Tailor Made by Chestnut Grove Vol.2

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Art Nouveau

An Inspired Winery Creation Discover The Story Behind The Design





Cabinetry & Design

Designers Francesco Giampietro and Wendy Pham, chisel depth into the machine cut vines to enhance and define their movement and flow.

40 Adesso Drive, Vaughan Ontario L4k 3C6 | Chestnutgrove.ca | Tel: 416.252.8848 | Fax: 416.252.0807



Cabinetry & Design




Discover the design ideals behind the Art Nouveau inspired winery project,including hand sketches to hand drawings, this project is a masterpiece of style blended with artistic creativity.


Experience a most unusual table design, crafted entirely of steel and fitted with bubble-like creations this table is truly tailor-made.



Read the designer’s take on a transformation of a third floor attic bedroom that becomes an elegant room with an under the sea themed spa-like bath.



Client Sandra Sisera discusses her contemporary and sleek kitchen cabinetry built with style by Chestnut Grove.



Explore the iconic artwork of painter Douglas Laird, including a well-known Toronto building.



Delicious autumn inspired rustic Italian Gnocchi, created with seasonal pumpkin puree and sweet squash.



Chestnut Grove employees whip up a tasty batch of doughnuts using beer from High Park Brewery of Toronto.

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Creativity. The single word that has constantly mystified man. It is not something we can touch or capture, yet we all understand what it is and how it has shaped everything throughout human history. So what exactly is this mysterious force, what is it to feel creative? Throughout centuries of history we believed creativity to be a rare gift seen only in small groups of elite individuals such as artist, musicians, actors, craftsman, architects and engineers. During my educational stay in Italy in 1992, I spent my time off helping my uncle start his antique shop. I had never paid much attention to the idea of antique collecting or even appreciated it prior to my time spent helping with his venture. As we traveled through towns, province to province looking to acquire antiques, I began to take note with great fascination at the complicated work level and out of the box thinking as to how they could have achieved such level of craftsmanship and engineering. Even the

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design styling, how did they become inspired to evolve and develop the aesthetics of these magnificent pieces? From outside to inside, latches, hinges, slides, secret compartments, it all boggled my mind. While traveling with my uncle, I even found some of the tools that these artisan worked with. I was completely astonished that they engineered and built their own tools. There was no hardware store as we know it today, their tools were all hand made. By the time I had finished my design schooling in Italy, my uncles antique shop was open for business. I boarded the airplane heading for home and took with me a persistent question in my mind that demanded an answer. How did these people (artisans), come up with the ideas needed to build and create theses impressive pieces of work? They had no formal education in engineering, math, science or design for that matter, and yet they understood proportions, human scale and the meaning of precision. Where did this ability to create come from, did they look up to the blue sky and down came an idea? My life from childhood to who I am today has always been a creative journey from cardboard and tape to wood and metal. After I left Italy, I left with the philosophical question, “where does creativity come from?� Was it

Gathering all the elements, synthesizing and taught to me, did I learn it, was I born with the ability to composing them into an original creative concept, gives create, is it something we all posses within ourselves, but the customer an emotional connection with their project; have forgotten how to use it? knowing every detail placement, its purpose, meaning, “Inspiring people to be creative again” this is my and relationship to the other elements. The client then is philosophy and what Chestnut Grove is all about. able to share the story about their creative journey and Many people will say “oh I’m not creative like you, it’s how they felt inspired, the sensation of giving way just not in me”. I would like to dispel this belief that to an idea and watching it grow into a reflection of anyone, anywhere cannot be creative. It is simply not that their personality. exact; everyone has the potential to be creative in many For the longest time creativity was an enigma beyond different ways. Embracing the awareness that creativity the reach of science, but now we clearly know that it does live within all of us, if only we allow it to flow takes creativity to solve problems. It’s an aspect of human freely, randomly, and let our mind’s wonder. This the key. intelligence. creativity is everywhere and in the past few Simply restructuring the way we look at the challenge decades there have been a number of studies exploring and seeing it as an opportunity to develop the idea, while the human brain and what makes making the connection with two one highly creative person different or more seemingly unrelated “Where did this ability to than the least creative person. They things, bringing them together found that over 40 different brain to create a unique design is what create come from, did they light up like a Christmas tree makes us evolutionary thinkers. look up to the blue sky and areas during the creative process. There We design, invent and is no left or right side dominance problem solve many creations so down came an idea?” as we once thought to be the case. they can take on the physical form. How willing are you to take a creative adventure, To co-exist and to interact with the world has brought take the leap of faith? Anyone can be creative, you just me a great deal of satisfaction and recognition. Our day need to nurture your creativity, practice letting your to day conscious thoughts create mental blockades that mind wonder, explore and approach problems in unique don’t allow for free flow thinking, this is why at times ways. You will discover creativity is not limited to artists we struggle searching for that original novel idea. By or artsy things, it is a part of all aspects of our life. allowing your mind to wonder, the subconscious begins For centuries we have been recognized for being to explore the problem, random thoughts will enter your creative, dealing with the situation and looking for ways mind. Your imagination ignites and you begin to see a to improve or solve and reshape the future of things. wider range of possibilities. Think how much the world has changed since you were By sharing the creative process with my customers and a child. From comic books to sci-fi shows, now to cell involving them to participate step by step, not only phones and touch screens. Who would have believed on the financial decision making, but on the voyage of that creative dreaming could have change what the world creativity, they experience the exploration of the idea. is today. One thing for certain is that creative people will be the ones who continue to shape the future with their ideas. Will you be the next creative genius?

