How a young couple escaped from New York, into a custom Forest Hill home

How a young couple escaped from New York, into a custom Forest Hill home

In 2015, Quinn Cooper, who runs her own interior design firm, and her husband, Mike Baker, an entrepreneur who sells merchandise at graduation ceremonies, were living in a rental in New York with their six-month-old daughter, Ryan. After a few weeks of tripping over Ryan’s giant Exersaucer on the way to the bathroom, they were desperate for a bigger place—and, in any case, they wanted to be closer to family. They decided to move back to Toronto, their hometown, even though they had been away for a decade.

They found a 3,600-square-foot home in Forest Hill and hired StudioAC, a Toronto architecture firm, to head up a 10-month renovation. For a while, they lived with Mike’s parents, who also have a home in the neighbourhood. At the time, Quinn was four months pregnant with their second daughter, Cleo.

They knocked down some walls and built a new, open interior lined with Scandinavian-style pale wood. Quinn balanced flea market finds—like a trio of old paintings above the fireplace—with luxurious investment pieces. As a result, the home doesn’t feel homogenous or stuffy. “We host tons of play dates, and the kids can run around and be kids—no room is off limits,” says Quinn.

Minimalist millwork designed by StudioAC runs through the centre of the house. The kitchen has a porcelain island by Neolith. To keep the room streamlined, most of the appliances (they’re by Miele) are concealed:


The black graphic abstracts above the bed in the master bedroom are from Stylegarage. The bedside ball lamps are by West Elm:


Kooky flea market portraits make eye-catching fireplace accoutrements:


Ryan’s room has an IKEA bunk bed. She calls the bottom part, with the curtains, her “secret place.” She reads and plays there:


Quinn’s friends surprised her by pitching in on a gift certificate for her 30th birthday, which helped pay for this playful sculpture by Julie Thévenot. It’s from Clic Gallery in New York City:


The floors throughout the home are European white oak, from Moncer: