How a one-time reno transformed a timeless Casa Loma family home
An architect and a painter turn a generic Casa Loma house into the domicile of their dreams
As a co-founder of Core Architects, Babak Eslahjou has been the creative force behind hotels, condo developments and retail spaces in Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Dubai. In 2005, when he and his wife, the artist Mojan Taheri, bought their Casa Loma house, they planned to gut the place but made a pact: once the job was done, it was done—they wouldn’t turn it into a lifelong project, renovating every five years like so many architects and designers do. They had two young sons—Victor is now 20 and Dorient is 15—and they were determined to design a space that would accommodate the family’s evolving needs. They chose understated glass and wood finishes that would age gracefully, and devoted nearly half the main floor to an open kitchen anchored by a huge central island. When friends or clients walk in, they often remark on the enormity of the kitchen, says Eslahjou. “But we love to entertain, so it’s perfect for us.” A decade later, the space feels fresh and modern, with warm walnut floors, gleaming white walls, oversized artwork from their native Iran, and trinkets from trips to South Africa, Spain and Japan, among other places. Eslahjou and Taheri are beginning to consider retirement. But they’ve got no plans to downsize—the house is still exactly how they want it.
Eslahjou and Taheri bought “Emma,” by the Canadian photographer Fausta Facciponte, at an art show five years ago.
The couple bring back animal-themed trinkets from their travels for the fireplace mantle. Currently in rotation: items from South Africa, Panama, Japan, Tanzania and Spain.
They picked up the wildebeest skull in Cape Town.
The pendant lamp by Verner Panton is from Eurolite.
The kids’ bathroom has Iranian marble tiling.
To avoid the paperwork headache of bringing this Madonna Remedia statue home from an art school exhibition in Buenos Aires, they removed its pill cape and passed it off as a souvenir religious figurine.
The couple scored this Reza Derakshani piece before the Tehran artist began painting home wall frescoes for Sting.
They built 21 feet of custom walnut cabinetry along the entire length of the master bedroom.