Francesco Giampietro President, Chestnut Grove Design

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Humber College Alumni Give Back

It all began six months ago in April when third year Interior Design students from Humber College visited the Chestnut Grove Design studio. It is the philosophy at Chestnut Grove to share and pass on knowledge and experience. The idea of sharing knowledge is something Principal designer Francesco strives to achieve everyday. The design team arranged a tour of the showroom and the shop area, providing the students with educational information on materials, designing and detailing relating to real-life experiences and industry standards. With such a positive response to the visit, Humber college professor Craig Crane and the Chestnut Grove design team quickly began brainstorming the possibility of a collaborative project for the students.

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Fast forward six months and Chestnut Grove is now participating in the third year Interior Design Students detailing curriculum. Working with Craig, the team has created a furniture design competition. Chestnut Grove has called upon this years students to design a Tailor Made dresser, coffee table or a console table. The students are encouraged to ask themselves a questions that is deeply important to principle designer Francesco Giampietro. Where does creativity come from? The students are challenged to design and create a furniture piece that is inspired by a completely unrelated object, while avoiding magazines and websites such as Pinterest for inspiration.

In two phases, the students will submit a conceptual package and a shop detailing package to Chestnut Grove. It is very important that emphasis is placed on the detailing portion. Detailing and mechanical thinking is a skill that the students will carry with them into their future careers. During the process Chestnut Grove will provide feedback, education, supplier information and mentoring to the students. The first place winner of each furniture category will also have the opportunity to participate in the build and finishing of their piece. The winning designs will be on display at an upcoming Chestnut Grove studio show, allowing students the opportunity to present there pieces to customers like you!

The Chestnut Grove design team members involved in the program are all graduates from Humber College: Francesco Giampietro (Principle Designer), Cassandra Brandow (Interior Designer), Wendy Pham (Industrial Designer) and Daniel Stretch (Craftsman). Teaching detailing, communication, mechanical thinking and marketing to the students using a hands-on method is not only improving there education, it is giving them a real life experience; something that is invaluable to have once they enter the design industry. Chestnut Grove is working on creating an evolving relationship with Humber College and is excited by the development of future opportunities. TAILORmade | 7

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rt Nouveau

A Hand Carved Finished Design By Francesco Giampietro

Chestnut Grove Design studio is one of the far and few specialty boutique studios that has its own fabrication shop and is one hundred percent in control of its creations. The design studio has built its reputation by not only stepping out of the box, but excelling at re-inventing the wheel when presented with any challenge. Founder and principal designer Francesco Giampietro believes that creativity exist in all of us, especially within his design team which consists of, Cassandra Brandow (Interior Designer), Wendy Pham (Industrial Designer), Henry Sanchez (Program Engineer), and Lisan Van Alst (Junior Interior Designer). Together, the team teaches the customer how to be creative by encouraging them to participate in exploring and discovering inspiration in the most unlikely objects and places. In 2015 Chestnut Grove was approached to conceptualize a tasting bar and a lobby reception counter for a new winery on Lundy Lane in Niagara Falls. The client and their advisors looked to Tuscany as there first theme. Shortly after the design direction changed to a French country theme with all the rustic charm of old world France. The owners didn’t know what they wanted exactly, but what they did know is they wanted a unique look; something that no one else would have in their winery. Finding something ‘unique’ gave Francesco and his team the magic opportunity to explore design options. Francesco began by taking the client on a creative journey

to brainstorm a concept that would become not just a piece of millwork but a work of art. He proposed that the new winery should reflect more of Niagara Falls and less of a European look. The client agreed that the design should be Canadian and a reflection of the Niagara Escarpment and wine region. The new design direction was to depict the elements iconic to Niagara Falls. After a long night of synthesizing ideas, Francesco narrowed it down to a single question that created a sling shot like effect, allowing the evolution of the design the come to life. “When you hear the name Niagara Falls, what pops into your mind as the strongest image?”, Francesco asked. The strongest mental imagery that comes to mind right away is water and grapes. These are the dominant elements that people commonly answered with. The relationship of water flowing and grape vines, has a strong connection with the Art Nouveau style. Art Nouveau was most popular between 1890 and 1910. Artists drew inspiration from both organic plants and geometric forms and patterns, evolving into elegant flowing designs containing natural forms. To ensure that the team understood the movement and form of the grape vines, Francesco requested a shipment of old vines pulled from a local winery to be shipped to the studio and studied by his team in detail. “To capture the true nature of the vines movement, texture, expression and colours, it’s important to have physical contact with TAILORmade | 9

