Inside a Colourful Annex Home by Designer Tiffany Pratt
Tiffany Pratt has brought her colourful magic to the Toronto home of Victor Barry and Nikki McKean, the restaurateurs behind Piano Piano and Café Cancan. Nestled in the Annex neighbourhood, this small and open-concept space was brought to life with punches of colour and pattern in true Tiffany fashion, with more than a few Tonic Living accessories. "I could not have dreamed a more dreamier dream than this space—without the help of all of you!" says Tiffany. How humble is she!
From large round ottomans that fit with the fluid layout of the living room, to the custom pillows in fun shapes like triangles and circles, find out Tiffany's design secrets and then shop the look below.
Tonic Living: This house is a whole lot of fun! There's no shortage of colours, shapes and patterns. How did you come up with this totally unique vision and what was your inspiration?
Tiffany Pratt: I wanted to create something that I had not seen before. I had two opposing styles to work with based on my intimate understanding of the homeowners and I needed to strike a visual balance so that both of them (and their children) saw themselves in the space.
TL: The homeowners are the Toronto restaurateurs behind Café Cancan and Piano Piano, both of which you designed. Talk about #dreamclients! What was it like designing their home?
TP: We have built a trust and understanding over the years. After Piano Piano we had established a work flow, and Café Cancan and their home were just flow states of mind where they just trusted the outcome. Their home was a longer process than the restaurants but the results are just as magical.
TL: How do you convince your clients to take risks and trust your vision?
TP: I think good, consistent, purposeful work begets trust. I have established a deep understanding of their needs and who they are over the years so they just said, "Here is the house...do your thing...you know what we like!"
TL: There are so many colours in this space and yet it all looks cohesive. How did you achieve this look?
TP: Building a home and designing a space is like a really long game of dominos. Something tips first and then I just follow the treasures and gut feelings along the way. I start with something BIG that has presence and meaning. Once that is established everything else follows. The dining room paper was that for me. Once we all agreed and fell in love with that, the home started to reveal itself to me.
TL: Though the space is super colourful you've kept the shell pretty neutral. How did you use fabric and decor to bring this space to life?
TP: Outside of the said wallpaper, the whole space is brought to life by the colourful decorative elements. It was a purposeful play. If they ever get sick of anything they can easily switch it up with strong and beautiful white canvas flooded with light as the backdrop.
TL: Ok, time for pillow talk! Tell us about this home's colourful and eclectic mix.
TP: I love to put things together that don't make sense. I love to mix things that create a conversation. That is my vibe.
TL: What's your recipe for pairing pillows together?
TP: Pillows talk. They talk to the room and to each other. There is no recipe. It is all feeling and specific for each space. I don't know how to follow recipes!
TL: What a unique layout for a living room! What challenges did the space present and how did you overcome them?
TP: When they got the house I wanted the main floor to be open-concept so we knocked all the walls down and put a huge window in the kitchen. The rest of the space I felt should flow in a circular motion. Everything flowed together—much like moving through a figure eight. Everything needed to be rounded and moveable. Because I planned the room this way, there were no challenges. It was just creating a living space that moved a little differently than most.
TL: Those Tonic Living ottomans really steal the show. Can you tell us about them?
TP: I love them. I wanted both hot and cold colours represented so I did two in opposing colourways. They are big. They are round. They are moveable. That is all I could ever dream!
TL: Favourite thing about designing this space?
TP: The PURE FREEDOM. Literally until the day before the photoshoot of the completed space, I am not sure either one of them really knew what their house would end up looking like. It was like Christmas morning when it was all done. That is love. That is trust.
Thank you for sharing your magic with us, Tiffany! To see more of this space, visit www.tiffanypratt.com or check out the Great Spaces 2019 issue of Toronto Life.