stepping into H&H A-list designer Michelle Lloyd Bermann’s Toronto penthouse feels like escaping to a tropical hideaway; her trademark combination of white, raffia and greenery conjures that high-summer feeling all year long. A former vice-president and founding member of Club Monaco, Michelle, who co-helms Lloyd Ralphs design with Christine Ralphs, has made this eternal-summer vibe her signature. “You have to make life a bit bohemian — a little bit fun!” hän sanoo.
After living in Rosedale for 25 years, Michelle and her spouse David sold their home and resolved to scale down. “We were looking to simplify our life and, perhaps, travel more,” says Michelle. “You walk down the hall and it’s a regular apartment building. then you open the door and, ‘Wow!’” says Michelle of their condo meet-cute. Take a virtual tour of the space below.
David and Michelle on the balcony of their penthouse. about the high life, Michelle says: “We’re enjoying walking everywhere and jumping on the subway. There’s a real sense of freedom.”
The apartment was refreshed with a few coats of Benjamin Moore’s super White (OC-152), Michelle’s go-to white paint. She likes the color because it’s a clear, pure shade that’s free of yellow or grey undertones.
It’s also used to dress the walls of new York’s museum of modern Art, confirming that it’s an optimal backdrop for art — in this case, a charcoal rendering of a reclining woman by the couple’s daughter, Olympia Gayot. The figure’s glamorous languor is the optimal match for the room’s breezy style.
Storage consoles anchor the area below the stairwell, where a gallery wall helps the TV blend in. The raffia stools — along with a zebra rug — add a worldly feel. “The stools make me think of Marrakech,” says Michelle. vintage pottery, potted palms and a new floor lamp reflect her classic modern-vintage aesthetic.
Michelle is particularly fond of the apartment’s open-riser stairs. “Many stunning L.A. houses and lofts have a staircase like this. It’s so ’70s,” she says. even Eloise, the couple’s Parson Russell terrier, matches the home’s nearly all-white color scheme.
“I love to collect gallery prints,” says Michelle. A wall in the couple’s shared home office features prints by Alexander Calder and Helen Frankenthaler. two chairs, handed down from Michelle’s family, were updated with new white linen upholstery.
A vintage Plexiglas- and-brass ceiling light, its bulbs stretching out like sunbeams, is long on Miami beach chic. relaxed white linen bedding and a Slim Aarons–esque photograph of a pool by Olympia Gayot channel the same vacation vibe.
Raffia vases and brass lanterns Michelle spotted in new York carry the apartment’s tropical feel into the powder room. vintage fashion photographs picked up in Paris give the tiny space yet another style boost.
When it’s warm out, the sunny south-facing deck becomes the couple’s go-to lounge spot. during the summer, they move the dining table out here. “It makes entertaining a special event and breakfast a sunny treat. The city night view is our favorite over drinks,” says Michelle.