interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: courtney wotherspoon

by Grace Bonney

today’s first sneak peek is actually a mini peek into the home of artist/illustrator courtney wotherspoon. amy and i spoke with courtney back in january about doing a peek of her current home, but sadly i fell so behind with book work that i wasn’t able to coordinate things before courtney moved in to her beautiful new home in toronto’s art and design district. so i was thrilled to see that hgtv in canada had taken photographer over to her new home to feature the new space. they were kind enough to share some of the photos with us today and i am now drooling over the amazing staircase in her living room. courtney sent over descriptions of her home in her own words, so those will follow below. thanks so much to courtney and hgtv.ca for sharing this with us!

*click here to see more images of courtney’s home at hgtv.ca

[image above: our house is a 145-year old semi-detached victorian in beaconsfield village, toronto’s art & design district. i’ve lived in the neighborhood for years – in a converted factory apartment only blocks away – so when it was time to buy, it was a natural choice. for the next couple of years, the house will help provide income from renters, so the majority of the renovation we did after buying was spent on converting the single-family home into three units: a one-bedroom basement apartment, a 1000 square foot first floor unit, and a second floor and loft, where i live with my boyfriend and our cat maude. the image above is our living room with my homemade coffee table that i made years ago from a set of discarded drawers, a couple coats of high-gloss paint, a sheet of glass and a curious table leg. the deer sign floating above the couch is my reaction to the over-saturation of ironic taxidermy found just about everywhere these days. i’ll admit, i’m a sucker for the uber-trend but i just can’t stand to look into the glassy eyes of a real one on the wall. i’m on the hunt for interesting vintage signage, so this is the temporary stand-in.]

[image above: the wrought-iron spiral staircase weighs in at one ton and runs from the living room to our loft bedroom above. it has become the star of the house and will not be leaving this place for as long as i can foresee. (Oh and yes, that is a pregnant mannequin in the corner)]

[image above: this is one end of the loft bedroom. we added a 10-foot long built-in closet to the previously unused space. i made the cardboard headboard from the box the bedframe came in and some neon orange duct tape. i wanted something that was going to complement, rather than fight with the brick wall, but still be my kind of pretty…pretty gritty with a slightly wacky sense of humor. A home is always more fun to live in when you can look around and laugh ]

[image above: the biggest undertaking of the upstairs reno was definitely the kitchen. when I first saw the house – filled with junk and horrendous paint colours – i thought there was no way to be able to fit a kitchen into this tiny bedroom. not only did it fit, but it gives us room for everything we need, and all the stuff we don’t need but that I love to have around. i wanted open-shelving for the uppers for two reasons – to avoid the space feeling small and imposing, and to be able to display my glass, china and tchotchkes – collections which have yet to cease growing.
we also knocked out part of the wall to create a walk-up/pass-through from the hall, and open the space up to light and visiting guests. the silver harry allen pig is my sous-chef.

[image above: details from our hallway bar]

Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.