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Rundles Morris House is managed by Richard, the owner.
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Rundles Morris House bedroom - Rundles Morris House, in Ontario, Canada
— James: “In short, the Rundles Morris House is the epitome of all the things I like about modern architecture and design.”
Interview By:

— What was your motivation to build Rundles Morris House?

James: “Building this house was the final piece in a dream-puzzle that took me 25 years to complete. I had a very good site, from which there are great views of the park and the river, and I needed somewhere to live that was minimal, and modern. In short, the Rundles Morris House is the epitome of all the things I like about modern architecture and design. Best of all, it gave me an excuse to realize another dream, by building the Tadao Ando-style concrete wall that separates it from Rundles restaurant.”
— Rundles Morris House bedroom

— Please tell us a bit about your inspiration regarding the architecture and the interior design.

James: “Ando, some of whose work I first encountered in Japan in the late 1980s, and instantly fell in love with, was the inspiration for the architecture. Finding a model of a contemporary garden folly by Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe helped me to realize that it was possible to build something as lovely as a small Ando project here. Apart from my telling Shim-Sutcliffe what I wanted in the way of accommodation, the design overall is theirs.

Although it does not look anything like their work, the interior design was inspired by the work of John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster, of Colefax and Fowler fame. The previously-mentioned design principles are theirs, but Howard Sutcliffe helped me to realize them in a contemporary way. To some extent, Matisse was my inspiration for the colour scheme – while Brigitte and Howard chose the colours for the walls and ceilings, the sunnier floor and soft-furnishing colours are Matisse’s.”

— Please tell us a bit about the facilities and amenities at Rundles Morris House.

James: “This vacation home functions as a deluxe two-bedroom suite. A nicely-appointed living room with a wood-burning fireplace offers wonderful views of the Avon River and the parklands. Throughout the house, you’ll find the finest examples of modernist furniture and lighting fixtures sourced from Europe and North America. Both bedrooms have bathrooms en suite.

Because of the size and shape of the site the house is quite vertical. However, it seems less so because of the clever way the architects dealt with this challenge by altering the levels of the house, thus eliminating long and daunting flights of stairs.

Its angles and the openness make the vacation home look and feel larger than its 1,800 square feet. Because of their ceiling height the main rooms seem to have twice their volume. The master bedroom is oriented to the east and the living room to the west, so you get first light in the morning when you awaken, and sunsets in the living room.”

— Rundles Restaurant is right next door. Please tell us a bit about the restaurant and the gourmet package you are offering with a stay at Rundles Morris House.

James: “I have owned and operated Rundles, since it opened in 1977. Rundles is designed to be the ultimate complementary experience to theater. It is distinct from any other place to dine in town. It is breath of fresh air, which does not over satiate, or, overwhelm people before they go to theatre. We feature the very best in modern Canadian architecture and design, gastronomy and service.

For all Welcome Beyond guests, we are offering a welcome bottle of bubbly rosé from Hinterland (they produce premium sparkling wine only, in Prince Edward County, Ontario). This is our favourite Canadian-made sparkling wine, full of finesse.”
— Rundles Morris House kitchen

— What would you describe to be your philosophy?

James: “I like peace and serenity, and making the most of each day. And that’s what I want at Rundles, the restaurant as well as the vacation home. I also love to travel, especially, frequenting restaurants of all styles to see what’s new. When it comes to appreciating world cuisines, I am extremely open-minded, and enjoy the best of all food cultures.”
— Bedroom

— To you personally, what is so special about Rundles Morris House?

James: “The vacation home is all about details, and perspectives. For example, when you sit in the living room, you get the illusion of being at the same level as the lake, and of being closer to it than you actually are. Details include a suspended stair from the foyer to the dining room, and a hutch that doubles as the door to the utility room. Rundles Morris House is the best of town and country: It feels pastoral and urban at the same time.”

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