Senior Living

Retirement homes and long-term care facilities should be a celebration of life: a continuation of all that their residents have achieved and learned. It’s our job to create environments that bring out the best in seniors, their families, and those who work with them every day. This means combining a clear understanding of their emotional challenges and physical limitations with a deep appreciation for their individuality, heritage, and community.

Forest Hill Place

Retirement Homes

Forest Hill Place

At 50 years of age, this aging retirement home in one of Toronto’s premier neighborhoods was facing intense competition. Our work helped re-establish Forest Hill Place as the 5-star retirement home of choice, with an atmosphere more characteristic of a boutique hotel -- from the vibrant social scene created by a new bar to the unmistakable mood conveyed by elegant furnishings, sophisticated artwork, original accessories, and transporting lighting.

“We have experienced a renaissance. All of our senses have been stimulated.”

–Executive Director, Forest Hill Place

Trillium Court

Retirement Homes

Trillium Court

With limited budget and resources, this multi- phase renovation near the shores of Lake Huron transformed a lifeless and intimidating interior into one that feels warm, intimate, and accessible. With design inspired by lakefront views, tall pine forests and the region’s Scottish heritage, smaller social areas emerged from formerly shapeless spaces – including an inviting lounge and library and a more welcoming reception area. The impact was clear: increased activity in common areas outside of programming, and more positive first impressions for visitors and family members. 

The Village Retirement Living

Retirement Homes

The Village Retirement Living

A decades-old retirement home in a small town had grown tired, rambling, cluttered. Our process actively engaged the resident community to re-imagine the place they called home – reinvigorating it with a fresh sense of refinement, order, and social engagement. All of this was accomplished while the premises remained occupied and fully operational. The results helped catapult The Village forward, in terms of both value and competitiveness.

Model Suites

Retirement Homes

Model Suites

In a competitive marketplace, a well-designed model suite can be the difference between maximum occupancy and un-leased units. It means staging a room so that reluctant prospects can see themselves at home, right away. Everything counts – from the choice and placement of an inviting chair to a pair of glasses and a cup of tea on a table. Our model suites feel both comfortably lived-in and full of possibilities.

Albright Manor

Long-term Care Facilities

Albright Manor

When it opened in 2002, this long-term care facility overlooking Lake Ontario was one of the first constructed to meet the 1998 standards of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. Our design coupled a profound appreciation for the area’s natural beauty with state-of-the-art operations, right down to the selection of ergonomic furniture for staff. Each resident area took on a different feel, inspired by local geography; an original artwork program brought the outside in and acted as a fundamental way-finding system. 

Idlewyld Manor

Long-term Care Facilities

Idlewyld Manor

Every home has its own philosophy; Idlewyld’s centres on supporting each individual’s right to independence and personal decisions. Our design was a living expression of that vision, with opportunities for residents to make every space their own. In spite of unforeseen construction delays in a highly competitive marketplace, Idlewyld had a waiting list within months of reopening. We were even asked to order more dining room tables, to accommodate the increased number of family members visiting at mealtimes.

 “The design reflects the Manor’s aim of providing excellence in the health and personal care in a home-like setting.” Canadian Facility Management & Design, December 2005

Parkwood Mennonite Home

Long-term Care Facilities

Parkwood Mennonite Home

This home providing compassionate care to 96 residents shows how design can enrich community. We created an environment that is a direct reflection of Mennonite values: simple, sturdy, steadfast, strong. The Mennonites take their cue from Corinthians: “Let all that you do be done in love.” That nurturing, grounded feeling comes through in every detail: from the rural artwork we found in the home’s original basement and hung in public areas, to the quilts that hang on the wall.

St. Joseph’s Villa

Long-term Care Facilities

St. Joseph’s Villa

For one of the largest new builds of a long-term care facility in Ontario, we improved quality of life on a limited budget. Our strategic use of a high-contrast palette made the facility more intuitive for residents: from way-finding in long hallways to the contrast of furnishings. We also optimized the selection of furniture, working within the terms of a central procurement organization.

Sunnyside Home

Long-term Care Facilities

Sunnyside Home

The successful design of a larger community requires a careful balance of unity and diversity. We developed a strong thematic concept to bring together this municipally-owned 251 bed facility, with its 10 resident home areas and diverse amenities. At the same time, each area was infused with its own unique character, through a varied selection of materials, finishes and furnishings.

Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre

Long-term Care Facilities

Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre

We thrive on constraints and work well with others. Our work for the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre began with the design of a 32-bed secure wing, and grew to encompass a refresh of the entire 152-bed facility. Our solutions weren’t only aesthetic: working within a base-building consultant umbrella, we conducted the entire Furniture, Fixture, and Equipment (FF&E) tender process on behalf of the client group.

