Over the last two decades, Dee Dee Taylor Eustace, a certified architect/interior designer/builder and founder of Taylor Hannah Architect Inc., with offices in Toronto, Canada, and New York, NY, has created award-winning projects — ranging from contemporary hospitality resorts to classic custom homes. Her philosophy is very straightforward. Prior to any project, Eustace looks to the task, studies the history of both the area and the building (if it is a renovation) and then considers proportion and scale. She wants her subsequent work to exude timeless elegance, but also to be iconic and re-define style. A recent project mirroring this philosophy was the renovation of a stately 7,000-square-foot brownstone located in Yorkville, an upscale district of Toronto, Canada. Adjacent to the “Mink Mile,” one of the world’s 10 most exclusive shopping locales, the architect/designer was able to put her personal stamp on every phase of the major construction makeover. This included tremendous creativity using larger-format, high-end tile and stone materials that were specified.
“The overall design theme for the interior consisted of a classic black-and-white palette that was used throughout the home, which was originally built in the 1930s,” said Eustace. For certain living areas, the tiles selected were 24- x 24-inch Black Absolute granite, combined with the same-sized Caesarstone tiles in the shade “Mini Crystal,” which is white.
“The overall effect of bringing these two materials together at first glance was outstanding,” said the design architect. “But, I wanted something even more — in particular, to show depth. This ‘something more’ was achieved by using Bostik’s gray Dimension RapidCure grout. The product consists of 60% recycled micro-glass bead content. So even though the floor’s grout joints are very thin, by bringing this product together with the black-and-white tile combination, something very nouveau happened. The stone floor material is sleek and gleaming to begin with. Dimension, because it is glass-filled, allows light to pass through it. This contributes an additional brightening sparkle, creating the rare illusion of a floor that appears to float right to the wall.”
By selecting Dimension grout, Eustace explains she was able to create a unique floor design. “Dimension is different than some other grouts, as it not only offers unbelievable performance characteristics, but it provides designers the autonomy to create beautiful, shimmering and translucent, one-of-a-kind interior surfaces,” she said.
The vibrant black-and-white checkerboard design treatment continued, as seen in all bathrooms throughout the brownstone. These same large-format tiles were installed on the showers’ floors, walls and even ceilings — creating amazingly dynamic visuals.
For the kitchen, rugged porcelain tile with a white wood-look was specified. “My rationale was to create a connection with the past, and a salute to the future,” explained Eustace, adding Dimension grout was used to install all the tile work.
Mike Jenkins, business director, and Scott Banda, director of marketing for Bostik’s Consumer & Construction Business Unit, traveled together to Toronto, meeting with Eustace to see some of her projects firsthand. “Her work is very professional, right down to the most finite detail,” said Jenkins. “We are delighted with the highly creative ways Dee Dee is using Dimension, and we can’t wait to see how she incorporates it for more of her inspired ventures moving forward.”
Eustace has a very specific recipe for her principles of design. It includes the mixing together of three basic ingredients: pure joy, aesthetics and good old-fashioned rigor. “I have a great passion for the way my architectural designs look,” she said. “But how they function and how they endure the test of time are just as important to me. What goes under the floor is just as essential as what is seen on the surface. Design-enhancing grout now positively affects today’s designs. That’s why I’m a firm believer that grout is indeed a necessary design element.” cstd
Architect: Taylor Hannah Architect Inc., Toronto, Canada, and New York, NY
Quartz Surfacing Manufacturer: Caesarstone
Installation Products Manufacturer: Bostik, Wauwatosa, WI