Mark Pupo -- Interior Design, 3/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Every time that Tim Scott asked his client, Tony Gigliotti, what shade of a particular color he preferred, he'd go for the brightest one. So Scott, a principal of XTC Design, just figured that Gigliotti was determined to bring a bit of Latin warmth to chilly Canada. The Argentinian playboy, who owns a restaurant in Havana, also owns tool-and-die companies in Ontario, and his main residence is in Mississauga, one of Toronto's satellite cities: a new 10,000-square-foot mansion clad in golden limestone, flashy steel, and red glass tile. A three-story greenhouse, which runs almost the entire length of the rear elevation, harbors palms and citrus trees in 10-foot-tall planters as well as a flock of tropical birds.
The racy color palette suits Gigliotti's love of cars—he keeps a Ferrari Testarossa on display in his great hall, plus a Lamborghini and a Jaguar in an underground showroom. "When we asked him how he pictured his home," Scott says, "he talked about European sports cars."
The streamlined blue kitchen was built for speed, as it's often used by caterers. Dominating the 560-square-foot space, a large central island is fitted with two sinks and a professional-grade stove top; overhead is an extra-powerful custom hood in brushed stainless steel. A built-in coffee station, two dishwashers, and a clean-up sink with an industrial-style faucet line one wall; along another, an oversize refrigerator and freezer flank an oven, a microwave, and a warming drawer.
While efficiency was the order of the day, luxury and comfort weren't spared. The island's sides ripple in metallic-blue lacquered MDF, and the island's top is an incredibly rich blue-veined Brazilian granite, like all the counters. Bolted to the top of the island, a surfboard-shape piece of glass serves as a breakfast bar. Between the major appliances and the cabinets of lacquered English sycamore, sky-blue glass mosaic tile clads aerodynamic partitions. The white marble floor took four months to install, since every wall is curved—Gigliotti abhors angles.
A curving slab of marble tops the vanity in the master bathroom, where blue shifts to race-car red. At the center of a ceiling cove shaped like an inverted hubcap, a chrome filler sends water cascading 7 feet into the round tub below. A bit much? Not at all. As Scott says, "A guy with a personality this big only comes along once in a while."