hello!neighbor - anja and andreas

Well, here we are in the final week leading up to Christmas. No doubt, most of us still have lots to do! If you have a moment, take a look at this special Christmas edition of Hello! Neighbor. Anja and Andreas kindly welcomed us into their home a couple of weeks ago, hours after they finished decorating it for the holidays. It's a really stunning house with many of the original details still in tact including beautiful woodwork in the hallway and the most amazing radiator covers I have ever seen. You'll also notice throughout the house, Anja's own deft sewing skills. She made the pouf in  the living room, the quilt in the master bedroom (styled after a Hudson's Bay Blanket) and the blinds in the upstairs bedrooms. As we head into the New Year, I'll be on the lookout for more homes to feature in the Parkdale neighbourhood. If you think your house would be a good fit, drop me a line.

Enjoy the tour!


Anja, Andreas and Oscar Duess


Client Rep and VP at Marsh Canada Limited  and  Partner and Chief Creative at fisheye corporation.

How long have you lived in your home?

 About 4 years

When was your home built?


Any kids or pets?

Our son Oscar is 18 month and we have three cats, Oswald, Felix and Bella

Which room do you spend the most time in? Why?

Anja: Living room, just love hanging out at the fire place

Andreas: The kitchen. I am the cook in the family, cooking is my way to relax after work.

What were the major changes you  made to the house?

It used to be a rooming house, so slowly over time taking over apartments and returning it to being a single family home. We're carefully peeling back the layers and were lucky enough to find some of the original features, such as cast iron radiator covers and high baseboards.

How did you end up living in Parkdale?

We moved to Canada in 2004 and always lived in the West End, first Roncesvalles, then the Brockton Triangle and finally fell in love with our house on Melbourne Avenue.  We met and got married in London, UK; Parkdale has a very similar vibe to the part of town where we both lived at the time, Islington. When we first looked at Parkdale, we felt at home immediately.

What are your favourite holiday/Christmas traditions?

Love the advent calendar. Candles, yes we have real candles in the tree. Gluehwein (mulled wine), Christmas songs, dinner with family and friends. We are big Christmas nerds.

What is on your Christmas table? Do you have a traditional meal you serve each Christmas?

Andreas: Every Christmas my dad used to make a herring salad for Christmas eve. It's a meal in itself, with beets, walnuts, diced roast beef and sour creme. Every Christmas I plan on making it myself, but it's ton of work, so far I've never got around to it.

Anja: Our tradition is roast version with red cabbage, pan fried Brussels sprouts and mashed or roast potatoes. Dessert is usually bread and butter pudding but this year I'll make a chocolate and red beet cake.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Winter Wonderland

What are you hoping Santa brings you this year?

Anja: In general that my family remains healthy and happy. If you mean presents, I'd love to find a bag from Sarra Tang' s Hoi Bo design firm under the tree.

Andreas: Materially, we try to reduce clutter and stuff in our lives, so we're not big present people. I love reading, we both love and collect art, that kind of thing. I also love cooking and last year Anja got me a stove top smoker, which was pretty much the best Christmas present ever.

Thanks for welcoming us into your home Anja and Andreas and Happy Christmas!

All photographs by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book