How two architects eliminated their commute

How two architects eliminated their commute

In 2014, Andrew and Jodi Batay-Csorba sold their semi near Main and Danforth to buy a boxy brick building at the other end of the city, in Baby Point, intending to rent out its storefront for extra income, plunk their architectural studio in the back and live on the second and third floors with their son, Kingsley.

The upstairs was divided into a series of cramped rooms, and the space was filthy. “The laminate floors wouldn’t get clean, so we had to put rubber mats down because Kingsley was crawling everywhere,” Andrew says. Eight months after moving in, they gutted the place.

Now the living quarters are radically reconfigured. The internal walls are gone, replaced by an open floor plan. Andrew and Jodi retained some of the brick and added a few shiny touches, like a new steel staircase. Life above their business has turned out to have many perks. “Not having to commute is fantastic,” Jodi says. The downside? “Kingsley sees his friends decorating their front lawns for Halloween or Christmas, and he’s like, ‘When can we do ours?’ ” Instead, they hang lights in their concrete rear courtyard.

The artist Jimmy Chiale painted the courtyard mural. “It adds colour and life to our home,” Jodi says.


Family heirlooms line a floating shelf in the kitchen:


“We made the master bedroom smaller,” Jodi says. “We’re very much of the mind that bedrooms should be intimate.”


Jodi’s dad made the measuring stick as a gift when Kingsley was born. “We chart his height and weight every few months,” Jodi says.


The bathroom:


“Our son loves owls,” Andrew says. “When we saw this picture, we decided to print it on canvas and put it right outside his room.”