Inside a classic Moore Park home with mid-century modern flair

Featuring vintage furniture, a pottery collection and striking blue-stained hardwood floors

By Iris Benaroia| Photography by Derek Shapton
The family of a restored century home in Moore Park

Who: Terry Nicholson, ex–director of arts and culture, and Elena Bird, supervisor of economic research, both at the City of Toronto, and their daughter, Sophie, 10

Where: Moore Park

Terry Nicholson found this 1925-era Moore Park house in 1988. A history buff, he considered buying a new infill house tantamount to a cardinal sin. “I’ve always had an affinity for the past and retaining heritage,” Terry says. In 2010, Elena moved in, and the couple married two years later.

The boxy 1,600-square-foot structure has a centre-hall design and is full of charming throwbacks, such as stained glass windows with brass fittings, bevelled glass doors and crystal knobs. The place also has original hardwood floors, which, on the main floor, are treated with a lively blue stain.

The exterior of a restored Moore Park century home

Over time, the 1980s kitchen started to seem drab, and the interior as a whole looked tired. So, in 2021, the couple enlisted Kate Dickson of the Dickson Design Group to redo the main floor. The goal was to amplify the home’s heritage features and showcase the couple’s mid-century modern furnishings and collection of fine art.

The blue floors remained, but the linoleum in the kitchen was replaced with white oak herringbone. The sleek new kitchen has large brass pulls and a mixture of blue, oak and white cabin­etry. The new look complements the home’s more classic elements, including replica stained glass windows. “The house is rooted in its history,” says Elena, “but now it also feels contemporary and fresh.”

The artfully displayed pottery collection at this Moore Park century home
The couple collect pottery by Canadian artist Andrew Kellner. Some of his creations are on display here


A mid-century modern chair in a restored Moore Park century home
This chair in the mudroom is by Kurt Olsen circa 1953. Designer Kate Dickson, who managed the main-floor reno, had
it reupholstered


The dining room of a restored Moore Park century home
The canoe painting in the dining room is by Janis Hoogstraten. The couple had it reframed during the renovation to make it stand out more


The living room of a Moore Park century home, featuring a blue-stained hardwood floor
The stained blue floors, which run through most of the main floor, have stood the test of time. It’s Terry’s favourite colour



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