Inside a restored Arts and Crafts Tudor with contemporary frills
Featuring boosted ceilings, a marble fireplace and a custom walk-in pantry
Who: Jessica Caplan Ross, a lawyer; Tyler Ross, a real estate developer and founder of Scholar Properties; and their sons (not pictured), Brody, 15, and Nolan, 13
Where: Forest Hill
In 2019, when Tyler Ross and Jessica Caplan Ross stumbled upon their Douglas E. Kertland–designed 1930s house in Forest Hill, they were pleased to discover that it sat on a double lot. They wanted to restore the home, but it was beyond their budget, so they decided to replace the 10,000-square-foot space with two new dwellings—one to sell, one to keep.
Architect Richard Wengle drew up the plans and submitted them to the city in September of 2019. Then, unexpectedly, the city designated the house a heritage property, sending the couple back to their original idea. Wengle, along with Towerhouse Design Build, pivoted to restoration mode, and ERA Architects was retained to oversee the heritage components. The 18-month overhaul involved creating an entirely new interior. Floors were levelled and the basement underpinned, boosting the ceilings up to nine and a half feet.
The kitchen didn’t meet the couple’s hosting needs, so they bumped the exterior out by 600 square feet. Still, intimacy was a guiding principle of the design. “I wanted the house to feel inviting and not grand or cold,” Jessica says. It shows in the fresh upgrades, and the original elements, like the classic staircase in the foyer, hint at the home’s traditional origins. “It turned out way more beautiful than if we’d built two cookie-cutter houses.”