They’re both best-selling authors, each of their own books. They’re the force behind Creative Class (Richard is the founder, Rana is the Global CEO). They’re entrepreneurs. They’re speakers. They’re philanthropists.
The list of their combined accomplishments goes on, but that’s a whole other article.
But perhaps, of all their titles and accolades, their most notable and cherished one is that of parents. They have two little girls, Mila, two, and Valentina, one, who run — not only their lives — but their home, too.
The couple opened the doors to their Rosedale home (where, of course, they host the most covetted parties) to answer all our pressing questions about design, architecture … And how they juggle it all — without breaking a sweat.
Home is _______.
Where the babies are laughing, the dog is barking, the cats are meowing, my husband is strumming his guitar and family and friends are gathered around the table.
What attracted you to this home and this area?
The trees! We love living in an urban forest — the intersection of the natural and built environment in a diverse metro.
Did you work with an architect or interior designer for this home?
It’s a 100-year-old Victorian in a historic neighborhood, which was renovated by our interior designer Sasha Josipovicz and architect Milosh Pavlovicz from STUDIO PYRAMID.
Belgrade trained architect Pavlovicz spent two years renovating the dark, small and dilapidated home into a classic contemporary. While Josipovicz worked on the gorgeous details.
Digging out the ground to raise the ceiling to 10 feet and blowing out the walls for massive French doors in the front walk-out, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows in the rear, makes the natural light pour into our open and airy home.
We love the large windows, which lets in lots of sunlight.
How many square feet is the space?
How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
Six bedrooms. Though somehow we all end up in the same bed by 2 a.m. We have 4.5 bathrooms.
How many cars can you fit on the driveway/in the garage?
We share one car because we like to walk, stroller or bike everywhere.
We turned our garage into a pool cabana/playroom in the Beverly Hills Hotel motif.
A surfboard we received from a favourite Creative Class Group client of ours from Noosa, Australia, who also happened to be an Olympic swimmer welcomes the kids above two large French doors.
How would you describe the style and vibe of your home?
It’s a traditional home, which we tried to contemporize with modern lights and emerging artists.
Clutter gives me anxiety and everyone is always shocked when they see two babies and no toys in the house. I’m picking up toys 30 times a day!
And though the cabinets are filled with colourful pieces of noisy, jingly plastic they still love playing with rocks and dirt the best.
Talk to me about your style and how you went about personalizing the home to make it you?
I want to feel inspired when I walk into a home, so we like to collect interesting and authentic pieces.
I want a space to feel open and uncluttered and sunlight is key to overall well-being. So keeping the spaces warm and inviting yet overall a clean palette to showcase art and objects.
What one thing can you not live without in your home?
What’s the first thing you do when you get in from a long day?
Get the lighting right and light lots of candles. I love CIRE TRUDON, Abd El Kader Gold Classic Candle, Diptyque fig tree and eucalyptus and Fornasetti.
Do you have an at home office?
Music, rugs, a stack of books and magazines I’m dying to read, pillows and comfortable seating.
Fav room in the house?
Our bedroom, which feels like we are perched up high in a tree house.
It features an oversized photo by Scott McFarland, a giant fireplace and two womb chairs, which we cozy up in for our coffee every morning, when the girls wake us up at 5:30 a.m. SHARP!
(And by the way, that saying, “Put them to bed later, they’ll sleep in later,” does not work!)
What are a few unique features in your home?
The back patio is an urban oasis.
We love looking at the ravine with the majestic trees. And we use the pool all summer long, which was designed by Mark Hartley, with the infinity edge into the ravine.
How did you go about designing your little ones’ whimsical room and nursery?
Mila is two and Valentina is one. And I was not going to do the traditional baby rooms filled with hideous pink Disney toys. I wanted a room that I would want to sleep in.
For Mila’s room (which used to be my old office), my inspiration was a light grey feather chandelier from an interior store on Yonge Street. I walked by and it caught my eye. It looked like a beautiful fluffy cloud and I thought that’s what I would want to see when I wake up.
So her room was designed in grey and white tones. Her Ouef Classic crib was created by husband and wife duo Michael Ryan and Sophie Demenge, who appreciate modern design.
The wallpaper is from Flavor Paper in Brooklyn. Mila’s was designed by Lenny Kravitz, and also featured a teepee from the sweetest kids boutique, called Land of Nod, which was recently purchased by Crate and Barrel.
A bookshelf, which is easily accessible, holds all the classics and my favourite childhood reads.
Valentina’s room also has wallpaper from Flavor Paper and is in beige and gold tones.
Mila’s closet looks like a boutique, but there are no images of your closet which I expect to be the best part of your home. Can you describe it to me?
Mila’s closet I designed with just images working with California Closets, while we were in Miami. They were amazing.
We went back and forth a few times via email and got it just right and installed a few weeks before she was born.
My closet is not that exciting. I still think Richard got the bigger closet!
Are there any “velvet rope” rooms that the kids aren’t allowed in?
My husband and I have no concept of discipline. These girls rule the roost!
Your backyard is remarkable. What were you going for with it?
We hired Mark Hartley Landscape Architects to design the backyard.
We knew we wanted to spend our summers in Toronto and a pool was a must have, but the backyard looked so small we never imagined we could fit a pool back there. The transformation was remarkable.
What are a few notable events you’ve hosted back there?
We hosted an event for Evergreen Brickworks, which is a favourite of ours and just down the ravine. And most recently we hosted a book launch for our friend Shaun Francis, for his new book, Eat, Move, Think.
And I’m most looking forward to hosting a baby shower for a friend who is having a boy in July.
A group of great friends and I sponsored a Syrian Family to move to Canada during the crisis a few years ago. They came with their two little girls and are now having a boy who will be Canadian. It’s amazing to see that they started a whole new life here, living in peace.
What must-haves do you keep in your pool house?
Life jackets! Of course now with a one- and two-year-old I’m terrified and working hard to teach them to swim.
How does your Miami home differ from your Toronto one? And how do you balance time between them?
Miami is such an interesting place.
From a quality of life standpoint, it’s amazing … walkability, great weather and it has this emerging arts and creativity scene which is blowing up and transforming the Urban landscape.
I love indoor-outdoor living and our five large sliding-glass doors allow us to do that.
Do you own any other properties?
We rent a two-bedroom in a new luxury condo, which also has affordable housing in West Soho. It’s west of Varrick street by the tunnel and an area where no one would have lived in and was filled with storage facilities. But it’s now gentrifying and every warehouse has turned into a WeWork, coffee shop or luxury condo.
When you’re not travelling, hitting up the charity and event circuit, hosting at home or caring for your children, where in Toronto do you go with your husband to unwind?
We love to hike in the ravine and go down to the Brickworks. Café Belong is our favourite place to eat after morning hikes.