Rituals of Home: Urban penthouse master bedroom

Urban penthouse master bedroom, Toronto

Design by U31

Photography by Gillian Jackson


During my initial meeting with the client, he expressed how he had been eyeing this property for some time and was thrilled to finally own it. The 2,500-sq.-ft. penthouse suite, on the 36th floor of a boutique condominium was in a perfect location, close to restaurants and Toronto’s King Street East entertainment district.

The previous owner’s interiors were defined by a black and white, high contrast glam look which wasn’t his style. He was open to all our suggestions which made for a smooth and gratifying experience. As a medical professional and entrepreneur in his mid-thirties who likes to entertain and travel, we arrived at a “hotel room vibe” for the primary bedroom, where the overall flavour articulates an architecturally contemporary sensibility meets casual sophistication.

The design is clean and low maintenance. The bedroom doors and some of the custom closets are just over 12-ft. high which posed an issue getting it up on the residential elevator, so the contractor had to organize a suspended scaffolding “swing stage” on the side of the building to transport the millwork up 36 stories (that was a new one for me). Similar to the bedroom, the remaining spaces continue a refined masculine aesthetic approach. We liked the idea of weaving custom walnut architectural detailing with timeless herringbone patterned wood flooring and millwork: light and calming in the primary suite while dark and dramatic in the kitchen. This scheme strikes a luxurious note when paired with rich stone elements, like the kitchen countertop and island in “leathered” Bianco Lasa Macchia Vecchia stone and a floor-to-ceiling wine cooler with backlit alabaster stone.

Dynamic contemporary artworks and teal accents introduce colour into the narrative, animating the home’s neutral backgrounds and injecting it with a playful energy. I’m always happy when our vision for a home comes to life, and in this case, the project turned out amazing and our client was super-pumped with the result.

Kelly Cray is creative principal at Toronto-based U31.