Day Programs

Long-term Care Facilities

Day Programs

Day programs, which allow family members to leave their loved one in safe hands for a short time, must strike a delicate balance: they must make people feel safe and taken care of, while lifting and energizing their spirits; and they must accommodate a broad range of needs and activities. These are spaces where physical and emotional versatility are key.

Residential

A person’s home should be a reflection of their individuality. We design residences not to feel designed at all - but to free our clients to be their most authentic selves. This means spaces that effortlessly balance our client’s private lives and social activities in the home.

Coyote Ridge

Custom Homes

Coyote Ridge

We conceived and designed the home at Coyote Ridge from start to finish. Taking inspiration from the 19th century foundry from which its enormous trusses were reclaimed, the home juxtaposes contemporary design with a love-worn, lived-in feel. The sense of scale, use of light, and fluidity of spaces creates an environment that finds harmony through contrasts.


“Truly a vision: as if it had always been there, waiting in the trees for you to arrive and bring it to life. Peaceful, soothing and loved, for those who live and those who visit.” –Neighbours, Coyote Ridge

Cycle Central

Custom Homes

Cycle Central

“In renovating our house top to bottom, I was overwhelmed by the work it would take to transform it from architectural drawings and ideas into a home. Working with Designfarm made the process both easy and enjoyable. Irka read my mind and intuitively knew what to pick before I did… and she was right every time!  Irka understood our family's needs and her designs reflect this.  We achieved our goal - a home we are truly happy in, every day.  I could not recommend Irka and her team highly enough.  Thank you for helping us to transform what we saw on paper into a truly beautiful family home.” – Haven Owner

Light House

Custom Homes

Light House

" I would like to thank Irka for sharing my vision and making this a very special project for both of our portfolios. This was our first collaboration and the results exceeded our expectations!

The design intent of the project was to reinterpret the timber frame structural system and to create a unique home with a contemporary, warm interior space filled with light.

It was critical that the natural context, the exterior and interior materials be complimentary. Irka brought the warmth of the exterior stone and the hues of the red pine forest inside. Her details reflect contemporary interior with a residential feel. She was able to reinforce the scale of the interior volume of the home with her material choices and interior design details. Irka also provided valuable input for lighting choices, plumbing fixture selections and millwork packages. Her design of the master suite is superb - a beautiful sanctuary - much to the delight of the home owners."

Royden Moran Architect, O.A.A.

The Yellow House

Custom Homes

The Yellow House

Great design isn’t always about creating something radically new; often, it’s about working with what exists, seeing the possibilities, and getting the most from them. When this family renovated and built onto an older home, we embraced their personal aesthetic and sense of comfort. We worked with them to re-use their existing furniture, and tied everything together with materials, lighting, artwork, and custom built-ins. After all, there’s a homebody in all of us.

Ravine’s Edge

Custom Homes

Ravine’s Edge

A true collaboration between architect, designer, and client, this home of a busy family with three active children is a warm, welcoming, well-oiled machine, thanks to just the right combination of “everything in its place” and “nothing out of bounds.” Social spaces like the eating area merge into the living room, which gives entrée to the stunning yard and ravine. What results is an orderly home where social interaction is the focus, but everyone is free to pursue their passions.

Sunnyside Up

Custom Homes

Sunnyside Up

Sunnyside Up

Tip Top Loft

Loft & Condo

Tip Top Loft

This two-level corner suite in Toronto’s iconic Tip Top Lofts was the design expression of a very real marriage of sensibilities. Signature elements such as a custom-designed cantilevered staircase revel in the contrast between two individuals. And for a couple that loves to entertain almost as much as they love to be together, the space was designed to easily shift from private hideaway to social hotspot.

Penthouse In The Sky

Loft & Condo

Penthouse In The Sky

Featured as a “Home of the Week” by The Globe and Mail, this floor-to-ceiling glass residence dazzles with a sublime minimalism, from the illusion of floating walls and ceilings, to the sleek Scavolini kitchen and white marble-clad washroom. Achieving such simplicity required seamless coordination with trades, as well as a nuanced dance with developer upgrades.

Rare Gem

Loft & Condo

Rare Gem

Space constraints give rise to inspired personalization in this downtown loft. From the tiling in the bathroom, which reflects the owner’s love of ceramics, to highly custom built-ins that serve a wondrous combination of needs, this home evolved over time and life stages to reflect our client’s unique personality – and to function as an extension of herself.

