Mon. Dec 6th, 2021

Fortunately, everything has gone in full circle for Benjy Katz and Georgina Rosenberg, now that their modern bungalow makeover from the middle of the century is complete.

That means they can host family and friends with style and comfort in the same Hamilton house where Katz spent many hours with one of his closest friends, Bill, when he was growing up. Bill’s family built the house in the 1960s and lived there until Katz and Rosenberg bought it in 2014, when Bill’s father died.

The clean lines and oversized windows of the family room are elements of the mid-century modern design aesthetic that was popular after World War II.

Katz remembers that the welcome mat was always out so friends could hang out, play music, or join the family at their huge dining table.

“Part of my attraction to the home was knowing I could continue to carry that torch with my own family and friends,” Katz told Star in an email. “We often say ‘it stayed in the family’ when I bought it.”

Although they already loved the house, it has become “a beautiful home that truly reflects our personalities,” thanks to Toronto designer Ali Budd and her team, Rosenberg says.

The dining room table and oak sideboard with doors of woven leather strips, both designed by Ali Budd Interiors, are among the home's tailor-made pieces.

“This home is where we hold small and very large family dinners, entertain our friends, spend quiet evenings together and live our lives … very comfortably and in good style.”

Budd, president and creative director of Ali Budd Interiors (ABI), describes the project as “a mix of gut and cosmetic” work.

“It was a dream to do,” she says. “Designing a home with such a character and bringing it into the present is always a great experience for us.”

Eye-catching wallpaper with horse prints covers the walls of the extra room that doubles as a home office and guest room.

With the aim of preserving its original character, architectural elements and modern feel from the middle of the century, they transformed the main floor into a living space that is “cool and edgy, but still classic.

“I wanted to push (the customers) a little bit out of their comfort zone,” Budd explains, suggesting that a solid, medium-blue cut might not have been the couple’s first choice for their sunken living room.

“The color was scary for them”, but “they are very happy” for the custom, enclosing sofa that can easily accommodate 15 to 20 people, says Budd, who adds that functionality was the key for the empty shipowners who love to entertain . A marble coffee table in six movable pieces, a rustic, yet refined chandelier and a dramatic gallery wall created by the customers’ art collection complete the anteroom.

The unfolded Murphy bed quickly transforms the extra room into a guest room from an office.

Monochromatic themes contrast with bold colors that connect the main spaces, where primarily custom-made furniture from ABI was used, with a few retail items mixed in.

The dining room is dominated by a large modern table and an oak sideboard with doors of woven black and white leather strips, both designed by ABI. The boutique company, founded by Budd in 2010, specializes in multi-million dollar luxury housing projects in North America.

Aged European oak floors, supplied by Moncer Specialty Flooring, were installed in a herringbone design in the dining and living rooms and planks elsewhere.

Reeded walnut panels and large windows that draw in natural light add warmth and softness to the rebuilt main bathroom.

In the extra room, which serves as both a home office and a guest room with a Murphy bed that is transformed into a desk, the walls are covered with brown Schumacher wallpaper in a distinctive horse pattern.

The home update and makeover “look like them,” Budd says. Admiration is mutual. “We could not be more pleased with the finished product,” says Rosenberg.

And childhood friend Bill? He and his wife Cheryl “certainly approved” when they saw the finished reno, Katz says.

The living room's monochromatic color scheme is the perfect canvas for the nearly 40-foot, enclosed section that seats up to 20 people.

The numbers

Size: Up to 3,000 sq. Ft. ft living space on the ground floor

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3

Wraparound sofa: About 40 feet long


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