cover story | TAILORmade the vines to make that mental connection. Capturing the and layered over top. “This gave the team the freedom essence of an object so abstract in nature will determines to create the movement and form that the real grape its character,” says Francesco. vines had, they could feel the growth pattern and soul of The team went to work creating layers upon layers of the vines as they reached across the drawing,” Francesco sketches, each one was an evolution to the next. The more explains. The scaled clay models were then scanned with they worked at it, the emotion of water and grapes began their 3D scanner and brought back into the 3D software to fuse and flow as if they were a symphony of water and for preparation on the CNC Machining. Large blocks of vines, moving, tangling, drifting in a tranquil rhythm. wood were prepared for carving with the CNC machine. The second presentation to the winery owners, using This process sounds like push a button, out it comes the design philosophy of Art Nouveau with the elements all done, but this is not the case. Challenges are never of water and grape vines to be infused into a unique design few when creating something that’s never been done was love at first sight. No before with no instruction winery would have such a manual or tip guides. When you hear the name Niagara One would assume concept; it truly would be a design that stood to be that you just cut the recognized as a masterpiece Falls, what pops into your mind as the carving out of a block of and work of art. wood and you’re done. strongest image Francesco and his team Unfortunately, it’s not that now had the challenge of easy because wood has a building this phenomenal idea. Using photographs of mind of its own and has many elements that interfere water ripples, the team picked a repetitive pattern that with carving large pieces. Moisture levels, grain direction they could use to dress the face of the bar and reception and grain tension are some of the common problems the desk. They used 3D software to program the pattern and team had to overcome with many trials; from different then cut it on the CNC milling machine. Conventional sizes of lamination, to grain rotations, right down to even 3D modeling software proved to be a hinder for creating changing the glue formula. When a carving is so large, it natural organic vines in virtual space. It was not only has a tendency to crack as it releases moisture or warp by taking too long, but it just did not have the soul or life in the next day as the grain direction in certain spots holds its movement and forms. So Francesco referred back to his tension. In the end, persistence pays off and they found early days of automotive design when he used to sculpt ways to stabilizing the carvings successfully. scaled models of car designs in wax clay. He introduced The CNC milling machine only roughed out the the team to sculpting in one third scale. The computer full scaled grape vine carvings to eighty percent finish. drawings were scaled and printed. Clay was then sculpted The other twenty percent of the work had to be done


using traditional hand carving to get every minuscule, intricate feature accounted for. The design team took it upon themselves to pick up a hand chisel and carve every detail, paying attention to the twisting and turning of each vine as they moved over and under each other. Every detail was enhanced by hand. “Each carving came alive, and once we were done you could feel the movement, strength and soul of the vine,” Francesco says. The CNC was then programed to cut the pattern of water ripples that would flow across the face of the bar and merge with the grape vines. However, because the water pattern was three dimensional and had peaks and valleys, the grape vines would become buried in the wave panel and would not be able to sit over top. So, the team had to carve negative impressions of all the grape vines into the water sculpted boards. After several tests and adjustments, the team overcame the obstacle, and the vines sat seamlessly in place. The first piece to be completed was the reception desk. All the vine parts were fit into place on the sculpted wavy water pattern board. Francesco describes the teams delight, “that day we experienced quite a moment. We held the sketch in our hands and stood back in a moment of silence, starring at the reception desk; no longer an idea, it was now real. You couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces.” The paint finish was another interesting process. Francesco took select pieces of real grape vines and clear coated them with lacquer to expose the true colours. Then with his paint technician, they developed the proper colours and application technique. They applied multiple layers of colour to the vines before hand finishing them. The blue paint for the water was again a custom colour created using metallic and pearl additives to get the shimmer and colour shifts that would be seen with natural flowing water. “I needed to recreate the effect and

feeling of water. It also had to have movement of its own and as you walked by it the colour had to continuously shift and twist,” Francesco says. From here on, the project was in full force with the twenty-foot bar, a display credenza behind the bar and a sixteen-foot-long hutch and buffet still to go. Each piece had to be completed step by step, utilizing the exact same method, with nothing short of determination and passion to achieve the impossible. Setting the bar high is what Chestnut Grove Design Studio is all about. A final word from Francesco, “I will never forget this project that I led my team on and how we all bonded on this journey. There were unknown challenges to face; by no means was I intimidated as I have had many challenges in my career, achieved success and acquired knowledge through sheer determination and passion while believing in myself. This is what I hoped my team of young designers and skilled craftsmen would find in themselves through this project. That moment when we all stood back in silence looking at the reception desk, I could see that they had found a new confidence, reaching that higher-level of consciousness - nothing is impossible. I have always told my staff, if you can dream it, you can build it; you just have to figure out how. I knew more than ever that day that I have a company with the best of talents. I am a very lucky individual to be blessed with the friendship, dedication, and exceptional talent of my staff and that they too believe and share in my passion to build a company that stands for creativity and achievements such as this project. We can and will continue to create amazing pieces of work to share with the world and inspire the next generation. There are more great achievements to come.” 

