White is color in its purest state, it embodies new beginnings; a blank canvas, a blanket of freshly fallen snow. For interior designer and ceramic artist, Amy Biztek, her monochromic Ontario farmhouse is a safe haven, somewhere to relish the joy of escaping being overwhelmed, that allows her to give free reign to her many passions: design, pottery, equestrian sports and music. Being surrounded by calm allows Bystek to focus her energy on creation, weaving nuances and textures into her innate love of neutrals.
The rustic farmhouse in King City, Ontario, was designed entirely from scratch, from the family estate’s run-in shed. The grey tone-on-tone exterior was chosen to blend in with the surrounding scenery.
Horses have always been a part of Amy Byztek’s life. Her father was a horse breeder and Amy and her sister are currently the sole caretakers of a 6-horses stable, which she describes as a healthy dose of exercise that keeps her grounded.
Busy lifestyles deserve functional kitchens. This rustic cuisine was outfitted with inset cabinetry to maintain the clean lines of a farmhouse esthetic without sacrificing on polish. The minimalist shelving keeps service efficient and plays up the painted maple walls. The thick marble countertops balance out the rough leathered granite of the island providing a stark contrast and a play on textures.
The Gray Barn, Amy’s multi-purpose art studio, allows her to pursue her passions. The space houses her interior design business, a ceramics workshop and a music studio.
Amy produces one-off pieces of ceramics pottery, in clear crackle glazed porcelain, and Raku stoneware. As a designer, her head is constantly swimming with ideas and designs for future projects. With lots of hard work and dedication she manages to bring her ideas to life and revels in the hands-on process of glowing-hot pots, smoke, flames, and unpredictably beautiful results.
A true outdoors enthusiast, Amy hosts an array of plein-air painting workshops and music jamming sessions on the property during the warmer months.
Why not make your home decor a reflection of your hobbies or passions? These distressed wood cabinets work perfectly as display cases for Amy’s pottery pieces. As a conversation piece, it is a great way to invite guests to stir up a discussion about the things that are closest to their heart.
Gibson, one of the two riding horses on the farm, is a Cleveland Bay. A giant teddybear, Gibson is a draft horse, which were popular in the war days. Amy describes him as very straightforward and kind.
Amy and her sister used to compete in equestrian competitions and then took up dressage for a number of years. Today they prefer to ride for the pleasure and the company of their four-legged friends.
Amy’s father was a horse breeder, and these beautiful beasts have always a part of her world. The family currently has 6 horses in their stables, most are retired show or competition horses, benefitting from a well-deserved retirement in Amy’s family pastures.
Merging beautiful design with efficiency is one of Amy’s strong suits; her farmhouse is heated through radiant heating hidden underneath these beautiful black slate tiles. It keeps the house just warm enough without breaking the bank.
A mixed cheese board, accompanied by pearl onions, mustards, figs and jams, and hard boiled eggs, served with plenty of savory crackers and hearty breads, is a satisfying daytime snack for busybodies.
Having a home studio has allowed Amy to dedicate more time to ceramic arts, in which she has fully immersed herself thanks to a gentle nudge on the part of her husband Michael, who runs a Pottery Supplies and Kilns distribution company in Richmond Hill, Ontario. “Have fun!,” he said.
Open shelving is usually much more about practical solutions than aesthetics. However, in this case our designer Amy wanted to allow the character of the maple walls to shine through. Using unique materials and respecting their properties is a great way to enhance the design of any room.
In numerous cultures, white horses are the subjects of popular legends. As a symbol of nobility and courage, a white horse typically bears the hero in triumph over negative forces. Fender, featured here, was a rescue and has proven to be a noble steed indeed.
Part of an artistically-inclined family, Amy furnishes her shelves with some of her own Raku pottery wares and her mother’s paintings of her cherished four-legged companions.