I have been following Toronto-based Izen Architecture on Instagram for a while now and have quickly become a big fan. Then one day Brenda Izen emailed with photos of her home that she designed and had built for her, her husband and their 3 young children. Modern fabulousness! Here’s the scoop in Brenda’s words: It was originally a 1950s bungalow, topped up in the 80s, with a terrible floor plan and generic finishes. I leveraged my site experience and formal training to transform it into my dream home. I define my style as a “warm modernism”: natural materials in warm tones, cozy furniture, large fireplaces – really a place to kick of your shoes at the end of the day. Many of my clients are skeptical when they picture themselves living in modern spaces, always assuming that contemporary architecture translates into sterile, uncomfortable and unliveable spaces. House 66 challenges that misconception. I also always place a huge emphasis on the function of a home, and especially its ability to change with family needs. I am opposed to hallways, formal sitting rooms, and other spaces that are not used in day-to-day life. House 66 embodies these two philosophies of design. It has lots of large windows and clean lines. It is bright, open, inviting, and functional. Without the restraint of client demands I was able to take my vision as far as my budget would let me. Of course I had to pull some mad moves to stretch my budget to the max, such as using cut-offs from other projects or being flexible with timing so that I could coordinate trades. The end result is cost-conscious but rich in its palette.