"Designfarm created a comfortable, visually elegant and functional framework for me to organize my chaotic, colorful and ever changing life within. Working with Irka allowed for an easy transition from an abode for one to a family home. I don't think I know anyone who has had such an impact on both my personal and business life."

Commercial

A great commercial space excels on two fronts: it is an inspired reflection of the company, institution, or brand behind it; and it measurably succeeds in doing what it was meant to do. Our offices, showrooms, retail locations, cultural spaces and institutional buildings perform on both counts – whether they drive people to collaborate more effectively, work more efficiently, visit more often, or transact more business.

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

Corporate Offices

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

RFP awarded, the brand understood, a call to Charles Pachter and skillful project management transformed 23,000 sq.ft. at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre into a celebration of the excellence of Sport in Canada. Truly "beige-busting" and character building at it's best!

"CSIO was looking for a design that would enhance the culture of high performance excellence, while making it feel like a second home for our athletes and coaches - Designfarm was up to that challenge!  They took the time to fully understand our company and our stakeholders in order to create an integrated design concept. Irka and her team went the extra mile to ensure everything was done on time and to the highest standard. Designfarm delivered a fantastic result that has wowed everyone from staff to funders, to the athletes and coaches that the building was made for."

Laura Albright / Senior Communications Coordinator

Cornerstone Capital Partners

Corporate Offices

Cornerstone Capital Partners

The offices of this investment banking and asset management firm convey a higher level of performance to both clients and staff. In the reception and meeting rooms, every finish, angle, and detail projects tailored, confident expertise. Meanwhile, the design of a high-energy trading floor created ideal conditions for staff to perform at the top of their game.

KBC Tools & Machinery

Corporate Offices

KBC Tools & Machinery

Interior design isn’t what comes to mind when most people think heavy machinery. But for this leading catalogue house selling tools & machinery to the metalworking industry, we created headquarters and showrooms across the US and Canada whose exteriors and interiors offer a clear statement of values: bold, committed, approachable, reliable and trustworthy, with an aesthetic reminiscent of classic 1950s American diners.

"Designfarm has worked with us on a portfolio of buildings of various styles, ages and sizes to give us a unified look that says KBC Tool & Machinery." 

 

Quillsoft

Corporate Offices

Quillsoft

This research and development software company’s culture of innovation came to life in the design of its environment, which did away with closed offices in favor of open-concept collaboration. Space planning and traffic flow were designed to give rise to serendipitous connections; spaces like the lounge and library function as informal hubs for the exchange of ideas.

Allseating

Showrooms & Retail

Allseating

For this Canadian manufacturer of task seating, the opening of a US showroom at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago was an important moment, and our client was determined to make a big splash on a limited budget. Inexpensive materials and bold colours were used to dramatic effect, and a custom-designed suspended ceiling system was manufactured off-site, transported and installed, concealing some of the base-building’s less attractive features. The result was nothing less than an eye-catching transformation.

Cole Haan

Showrooms & Retail

Cole Haan

A great brand is its own world, with its own atmosphere, light, and texture. Collaborating closely with the in-house design director of this iconic fashion retailer, we developed environments that faithfully extended the Cole Haan experience into new venues -- from shop-in-shop concepts for Bloomingdales and Macy’s; to a showroom in Dallas; to a transporting environment that debuted at a major industry trade show in Las Vegas.

Future Bakery

Showrooms & Retail

Future Bakery

Our concept for this established family-run bakery found common ground between the old world European sensibility that defined the neighborhood in the past and the playful, downtown artsiness that was emerging. By extending the design to the exterior façade, we created a recognizable and friendly neighborhood landmark.

Interface

Showrooms & Retail

Interface

To create the Toronto showroom for the world’s largest manufacturer of carpet tiles, we worked closely with the client’s creative team to imagine a casual space where designers, architects, facility managers, and their clients love to hang out. With muted colours and clean lines that evoke a blank canvas, the focus here is on the creative possibilities. More than 15 years after its design, this showroom remains a timeless and timely stage where the spotlight is always on the product.

Value Wood Floors

Showrooms & Retail

Value Wood Floors

For a manufacturer of wood flooring eager to attract designers, contractors, and end-users, we overturned category conventions, creating something about more than samples and specs. This boutique-like world embodies a larger brand promise – showing a greater attention to detail, aesthetics, and sustainability.

Winner of the 2005 National Wood Flooring Association Award for Best Commercial Application

Trident Banquet Hall

Cultural & Institutional

Trident Banquet Hall

For a heavily trafficked banquet hall that sees everything from conventions to weddings, our design balanced breathtaking versatility with understated beauty. Materials were chosen to withstand heavy wear-and-tear, without sacrificing either form or function. The result? A stately hall that will look young for years to come, without breaking a sweat.

