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Inside a restored Arts and Crafts Tudor with contemporary frills

Featuring boosted ceilings, a marble fireplace and a custom walk-in pantry

By Iris Benaroia| Photography by Derek Shapton
The owners of a restored Arts and Crafts Tudor sit in the stairwell

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 living room of a restored Arts and Crafts Tudor in Forest Hill

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.”

The dining room of a restored Arts and Crafts tudor in Forest Hill
Open shelving in the dining area allows easy access to glassware. It’s also a nice way to display pieces that have sentimental value

 

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The fireplace in the living room of a restored Arts and Crafts Tudor in Forest Hill
The fireplace in the family room is clad in striking Su Bianco marble. “It’s a large room, so we chose a dramatic stone to make it pop,” says Jessica

 

The kitchen of a restored Arts and Crafts Tudor in Forest Hill
For the hub of the house, the couple wanted an extra-long kitchen island. They eat meals here and use it for buffet spreads when hosting

 

The custom walk-in pantry of a restored Arts and Crafts Tudor in Forest Hill
The couple love to entertain, so they designed a walk-in pantry. Saloon-style doors separate it from the kitchen

 

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