French doors that open
onto a courtyard and marble
floors make the dining room
a versatile entertaining space.
For larger parties, the table
is removed, creating a
ballroom effect. Pairing
modern artwork with ornate
pieces like homeowner
Barbara Bank’s antique silver
candelabra and the Art
Deco chandeliers creates an
inviting friction that defines
the spare yet glamorous look.
Chandeliers, Stanley Wagman
& Son Antiques; lithographs by
Robert Longo, Bird Fine Art
Gallery; pink vases, Teatro Verde.
In the lifespan
of every major renovation, growing pains are
natural, and often productive. For Barbara and
Henry Bank, the 18-month process of transforming
their three-storey English Tudor into a spare yet
quietly glamorous — and refreshingly avant-garde
— showpiece was worth every minute. Or every
extra four months, as the case turned out to be.
Barbara, a Boston-born urban planner, settled
in Toronto in the mid-1970s, after meeting Henry,
a lawyer and businessman, while studying at the
University of Toronto. Though happy in her adopted
hometown, Barbara couldn’t help missing the
“very small, lovely and old” city of her youth.
Having raised their three now-grown children,
Hannah, Jessica and Josh, in the 6,500-square-foot
house they bought in 1982, the Banks decided it
was time for a change. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ve got
OPPOSITE: The shape
of the entry rotunda
emphasizes the house’s light,
airy presence. Throughout
the main floor, the floors
were lowered by two feet,
creating the illusion of more
space. Stately mahogany
Art Deco chairs are dark
counterpoints in the ethereal
room. Chairs, Stanley
Wagman & Son Antiques.
RIGHT: Old meets new:
a chic vignette in the corner
of the dining room pairs a
luxe paisley throw (found at
a Toronto antique market)
with a studded, distressed
leather chair. Ralph Lauren
Home chair, sideboard, Elte.