Health & Wellness

Medical offices, clinics, shelters, group homes, hospices – all are realms traditionally untouched by design. And yet design is the difference between a place where it is easy to be, and one where it is more tempting to flee. Our health and wellness spaces are deeply respectful of individuals, their families, and those who care for them, while ensuring operational needs are seamlessly met.

Dentistry On Avenue

Medical Offices & Clinics

Dentistry On Avenue

This dentist’s office subverts expectations, with touches of boutique luxury and hospitality entwined with the highest professionalism. Transparency and openness flow calmly into discretion and privacy. Artwork provided by a local gallery is rotated bi-annually, adding fresh colour, variety, and interest to every client visit.

Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice

Community Healthcare

Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice

A hospice should amplify the dignity of life. It is a place for reflection, togetherness, and serenity – even as it is a high-use, high-turnover environment where illness is at its worst. In designing  this hospice, we gave individuals and their families ample room to get comfortable – while enabling staff to maintain the highest level of infection control and achieve a kind of invisible efficiency.

Nova Vita Women’s Services

Community Healthcare

Nova Vita Women’s Services

In this emergency women’s shelter, design plays a subtle but critical role in making traumatized women and their children feel safe. The colour palette strikes a careful balance, between calming spirits and nurturing optimism. Meanwhile, design choices serve the diverse functional needs of community outreach programs and heavy use at all hours of the day and night.

What We Create

Designfarm cultivates the well-being of spaces – and with it, the well-being of the people and businesses that inhabit them.

We create environments where it’s natural to live and work. Spaces that function intuitively and nurture the senses. Spaces where people want to be.

We are recognized for design solutions that meet the unique challenges of our time —

Retirement homes and long-term care facilities that re-imagine senior living…

Custom homes, lofts, and condos that reflect the individuality of their inhabitants….

Corporate head offices, showrooms, and retail spaces that redefine how people work…

And medical offices, clinics, hospices and shelters that promote health and wellness.

Drawing on over 30 years of experience and hundreds of projects, we offer a blend of practical insight, creative instinct, and flawless execution.

How We Work

We bring humanity to every design challenge. We believe that design that improves the well-being of others only comes when we’ve succeeded in seeing the world through their eyes.

We actively engage more stakeholders in the journey. We are inclusive and proactive in seeking diverse perspectives from all who are involved in or affected by our work – including communities, owners, committees, employees, volunteers, and other professional consultants.

We deliver and manage every step in the process, from concept to reality. Programming of needs; design concept; space planning; selection of materials and finishes; specification of furniture, custom millwork, lighting, window coverings and artwork; construction drawings and documentation; tendering and procurement; contract administration; site coordination. With strong project management, we lead every step of the way. 

We are instinctively efficient. We are expert coordinators, with a strong sense of what’s required to deliver on time and on budget. Because of the depth of our experience, we see red flags early, which allows us to be more organic in how we work with clients.

We are fanatical about the details. We know all choices – even invisible ones – can make the difference between a lifeless space and one that people want to spend time in.

We transcend expectations. We strive to create environments that do more than what is simply required of them, surpassing our client’s expectations.

Who We Are

IRKA-2_1.jpgDesignfarm is a boutique, multi-disciplinary interior design firm led by Irka Dyczok, A.R.I.D.O., I.D.C.

Irka founded Designfarm in 1992. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from University of Manitoba and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Design from Domus Academy in Milan, she honed her talents at several of Canada’s leading architecture and design firms. Irka’s vision helped shape the environments for corporate and institutional clients as diverse as the National Gallery of Canada, the Bank of Montreal, Alias Research, and the Independent Order of Foresters. Drawing inspiration from nature, Irka continues to share her creativity, understanding, passion for excellence, and grounded approach with all of Designfarm’s clients.

“An enlightened approach to design can positively impact the resources of every person who experiences an environment. All decisions - big and small - make an enormous difference in how people live, work, and feel in a space.” –Irka Dyczok

 

Contact Us

Designfarm Inc.
2100 Bloor Street West
Suite 6-353 Toronto, ON
M6S 5A5

Telephone 416 617 6867
irka@designfarminc.ca

 

 

 

Some of  Designfarm’s Clients include:

AMEX Canada Inc.
Baxter Canada
Fairview Mennonite Home
Kodak Canada
Matrix Logistics
MMMC Architects Inc.
Quizno’s Canada
Revera Living
Revlon Canada
Sienna Senior Living
St. Leonard’s Community Services
Tri County Mennonite Homes
Villa Colombo
Warner Music Canada
Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care