Blended Beauty

lifestyle magazine online london

"Historic renovation marries charm and convenience"

Heritage and contemporary design are seamlessly blended in an innovative condo home, built by Duo Building owner Pat Malloy and his wife, Gayle, as an addition to London’s historic Bishop’s Mansion.

The century estate, at the west end of Central Avenue overlooking the Thames River and Blackfriars Bridge and home to the city’s Roman Catholic bishops for more than 90 years, has recently been restored as a gated condominium community.

“The opportunity to build here, in an area so rich in heritage, surrounded by nature, on the river, and yet in the heart of downtown London and close to all its amenities, was just too attractive to pass up,” Malloy says.

The two-storey home, flows from the rear of the original house. Clad in salvaged brick, with rain glass windows on the front door and side panels, the exterior is virtually indistinguishable as a new addition.

From the spacious foyer, a two-storey brick wall, matching the exterior flanks an open-riser oak staircase to the upper level.

Mounted in its centre is a vintage Supertest sign from a former city business. “These add to the site’s historic ambiance,” Malloy says.

Since the main living area is on the upper level, the Malloys have installed an elevator.

A great room, dining area and kitchen stretch the length of the upper level, opening at the north end to an all-season sunroom and outside wrap-around patio.

The kitchen is the heart of the space. A 12-foot island with a grey base and white, grey-veined granite counter is complemented by white cabinetry and black quartz on the perimeter with a backsplash of grey porcelain tile. A wooden beam, reclaimed from the bishops’ house, encases the range hood, another nod to the property’s heritage.

The sunroom, featuring a gas fireplace set in a floor-to-ceiling dark rough cut pine surround, is an ideal place to relax and appreciate views of the estate and Thames River Valley beyond. A wall of windows can be rolled up to open the room to the outdoor patio.

At the top of the staircase, a hallway leads to a two-piece bathroom and beyond that, the master suite with large walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom including a sizeable glassed-in shower, free-standing tub and private water closet.

The lower level includes an office/ den, guest bedroom, three-piece bathroom and spacious mudroom lined with benches and storage cubbies. There’s also access to an expansive garage.

The condo was built with energy efficiency in mind, Malloy says. “Most materials are low VOC.”