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Great Spaces: a downtown couple shows off their enthusiasm for mid-century design

Great Spaces: Reading Rainbow

Great Spaces: Reading RainbowWhen Raymond Girard and Laird Kay decided to shack up two years ago, they wanted a move-in-ready place with a modern interior, but the Toronto housing market didn’t offer what they were looking for. The new houses they saw were full of faux historical details, and the old ones demanded major renovations. After a year-long search, they found a rarity: a 110-year-old three-bedroom box in Little Italy, which the firm Building Arts Architects had just redone. Girard and Kay brought discerning eyes to the space—Girard, a Winnipeg native and the publisher of Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, had studied architecture at the University of Montreal before turning to publishing, while Kay recently launched his own architectural photography practice. The couple started with an assortment of modernist pieces and added mementos from their extensive travels. “Laird and I are obsessed with flight and planes and airports,” says Girard. As a result, they have a sizable collection of model planes and air travel memorabilia, as well as awesome international flea market souvenirs. The overall effect is quirkily stylish, like a well-curated boutique hotel.

Great Spaces: Auto Focus

Number 1

The books are arranged by colour. “I’d prefer the Dewey decimal system,” says Girard. “But this wall of books was so prominent, it felt like the right thing to do.”

Number 2

Kay and Girard had the mirror screen custom-made by a local handyman.

  • peachy

    omigod – colour coded books. why didnt i think of that

  • John

    They have too much time on their hands…. bizarre!!!!!!

  • Scott

    Yes, arranging books by color is always the right thing to do. Just like facilitating world peace or ending the unrest in the Middle-East.

  • east side

    Gorgeous – love it!

  • jay

    Love it also – where is the sofa from?

  • Heather

    Finally, a space with some personality in Great Spaces! I usually find the selections here to be so drab and predictable. It’s clear they have spent years collecting things to create this space, rather than having a designer do it over a couple of months. Well done!

  • Alex Rascanu

    Really lively interior design. Organizing the books by colour is my main takeaway.