerations, The Selby is about creating communites and mixed-use spaces. Blum believes that the design is just part of the formula that elevates lifestyle. “We put people first, and creating a sense of belonging is needed more than ever in this technology-obsessed, always-connected world.
As homeowners, I won’t elaborate on the impressive amenities and amazing city views of the Rosedale Valley for residents, we don’t want to incite rental envy as we busy ourselves with that unrelenting house maintenance checklist. It is nice to know though if life circumstances change, we can trade in our property for a rental suite without sacrificing high-quality design, and an added sense of community to bout!
Pièce de resistance
Back to design. Blum extols the importance of art, as a collector and as an experience. Seen as an essential element to enhance spaces, Tricon House partnered with EyeBuyArt, a local initiative, which offers residents access to a curated collection of beautiful works of art at accessible prices. They start at $250. “Tricon invested in art pieces for the lobby, mansion and spa, and we wanted to extend that to our residents at an affordable price point for their homes,” says Blum. A budget-conscious initiative in luxury rental is a nice touch. So perhaps for your next renovation or home improvement project, you can tear a page from the latest Toronto luxury rental suites for some design inspiration. Tried-and-true design, quality materials mixed in with some save-splurge decisions are what reno dreams are made of — no matter where you live.