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Home of the Week: Parisian architect gives Toronto home a French accent

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Mr. Chamard appreciated the large principal rooms and the floorplan, which have remained unchanged since the house was built. The large living room at the front of the house overlooks the street. The dining room is at the centre and the kitchen at the rear. A long hallway connects the rooms.

Lisa Petrole

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Mr. Chamard says Parisians prefer the dining room to remain separate from the kitchen so that the host can leave the mess behind. After dinner, he says, you invite your guests to move from the dining room and once again forget about the dishes. “Just after dinner you close the door and bring everybody to the living room.”

Lisa Petrole

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Mr. Chamard set out to update the house for him and his partner, but it was essential to him that the house not look newly-renovated or overly co-ordinated. “You can work on a house for two or three years but it has to look effortless at the end. If it looks as if you have tried too hard, it’s ruined.”

Lisa Petrole

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Lisa Petrole

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Lisa Petrole

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The kitchen at the rear of the house is strikingly white and lit by a tall window with original glass. Antique schoolhouse lamps – each collected by Mr. Chamard and slightly distinct from the others – hang from the high ceiling. Mr. Chamard says the inspiration for the room comes from what he can remember of his grandmother’s kitchen in her house in La Rochelle on France’s Atlantic coast. “I didn’t want something too modern because of the style of the house,” Mr. Chamard said. The large marble-topped work table in the centre of the room appears to be a vintage piece but Mr. Chamard designed it and had it made specifically for the space.

Lisa Petrole

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The house has four bedrooms, with one of them currently being used as an office. “Every one of them is big enough to be whatever you want them to be,” Mr. Chamard says.

Lisa Petrole

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The master bathroom has marble floor and wall tiles, twin pedestal sinks and the home’s original bathtub, refurbished with new enamel and taps imported from Europe. The bathtub sits on an angle to provide the bather a view out of the window. “To have something suddenly twisted is more interesting,” Mr. Chambard says. “It’s my little modern touch within a more traditional room.”

Lisa Petrole

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