Since moving from New York to Toronto last January to become artistic director of the city's Luminato arts festival, German-born Jorn Weisbrodt has lived in a two-bedroom home in the Annex neighbourhood, sharing it with the singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, whom he married last year. Renovated and in move-in condition, the house was a happy fit for the 39-year-old former manager and agent of theatre and opera director Robert Wilson, whose Watermill Center, an interdisciplinary arts facility on the eastern end of Long Island , he also oversaw. "After living in New York in an apartment on the 15th floor with probably over a thousand other people in the building, it was really important for me," Weisbrot says, "not to have footsteps above me and to have my own door. That door, in this case, opens up to his living room, Weisbrot's favourite room for a number of reasons, from its coziness to its structural assets. "I just love the fact that it has a fireplace," says the onetime Berliner, who received his early musical training at the Staatsoper unter den Linden under Peter Mussbach and Daniel Barenboim. "I like looking at things, and every object here has a special meaning for me."
The collage series
"These are collages which Rufus made. He actually went to art school before he switched over to music school. He did not finish either. His mom [the late folk singer Kate McGarrigle] was very proud that he didn't finish music school, as [Bob] Dylan hadn't either."
The floor lamp
"I bought that lamp at an antique store on Broome Street in Manhattan. I just fell in love with it as it is so extraordinarily beautiful. I have a similar one that's grey and white and twice as big in our house in Montauk, N.Y. I do not know who the designer is but I have never seen anything like it."
"I bought this rug in the same store where I bought the lamp. I just love it; I love the colours."
"It's a picture of Bette Davis. Rufus bought it in Palm Springs. He adores her. Robert Wilson told me that very late in her life she placed an ad in the New York Times which read, 'Actress looking for work, please call.' She added her private phone number. But nobody wanted to work with her anymore."
"We had a fireplace in our London Terrace apartment in New York and needed the right tools for raking the wood. I found this one on eBay, a Christmas present for Rufus."
The Gio Ponti coffee table
"This was one of my first serious furniture purchases. I bought it at a store in Stockholm. It is vintage Ponti, who, along with Carlo Mollino, is a favourite of mine. Ponti designed the table for a department store in Stockholm. I don't think a room can ever look bad with this table in it."
"This chair is a vintage Danish design with its original fabric intact. It was actually my parting gift from Robert Wilson. He collects chairs and is quite famous for that. I have always loved this one, and would always sit on it in his apartment. He remembered that, and gave it to me when I took the job at Luminato."