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AND THE VINES Art Nouveau Inspired

Art Nouveau Stepping away from traditional winery design, the client was interested in creating millwork that was artistic in nature, going beyond the current trend for modern or contemporary design. The millwork designed for the space was to become artwork inspired by the vines of the vineyard and the water of the surrounding Niagara Escarpment. When presented with this challenge, the Designers at Chestnut Grove turned to the Art Nouveau Style for inspiration. Art Nouveau is a style dating back to the late 19th Century. The style is organic in nature, reflective of trees and flowers, using curving lines to create organic shapes and designs.

Tailored Finishing

Every design is born from a collection of ideas. The designers at Chestnut Grove began the design process by researching actual grape vines and sketching multiple details and conceptual ideas. These ideas were then refined to arrive at the final design.

Hand Crafted

Design Process The millwork design is nothing short of tailored. From inception to final production the project was a massive undertaking that required months of planning and preparation.

The Result A truly unique and inspired design, tailored to the clients needs, creating an environment and experience for those who visit the winery.

First, detailed hand sketches were drafted in design software creating drawings suitable for construction. The team then sculpted clay vines for the tasting bar, display wall unit, and reception desk by hand at 1/3 scale. The clay vines were then 3D scanned and milled in wood at full scale by the CNC Machine. Once sanded and finished by hand, the vines were then assembled and positioned into the flowing wave panels.

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The Falls and The Vines

Reception Desk

Display Wall Unit

Reception Desk


Tasting Bar TAILORmade | 15


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GENUINE ARTICLE Discover the boutique and bespoke side of Chestnut Grove. Original pieces that exude personality and style.




Through the exploration of spheres and circles, the bubble table base was created. Chestnut Grove designer, Cassandra Brandow took on the challenge of designing this unique bubble table. Working with Principal designer Francesco Giampietro, the two studied how a spherical shape can intertwine at various scales and angles to create flow and movement. Together they studied soap bubbles and the way that the bubbles evolve in shape and size while also moving and growing. The table base has become a three dimensional organic sculpture that appears to be growing and moving, evolving from every angle.


The bubble table is constructed from all steel components. The table base design was drawn and modeled using 3D computer software. The rings and spheres were then hand welded together following the drawing pattern. After the welding was complete, spheres and rings were again added to the structure to make the base evoke the organic movement of the soap bubbles from every angle. The table base will be finished using automotive paints and the table top will be glass, allowing an unobstructed view of the sculptural base below.

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steampunk clock

Steampunk explores the design features of old-fashioned technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them. The design is likewise rooted in the era’s cultural perspective on the details found in the fashion, architecture, steam engines, steam boats and clocks. Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, and films from the mid-20th century. The custom designed hood fan layers different types of gears and infuses the appropriate materials, such as polished copper, brass, nickel, iron, wood, and leather. Designers Wendy Pham and Francesco Giampietro worked diligently to bring this Steampunk masterpiece to life. The design is not only a work of art, but a fully functional hood fan cabinet. Together they studied numerous books, referenced details from sketches, set design and even fashion. Once the design was completed and machined, Wendy and Francesco finished the components by hand using gold leaf, silver leaf, copper leaf and artistic painting techniques. The design is a work of art and is sure to be a statement piece in any kitchen.


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‘Under The Sea’ Chic & Contemporary Attic Re-design TAILORmade | 21

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By Cassandra Brandow

Located in the trendy Riverdale district of East Toronto, Ontario there is a wonderful and character filled century home that shares a common dilemma with its neighbours. Like the other homes in the area, this one has a third floor space that functions as an attic or half storey. This is due to the low ceiling heights and angled walls which follow the shape and lines of the roof. The challenge was to transform the third floor half storey attic space into a contemporary living environment – complete with a fully furnished bedroom and spa bathroom that incorporated elements of the ocean. This beachy concept was to be implemented in a minimalist and elegant manor. At the same time the design of the space was to create a timeless, child friendly environment for client Molly’s daughter. Looking into the future use of the space, the design was to have the ability to evolve with her daughter as she grows into her teens and further into her university years. The process of coming up with new creative design solutions is all too familiar to Molly. She is no stranger to Chestnut Grove, having already successfully completed several design and renovation projects with Francesco, the principal designer and owner of Chestnut Grove. Francesco and interior designer Cassandra Brandow began brainstorming with Molly to understand how her daughter currently uses the third floor half storey space. The original room was functioning as a play area in the front half of the house for Sophie and her friends. Opposite the play room towards the back of the house was a small, dimly lit bedroom which Sophie felt hesitant to sleep in. Molly wanted to see the space grow with her daughter throughout the years, which meant creating an environment that was timeless. The design needed to reflect the century home’s character by considering its unique walls and ceiling geometry.

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The existing playroom was to be transformed into a bedroom, complete with a custom designed bed, television stand, window bench and desk area. Molly wanted the design to give Sophie the ability to have her own space, play her drums, do her homework, and have plenty of storage for clothes and books. Storage was a very important design detail to be considered. This is because the only storage available in the space was the small existing closet which unfortunately could not be altered. The dream for the existing bedroom area was to create a full spa bathroom. The space was to incorporate and embrace the sensations of the ocean. Also to be considered was a lighting solution. Both existing spaces were very dark because the low ceilings had no recessed lighting. Molly expressed her desire for an in ceiling lighting solution for the area and the impact it would have on her daughters use of the space. Francesco and Cassandra set to work to assemble a colour palette consisting of classic soft whites and fresh hues of blue that would create a calm, refreshing, and timeless sensation for the new spa bathroom. To enhance the elegance of the space, decorative touches such as

porcelain sea shell hardware and a gorgeous Cambria Stone Top in Montgomery were added. The contemporary cabinetry and furniture pieces allow the above elements to stand out giving the space its personality. The stunning bathroom design contains all custom made furniture and millwork built to the requirements of the client and the space. The pieces include a large sink vanity with three pull-out drawers, a soap table with a storage cabinet below, a makeup table with a custom swivel mirror, and a three drawer dresser for towels. The storage dresser was designed with deep drawers to allow for plenty of space to accommodate hair styling products and tools. On the floor, large 12x24 porcelain tiles stretch across the room, traveling under the spacious contemporary oval tub and continuing up the wall, framing the frosted, sunlit window. For the designers, it was paramount that the bathroom was functional as much as it was beautiful. Francesco clad the inside of the bathroom door with a mirror that features a custom frame detail. This design detail transformed the bathroom door into an elegant daily dressing mirror. To make the two spaces feel continuous and streamlined

Tailor made cabinetry painted in a soft white. A spacious soaker tub is situated beneath a sunny window.

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Sea-shell shaped knobs are paired with soft white cabinetry and Cambria stone top, Montgomery.

the colour pallet used on the walls and cabinetry in the bathroom evolve into the bedroom area to create a light and inviting environment, with a contemporary feel. LED recessed lights are installed throughout both spaces along the center roof line. In the bedroom these lights flank key areas such as the bed and the desk. In combination with the abundance of natural light in both spaces, Sophie now has the ability to control the brightness of independent areas. All lights are on dimmer switches for additional light control. The bedroom design is focused on function and maximizing built-in storage. Creating an abundance of storage in this unique bedroom transformation helps to keep areas organized and free of clutter. Every piece of furniture in the bedroom incorporates deep storage drawers for books and clothing. The tailored design of the bed set is complete with storage drawers below and a custom built in six drawer dresser located at the back of the headboard. The elegant bed set was inspired by a chaise lounge,

complete with two headboards custom upholstered in a luxurious blue velvet fabric. Instead of a traditional bedside table, a pull out night table was included in the design of the bed. In addition, just below the night table there is an added secret drawer for books and knickknacks. The night table is perfect for resting a drink while watching a movie or reading a book. This table conveniently tucks away when not in use and is disguised as a small drawer. Directly behind the bed sits a tailored book case forming perfectly to the shape of the bedroom ceiling and walls. The book cases frame a central window which is anchored using a cozy window bench located below it. The window bench is a cozy place to read a book while gazing out the window. Once again deep drawers were incorporated into the design of the piece for maximized storage. The use of drawers and scalloped kick details give the millwork a furniture feel. Located at the foot of the bed mounted on the wall is the television. Being an addition to the project, Molly felt TAILORmade | 25


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the television would stick out in the space and become an eye sore. Francesco’s design solution resulted in the creation of a custom television frame and entertainment unit in the same style as the bedroom furniture. Once purchased, the television was brought into the Chestnut Grove studio along with the measurements of the bluray player and cable box that Sophie would be using. The result is a frame built to fit seamlessly around the television and an entertainment unit built to function with ease. The bedroom design is complete with a builtin desk. The desk is an area where Sophie can write, draw, complete homework and be creative. This desk is designed to perfectly fit into the window niche. Storage cabinets below the window create a ledge for books, plants and collectibles. With plenty of natural light and a view of the street, the location of the desk creates a very comfortable working environment. The cabinets below the window not only provide a surface to be used as a window ledge, they also provide storage. The left cabinet provides large storage for board games, while the right cabinet has a secret locking drawer. The knobs on the desk were chosen by Sophie herself and give the furniture a light and playful touch. The desk was finished in the same coconut cream colour as the rest of the bedroom furniture. Contemporary and timeless style allow details such as the knobs to have the spotlight. Remembering that the space is designed for a young girl, details such as the knobs are simple items that can change the look and feel of the millwork. As Sophie ages and her style or favorite colour changes, switching the style and type of knobs is an easy way to keep the millwork up-to-date. The approach to redesigning the third floor attic half storey required employing the right kind of space saving techniques that allow for ample storage. The renovation outfitted the third floor with the most luxurious amenities while allowing enough space to move freely through both the bedroom and spa-inspired bathroom. 

A classic window seat look is created with plush upholstered cushions and throw pillows.

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reviews |




cabinetry for


a modern space By Sandra Sisera

Contemporary clean lines with ample cabinet space. Toronto area home builder, Sandra Sisera discusses her tailored cabinetry creation, designed and built by Chestnut Grove.

I don’t often write reviews, but I don’t often come across a company that deserves a review. It’s a fundamental belief that if company provides a service they should do so with a degree of professionalism, within a reasonable budget and generally on time. As builders my husband and I work with several great trades, and to be blunt we aren’t easy to impress. Every now and then I come across a company that deserves a review and more so a heartfelt ‘thank you’. To Chestnut Grove and their wonderful staff, I have to take the time to say thank you. Thank you for going above and beyond, thank you for taking care of the details and doing so with ease. As builders we try to align ourselves with companies that have the infrastructure to adapt to the pitfalls of

construction, timing being one of the biggest issues. Paul Halas and Cassandra Brandow work with me to make sure I get my kitchen when I need it, even if it’s three and a half weeks after I insisted that I would. As a company they have put people in place to check in and follow up with upcoming jobs, constantly updating their schedule to accommodate their clients. In the custom home market, we continually change things. As a home evolves things get added and changed, color pallets change - things change. Chestnut Grove builds and finishes all the cabinetry at their shop. The end result being they have complete control over the quality of the product that bears their name, but it also allows them to add or modify cabinetry to meet site conditions on a clients’ whim. I am constantly adding cabinetry,

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when I come across a design issue that requires adding a shelf, or needing a three by ten flat panel, sprayed high gloss CC40, I call Paul at Chestnut Grove. Chestnut Grove recently outfitted an Orthodontic Studio for our company, it is beautiful, but it is also fabulous because it is functional. In a space where cabinetry is far from elegant, Paul worked with the dental company to create storage carts that would hold all of the necessary equipment and look fabulous. It should also be said, he did so for half the price of the ones we would normally order. The process with Chestnut Grove is seamless, the measuring the orderings the made in Canada, the fantastic installation are all good things. I can recommend this company just based on these merits. However, my recommendation comes from a different place; professionalism and integrity, from Paul and Cassandra in the office, Jose in the paint shop to Jerry on site, I thank you for past project and for the future ones.

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reviews |



espresso cabinetry By Grace Grossi

Franco, I just wanted to let you know how pleased Tony and I are with our kitchen and bathroom renovations. Our house went from nice to “wow!�. You and your team, Paul, Joe, Tony, and Jerry were a joy to work and deal with. As you know in my career as a facilities coordinator with the Ministry Of Government Services, I have dealt with many contractors - very few of which I had a great experience with. We must say that dealing with your company has been a refreshing change. The quality of your product that we saw in your showroom, the attention to detail and ensuring the project was completed on time and within our budget was amazing. In particular I would like to thank Paul who answered each and every e-mail, phone call and question we had all the while providing us with great

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customer service. Jerry the installer was also a gem and his attention to detail was outstanding and is reflected in the final install. It is very rare to see this type of workmanship and it was a great pleasure to have him work in our home. All of your staff were clean, contentious and their work and customer service is unparalleled. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your hard work and for creating a beautiful space for us.

A dated kitchen is in need of a sophisticated makeover that utilizes the existing cabinet space. A floor to ceiling credenza is added on the wall adjacent to the kitchen to provide an elegant place for the client to showcase dish wares.

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reviews |


elegant design & cabinetry

O By Carmela DeFrancesco

“Francesco is a brilliant designer who knows how to communicate with his clients.”

On behalf of my daughter and myself, I would like to express my deepest heart felt thanks to Chestnut Grove. I have been helping my daughter with her first home purchase and renovation. As you know it can be exciting buying a home but very stressful renovating it. I’m really glad that my friend recommended Francesco to me because he lives up to his reputation by the high level of craftsmanship his work exudes. Francesco is a brilliant designer who knows how to communicate with his clients. My daughter who is a flight attendant needed a kitchen design to accommodate her busy lifestyle. He asked all the right questions and came up with the most functional layout. The design is spectacular, the door style is perfect, the custom made colour is beautiful and stone selection is

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stunning. Everything is in the right place and we now have plenty of storage. Neighbours who have come by to see it are amazed that such an elegant kitchen with so much to offer can fit in a small house. Paul was fantastic, he coordinated all the details of the kitchen delivery, the installation and he was on site every step of the way to make certain the quality was second to none. Jerry is an amazing installer his attention to detail, and love for his work really works well with Francesco’s elegant design. Everybody at Chestnut grove is genuinely wonderful and passionate about their work. It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered a company that really looks after their customers the way they do. Please use me as a referral any time.

Cabinetry is painted in Chestnut Grove exclusive colour, ‘Blueberry Frosting’.

arts & entertainment |


‘Flat Iron’ by Douglas Laird Visit mountainrendezvous.com for more of his paintings.

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artist spotlight

Douglas Laird


ouglas was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1946. When he was little, his mother bought him a Captain Hook puppet. The only thing Doug wanted to do was draw it. That was the beginning of many creative things to follow. In 1956 Doug spent a year in Montreal with his family before they moved back to Scotland. He has many fond memories of playing pond hockey with friends that

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‘Newhaven’ by Douglas Laird. A area in Scotland that holds sentimental value to Mr. Laird as he was born close to this harbour.

lived in the country, which became a large part of his subject matter for his paintings later on. After finishing high school, he apprenticed at an art studio while attending the Edinburgh College of Art. At the college he studied life drawing and draped life extensively. For many years Doug travelled throughout North America and Europe. His travels have strongly influenced the varied subject matter and mediums used in his work. He emigrated to Canada in 1966 and worked as an illustrator in the art department of the Montreal Star daily newspaper. By 1969 he had opened his own commercial art studio in

Montreal, with an artist friend from Scotland. In 1977 they moved the studio to Toronto until deciding to retire in 1995. Doug became a Canadian citizen years ago and resides in Oakville, Ontario The harbours of Scotland were a favourite subject for him to paint and he also was fascinated by the rough water and produced many marine paintings with the Tall Ships and ocean going yachts. He exhibited his work in the Annual International Marine Art Show in Mystic, Connecticut, USA for a number of years. Doug has drifted away from seascapes and moved on to landscapes and wildlife. The Royal Canadian Mint produced collectible silver coins from two of Doug's paintings - To read more about Douglas Laird or to see other great The Ice Dancer and Snowy Owl. works of art, please visit mountainrendezvous.com Over the years, Doug has had many gallery shows. He is now at a stage in his career where he does one show a year. Most of his paintings now are commission pieces. Doug feels very fortunate to have had a career doing what he loves.

‘A Family Affair’ by Douglas Laird. See more of his artwork at mountainrendezvous.com TAILORmade | 39

food & drink

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feast time! Delicious cool-weather inspired recipes, prepared by the staff at Chestnut Grove. Start your feast with our pumpkin flavoured gnocchi that’s topped with savoury squash. Then try our maple and beer flavoured doughnuts, with a crunchy walnut and maple-beer frosting. Indulge in these recipes and experience the hearty and sweet aromas drifting through your home.

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GNOCCHI with a brown butter, sage, swiss chard and butternut squash sauce



1 Cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree 2 1/2 Cups White Flour 1 Large Egg Salt & Pepper To Taste 1 Butternut Squash (Cooked In An Oven) Swiss Chard 1/2 Cup Un-Salted Butter 1 Bunch Sage 1 Clove Garlic 1 Tbsp Nutmeg

Melt 1/2 cup of butter into a non- stick pan over low-medium heat. When butter begins to bubble, add crushed garlic and fresh sage. Cook ingredients for one minute. Add chopped swiss chard to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PREP: Halve the squash. Brush with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Bake the squash at 350F for about an hour or until the skin of the squash removes easily with a fork. The squash should still be firm enough to cut into small cubes.

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Once butter sauce is complete, add cubes of butternut squash. Keep savoury brown butter sauce warm until gnocchi is ready for serving. Pro Tip: Add more or less brown sugar depending on how sweet you want the squash to taste.

FRESH HOMEMADE GNOCCHI Putting this tasty, heart warming dish together is simple and easy. Fresh and seasonal ingredients shine effortlessly. Gnocchi Dough:

The Method:

In large bowl, stir together pumpkin purĂŠe, egg, salt and nutmeg. Using a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups (500 ml) of the flour. Stir in enough of the remaining flour, a 1/4 cup (60 ml) at a time, to make soft, sticky dough that pulls away from bowl but still sticks to the spoon and your fingers.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook gnocchi, in 2 batches stirring gently, until they begin to float; about 3 minutes. Toss gnocchi in savoury brown butter sauce and enjoy!

On well-floured surface and with floured hands, roll dough into a log shape; and divide into quarters. Gently roll and shape each quarter into a rope 3/4-inch (2 cm) in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut each rope diagonally into 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces.

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sweet treats for all

When you combine the crisp sweet malt flavour of beer with pure Canadian maple syrup you create a delicious doughnut that’s topped with a crunchy, nutty topping - perfect for sharing -

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food & drink

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Maple & Beer Glazed Doughnuts Makes twelve servings



Doughnut Tray 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar 2 Large Eggs 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder 3/4 Teaspoons Table Salt 3/4 Teaspoons Cinnamon 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder 3/4 Cup ‘Against The Grain’ Beer By High Park Brewery

Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare doughnut trays (recipe makes 12), with cooking spray. Using a stand-mixer beat butter and sugars at a medium speed until mixture becomes light in colour. Add eggs to the bowl one at a time, mixing well between each egg. Add vanilla to the batter and continue mixing. In a separate medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda until combined. Using a low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and beer to the batter, alternating between adding beer and flour until combined. Blend well. Spoon batter into the pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Maple & Beer Glaze : 1/2 Cup Canadian Maple Syrup 1/2 Cup High Park Brewery Beer 1 Tablespoon Cold Unsalted Butter 3/4 Cup Sifted Confectioners’ Sugar

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MAPLE & BEER GLAZE The Method: Add the maple syrup and beer to a medium sized pan and reduce to half the amount. Whisk in a tablespoon of butter and let mixture cool. Once cooled, add confectioner’s sugar. Glaze doughnuts and use immediately.

OUR NUTTY TOPPING We crushed candied pecans and walnuts to create a crunchy crumble. You can top the doughnut with anything you like, we also used coarse brown sugar as an alternate topping to add a little sparkle.

PRO TIP The doughnuts take on the flavour of the beer used. If you prefer a mellow beer flavour, go with the Golden Lager, by High Park Brewery. For a richer beer taste, use any darker beer of your choice. We suggest the Across The Pond, English Special Ale by High Park Brewery.

food & drink

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High Park Brewery Chestnut Grove staff have had the pleasure of trying the three delicious beer offerings from High Park Brewery, when they attended an event that the brewery hosted in Toronto. After trying High Park Brewery’s hoppy and smooth creations, Chestnut Grove President, Francesco Giampietro decided to make the beer doughnuts that are feature on page 44. At Chestnut Grove, we understand the value in supporting local businesses, so below you will find the story of this new and exciting brewery. High Park Brewery was established in Toronto, Canada by John, Dan, Ted and Jeff. Four long time hockey buddies and craft beer lovers, with amazing support from wives, kids, friends and teammates. It all started one summer after a game of golf when Dan said to no one in particular: “Johnny and I are planning to start a craft brewery”. To which Ted replied “so am I! let’s do this together!” The conversation continued at a local restaurant in Roncesvalles later that evening. Jeff was excited and joined in, and after thousands of hours of planning (and some considerable amount of beer tasting) High Park Brewery was formed. The founders are all local High Park area residents and so it made sense to name the company after their ‘hood: High Park Brewery. They are strong supporters of local and community events and suppliers. Their first festival was the Junction Night Market which was a charity event in support of local food programs in the West End of Toronto. The brewery believes strongly in trying to staff and source locally and to be environmentally conscious in methods and product choices. High Park Brewery is looking for the perfect space in the local area to build their brew house and plan to be operational by early 2017. In the meantime, they are having their refreshing beer made under contract at an award winning and established brewery. We can attest to the fresh and local taste that High Park Brewery has offer – find them in your local LCBO or pub. For a list of places that carry their beer offerings, visit: highparkbrewery.wixsite.com/hpbrewery

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CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY Chestnut Grove has embraced laser technology to expand their creative abilities. Incorporating precision cutting and etching allows our designers to create intricate designs on materials such as leather, glass, plastics, and wood to name a few. The project featured is a Christmas decoration, cut from acrylic that captures and reflects the light just like a falling snowflake. The two glass-like snowflake cut-outs are assembled to create a three dimensional ornament. Stop by our showroom to see the finished project!

Exclusive Colour Creations

When a paint colour is hand mixed it’s...



40 Adesso Drive, Vaughan Ontario L4k 3C6 | Chestnutgrove.ca | Tel: 416.252.8848 | Fax: 416.252.0807

INNOVATION BY DESIGN A Chestnut Grove Master Craftsman transforms a recycled wine barrel into a re-purposed and functional sink cabinet for a entertainment bar (as seen in our showroom). Chestnut Grove is a passionate company comprised of people who live, breathe and think design.

Cabinetry & Design

40 Adesso Drive, Vaughan Ontario L4k 3C6 | Chestnutgrove.ca | Tel: 416.252.8848

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