Wearstler. Rob Scheinberg describes the elaborate journey he took to convince the high priestess to Hollywood luxury to accept his request to put her stamp on his Toronto house. He and his wife, Danielle Eden Scheinberg, had it in their minds that the Los Angeles designer legend would be the one to take on the renovation of their newly purchased house. It was a five-story Tudor Revival home measuring 9,000 square feet, located in the leafy Forest Hill neighborhood.
A friend who knew Wearstler in London was able to help them after an initial request for information was met with “Sorry she’s very busy.” The designer was busy despite her 65-person team, lifestyle brand, and portfolio of boutique hotels. The couple flew to California from Toronto to present their case personally. Scheinberg declares, “We won’t accept a no.”
Wearstler was impressed with the design expertise of her guests and also by their shared passion for animal activism. Dog Tales is a rescue center in Ontario that houses 230 animals, including horses, cattle, and dogs. Eden-Scheinberg created nap beds from old furniture that she outfitted with dog mattresses on the 50-acre property. It’s like Beyonce coming to your child’s bar Mitzvah.
Wearstler, her husband, and two teenage sons live with her, along with a 1-year-old boy and two rescue dogs. She also has a rotating door of shelter dogs that are pregnant, which her family cares for for months before rehoming the puppies. Wearstler says that she and the two potential clients “really connected” when they met. She grew up in South Carolina, where her luxurious, bold aesthetic is infused with a sense of groundedness. It was their energy that won me over. They were in business.
Wearstler made frequent visits to the north of the border over the next four-year period as the architects transformed the traditional interior of her client’s house into an oasis with rounded corners and sweeping arches. Wearstler was amazed by the house’s large windows, which overlook the 80-foot trees and the surrounding grounds. She says, “The landscape just pours into the house.”
The couple, who both grew up as Israelis and have two young children, wanted to recreate the rustic Bauhaus aesthetic that characterized their childhood. Wearstler was invited to visit their home country, where the three spent two weeks immersed in Mediterranean design. Eden-Scheinberg adds, “That was important to us.” The houses have a lovely old European feel that we wanted to emulate.
KELLSTLER OFFERS A GLIMPSE INTO THIS TORONTO HOME
Wearstler and her clients now had a clear vision of the world that they wanted to create together. Wearstler then embarked on a global scavenger search, seeking out vintage pieces as well as new commissions from dealers and artisans. She looked for bold, beautiful objects that captivated her. Bedside lamps designed by British designer James Shaw, for example, bring a Seussian feel to the daughter’s bedroom. Wearstler and her team also customized other items. They covered vintage dining chairs with one of Wearstler’s fabrics and created a low-to-the-ground primary bed that has a headboard that extends beyond the mattress width. She says, “We wanted the space to feel cozy.”
The stakeholders worked together to transform a Toronto historic home into a whimsical wonderland with a low-key elegance. Wearstler describes the transformation as “the house had an old soul and we gave a new spirit.” It’s modern and warm. “Everything is tactile and a bit softer than normal.”
Torontonians have taken their relationship with Wearstler to the next stage–three times over. Now, they are working together on a family getaway in the Ontario countryside. They also have a house built from scratch in Costa Rica and a new animal hospital outside Toronto that will open soon. Scheinberg continues, “She might work with us on other projects.” “Maybe we need more than three.”
Wearstler will not need any more convincing. “I love it. “Rob and Danielle are so talented, and we all learn from one another,” says she. “They make me a better designer.”