Studio Junction: Courtyard House

September 14th, 2009

As we may have mentioned, we are moving to the Junction neighborhood so I thought it might be nice to feature Junction related highlights leading up to the big move. Since it’s one of those neighborhoods that inevitably seems like it’s far away, even though it really isn’t (it’s a 10 minute drive from where we live right now, closer than Queen Street East which is at least 20 minutes away), we want you to really get to know our new hood.

Because it really is a diamond in the rough.

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So, who better to start with than Studio Junction? Architects Peter Tan and Christine Ho Ping Kong have built a beautiful (though unassuming) lane way house, dubbed the Courtyard House for its generous enclosed yard. You may have seen their home featured in the April 2009 issue of Dwell magazine, and if you’re local, they were also featured in the Spring 2008 issue of Design Lines Magazine.

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Looking up the lane way to Davenport Road. The exterior is clad in wood detailing, cinder block construction and vines that dance in the breeze, adding an arresting textural, organic element.

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The upper courtyard tends to always have clothes hanging out to dry (well, every time I’ve been by…and no I am not a stalker).

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John and I had a meeting with them on Monday morning, so we had the pleasure of seeing–in person!–the inside of their living space. The first thing that hit me was how peaceful, warm and inviting the open concept main floor is.

The other thing I loved about visiting Christine and Peter’s home, was that it truly is lovingly lived in. Evidence of toys, a creative play area and even a chalk mark on the wooden door frame, are all reminders that this is a functional home, not an architectural museum. As such, I grabbed the indoor and courtyard shots below from Studio Junction’s website.

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via Studio Junction

When you first walk in, you are greeted with the office area (left photo). The stairs in the photo on the right have storage for shoes built right in, and a pint sized handrail for their children, picked up from a marine store. The railings are beautiful – simple, streamlined and elegant…sometimes you just have to get creative!

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via Studio Junction

Gorgeous! And no, it’s not too much wood. This shot is looking towards the office end of the home, from the courtyard. Their storage cabinetry helps to define the space, providing ample hiding places and a clear and uninterrupted line of vision.

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via Studio Junction

This shot is looking from the living room through the courtyard to the outbuilding which houses an open work studio for quiet reflection.

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via Studio Junction

The work space, where Christine writes and Peter builds models, among other things.

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via Studio Junction

This shot is looking back towards the main house.

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via Studio Junction

We didn’t head upstairs on this occasion, but in this shot, the two children’s bedrooms are small in scale and have a divider between their beds, which can be opened or closed for privacy. Again, there is plenty of closed storage and some cute bookshelves for bedtime reading close at hand.

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via Studio Junction

We love love love the huge wet room, the planters that line the window and the use of shoji screens.

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via Studio Junction

The upstairs courtyard is a brilliant way to bring light in while maintaining privacy. Plus who doesn’t love the clothes line?

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via Studio Junction

The view from above.

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This door was an intricate extercise in patience for Peter. No screws were used in its construction.

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The landscaping softens the concrete blocks and lane way.

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