A dramatic reinvention of a classic Victorian semi
This couple maintains a never-ending cycle of redecoration
Melissa Evans-Lee and her husband, John Lee, had always dreamed of living on Crawford and would regularly stroll down the street to visualize their future home. Melissa is a VP of national retail marketing at QuadReal, a global real estate investment, operating and development company, and John’s the founder and CEO of media technology company Clancy Tech Co. When they outgrew their King and Portland loft in 2006, Melissa and John knew exactly where to look. They purchased this century-old Dundas and Crawford fixer-upper because they loved its bones and saw the potential.
After moving in, they slowly started transforming the place, room by room—but because their style is perpetually evolving, the redecorating never ends. “We haven’t stopped renovating in over 10 years,” says John. The couple have sprawled out into their space—they converted the third-floor bedrooms into a TV den and an office, and knocked down a wall to combine the tiny upstairs bathroom with what used to be a butler’s living quarters. When it comes to interior design, they like to experiment and take risks. At the moment, their space is dramatic and moody, with lots of dark wallpaper, rich, jewel-toned accessories and plush vintage furniture. “We’re not shy,” says Melissa. “If we don’t like it, it’s only paint.” Luckily, they tend to agree on their bold choices—whether it’s their fuchsia front door or the eight-by-14-foot custom floral mural behind their bed.
Here’s the living room:
The fashion illustrations are by Eduard Erlikh:
The dining room is lined with framed photos of the couple’s families. They like the way the dark walls make the photos pop. The dining room table and chairs are by Cecconi Simone:
They tore out the original kitchen cabinets and added floating shelves and a custom island from Commute Design:
Upstairs, Melissa and John just redid their bedroom for the second time, taking inspiration from the Gramercy Park Hotel in NYC. The wallpaper mural is a print of a de Heem piece called Vase of Flowers, which they found through Primetime Paint and Paper on Queen East:
They turned this unused bedroom into a cozy TV den:
And they turned the third bedroom into an extended closet:
Melissa has a thing for Chanel. She owns 15 original Chanel bags and baubles in addition to items inspired by the luxury label, like this bag from House of Mua Mua in Bali: