A 1970s Nunnery Transforms Into a Scandinavian-Inspired Family Home

07.13.21 | By
A 1970s Nunnery Transforms Into a Scandinavian-Inspired Family Home

What used to be a 1970s nunnery for six nuns is now a fresh, Scandinavian-inspired home for a young family in Toronto, Canada. Designed by Sansa Interiors, a boutique architecture and interior design studio, the new family home has been completely renovated to accommodate a modern family’s needs.

The original home had a very traditional layout with a tiny kitchen, partial walls and rooms that made inefficient use of the space. Sansa Interiors decided the best approach was to open up the interiors, and maximize the living spaces while maintaining a clean, cohesive look throughout. Two main needs were to create a beautiful space for entertaining guests and an open layout that provided greater visibility when the kids play in the other room.

With a 350K budget, the studio was able to reconfigure the main and second floors, design a new bathroom, create an extra bedroom bringing the total count to five, and transform the main bedroom to become more full sized with an ensuite.

modern kitchen with island

The kitchen features built-in appliances that are concealed to create continuous lines and lots of storage to accommodate for baking, pantry, garbage and recycling, cleaning supplies and more. From there, you can see into the living room where the show-stopping central piece is the fireplace wall with its slatted wood frame. Built-in open shelving displays treasured items and family photos.

modern kitchen island and living room

living room with slatted wall fireplace

slatted wall with fireplace and built-ins

slatted wood wall with fireplace and built-ins

dining room with picture ledge

One special request that family had was to honor the family’s 9-year-old daughter who had passed away from a rare blood disorder, so a picture ledge was created to display Abbey’s adventures and memories. Throughout the home, Abbey’s artwork is showcased proudly.

dining room with picture ledge

nodern mudroom with storage

A 10-feet-wide bi-folding wall opens up the space even more and allows natural light to flow through the home. Sansa Interiors also brought the outdoors inside by using primarily natural materials, earthy tones and custom millwork.

modern staircase

Original stained glass windows pay homage to the home that used to be and serve as a beautiful piece of art.

modern bathroom with black hardware

modern bathroom vanity

modern bedroom

modern ensuite

modern bathroom vanity with dual sinks

The bathrooms have a black and white aesthetic that’s softened with natural wood, creating a spa-like environment.

bathroom with open shelving

modern bathroom with rainfall shower and open shelving

bathroom with open shelving

bedroom with modern pendant

closet and bathroom

The final completed design is unrecognizable from what used to be a dark, cramped and closed off home. The family is able to fully enjoy their dream home having all spaces maximized to its full potential.

Photos by Bruno Belli.

As the Senior Contributing Editor, Vy Yang is obsessed with discovering ways to live well + with intention through design. She's probably sharing what she finds over on Instagram stories. You can also find her at