For the past six years, Lynn Spence, who is a regular on the Toronto daytime TV show Cityline, has been commuting into the city from her 130-year-old home in Galt, Ont. The in-demand style consultant, whose clients include Hudson's Bay, Banana Republic and HomeSense, purchased the property after her partner of 20 years, photographer Andreas Trauttmansdorff, took her for a birthday dinner at nearby Langdon Hall. "We passed through Galt, where a river runs through it, and there was a boat race going on and I said, 'I have to live here,' " says the former Montrealer who first moved to Ontario in 1979. The house she settled on, formerly owned by the mayor of Galt, was in good condition and required only updated wiring. Spence moved right in, instantly falling in love with the living room, which has a walkout to the garden. "There's beautiful light in here," says Spence, a former decorating editor at Chatelaine. "It's the loveliest room on a Sunday for lying on the sofa and looking at the flowers. It's a room with a view."
1. The rhino head
"This papier-mâché rhino head is from Anthropologie. I wanted something off in the room, which I like, and he is off. He lords over the room."
2. The chairs
"These wingbacks were a gift from Margot Austin. She had used them as props for a shoot when she was design editor at Style at Home. (She is now with House & Home.) They've been re-covered a couple of times. They are just soft enough. Even the cats think so. They use them as scratching posts."
3. The china cabinet
"This is from Jalan on Queen Street West in Toronto, a store which has since relocated. It's an old apothecary cupboard from Indonesia."
4. The photographs
"These are by Andreas and they are the two sides of a leaf from the property. They remind me of warrior shields. The colour is deep and beautiful. I like that they are of something real and don't look precious. A lot of botanicals do. These are handsome."
5. The floor lamp
"This is a HomeSense find. It's textured. The material is sisal and it's twisted. I love the fact that it's organic-looking and sort of African. It's an atypical floor lamp, not a long, skinny thing. It's more like sculpture."
6. The chairs in front of the window
"These tub chairs are vintage. I have also had them re-covered a few times. My go-to store for material is Designer Fabric Outlet in Toronto. This fabric is from there. I don't believe in buying new all the time. I believe in repurposing what I've got."
7. The ottoman
"This is from a local store called Cornerstone Home Interiors. I love it because it is so quiet. I like to put my feet up if I want to and this lets me. It's got a kilim top and carved legs. If I get tired of the top I can always have it reupholstered."
8. The carpet
"This is from Weaver's Art. I initially bought it when I lived in an apartment in Toronto. I just knew it would fit this new house. In fact, everything in my old place fits here. It's as if I had been buying for this house all along."