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ABOUT
THE

FIRM

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Sensus Design Studio is a luxury design, interior design, and construction firm that specializes in luxurious turn-key passion projects throughout the GTA. Founded by brothers John-Luke and Jesse Sahlani, who got their start early in life working on foundations and landscaping, the company has moved from small-scale renovations to 2,500-10,000sq/ft plus luxury custom homes. Now, Sensus Design Studio has 25 in-house staff members and a network of over 400 tradesmen and suppliers, but despite the company’s relative size, every project is personally overseen by the brothers themselves.

Jesse Sahlani heads all things design and every timeless design he is known for starts with a sketch. Of course, he doesn’t stop there. Sun studies, topographical considerations, and the proportions of each space crucial to the layouts and flow of the home are reviewed in depth to ensure that timelessness exists in every detail. The importance behind this practice is echoed throughout Jesse’s portfolio, as every design project he is involved in is designed to be just that: timeless. Jesse puts great importance on each structure’s ability to h’arness the sun's light at the time of highest use for each room, as well as the proportions of the structure itself.

From there the designs are brought to life through the use of photorealistic 3D renderings, full-scale floor plans, and interior design material boards, ensuring that every detail of the project is custom-tailored to each client and explained in a collaborative and visualizable way. While all of this sounds conceptual, Jesse and his team have also worked with almost every municipal zoning review, conservation authority, and building permit office in Southern Ontario to see through the permitting and approval processes required to start construction.

John-Luke Sahlani leads the firm's construction division and collaborates in lockstep with Jesse and his team to bring each of the duo’s highly detailed passion projects to life. Through his design and construction management background, John-Luke’s ability to implement every unique design the firm is responsible for through an often highly detailed construction process allows him to achieve visual harmony between concept and finished product. He has worked directly with a long list of high-profile clientele throughout the years and has assembled a notable network of suppliers and craftsmen to execute on the specificity of design the duo is known for.

Now featured in several magazines, the result of this keen collaboration on the part of Jesse and John-Luke is a lengthy portfolio of highly unique and luxuriously inviting environments designed to be admired and built to stand the test of time. John-Luke and Jesse both intend for their firm to continue to focus on approaching each project they commit to holistically. Combining design, interior design, landscape design, and construction together as one allows Sensus Design Studio to treat every project as a passion project where every detail is purposefully curated.

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WHO WE
ARE

WHY YOUR
ENVIRONMENT

MATTERS?

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Principal designer Jesse Sahlani’s approach is one that focuses on the creation of an environment. It is an approach that is comprised of equal parts attention to the impact of the custom home’s exterior design on interior proportions, natural light, sprawling room flow, and detailed design features that support the functional use of the home. This approach considers much more than finishes and is an approach that only a designer who is in control of the entire design process can execute through a range of architectural design services, including interior design and landscape design. It is through these principles that lead designer Jesse Sahlani is able to create an environment that you want to experience over and over again, as this, in his eyes, is the truest form of luxury design.

With the sentiment that the environment you are trying to create should always be the starting point of making aesthetic decisions, our process prioritizes the use of sun studies and sketching of different perspective views to add clarity to the proposed design intent. To achieve this, we get to know you well and pay close attention to lifestyle-related details that help us intuitively mold the home to support. Of course, the high-quality visualization process we are known for is a large part of providing a realistic experience to our clients alongside Jesse’s initial sketches. In the words of Jesse Sahlani, detailed design compels detailed construction, and this is the sole responsibility of anyone providing you with architectural design services.

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THE
IMPORTANCE
OF

HARNESSING
NATURAL LIGHT

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The importance of sun modeling is expressed quite often when we present the bodies of work that Jesse has developed. Today, we wanted to offer some insight into the methodology behind this practice. Behind every 3D visualization, our architectural design firm develops, there is a sun model that tracks the s’un's path, allowing us to design around its positioning. Sun studies are an essential aspect of designing a home, as they help determine the amount of sunlight that a home’s interior will receive throughout the day, as well as the direction and intensity of that sunlight. This information can have a significant impact on the design of the home and its interior spaces, as well as the energy efficiency and comfort of the home.

While there are several methods of completing sun studies, including several that famous architectural designers of the past have used, Jesse utilizes a combination of both observation of sun paths in the early phases of the design process. He pairs this with sophisticated computer-generated sun models in later phases. Typically, this first approach of observing the sun would be used to determine the sun’s rough position at different times of day in order to aid in the creation of sketched floor plans that are optimized to harness natural light in each room based on the average highest time of use. In later phases, we rely on the above-mentioned highly technical sun models that our software aids us in plotting, taking into consideration not only room positions but window sizes, energy efficiency data, detailing exactly how much natural light is going to flood each space on an hourly basis!

Combining these unique sun study methods increases the quality of any space in our eyes, offering a bright, fresh, and sunny environment that will inevitably serve as the backdrop to your family’s growth.

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WHY EVERY
TIMELESS DESIGN
STARTS WITH A


SKETCH?

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Throughout our project releases on social media and our portfolio, you may notice that our architectural design firm consistently echoes the importance of starting our custom home design process with sketching. Jesse’s ability to sketch both the exterior of the homes he commits to designing and the interior perspective views of his interior design plans has proven to be a discerning difference in his ability to create timeless home designs. While much more goes into these projects than sketches, including a long and iterative process where every detail is questioned several times over, we wanted to provide some insight into why we believe sketching is an integral part of the custom home design process.

The definition of timeless design at Sensus Design Studio is that you can’t tell when the home was built when you drive by it. When you approach a home’s design from this perspective, your thoughts about each detail, and their weight in the scheme of the total design plan, shift significantly. Hand sketching allows you to quickly and organically define the proportion of a design, test different exterior materials and textures, and balance decorative features, leading to the creation of a timeless design.

Of course, it also results in an enjoyable experience and higher quality of architectural design services for the client as a result of collaboration and keen focus on the intention and logic behind the design of each feature. We also believe that because sketching allows architectural designers to explore their ideas and concepts in a flexible and iterative manner, the “right” design will inevitably be achieved along with unique and effective solutions to challenges found through the working process.

Sketches also allow us as architectural designers to quickly experiment with different shapes, forms, and details, without being constrained by the technical limitations of a specific software. This freedom of design expression encourages Jesse to explore a range of home design styles while pushing boundaries of the proportions he understands. Some of his favourite styles include renditions of French Chateau and French Manor design, Modern design, Farmhouse design along with its many contemporary renditions, and of course, the Georgian, Contemporary, Tudor, English Cottage, and Nordic home design categories.

Furthermore, sketches often capture the intention and thought behind a home’s design in a way that is impossible with more polished presentations. This raw and honest expression can be very powerful, as it communicates the architectural designer’s vision in a personal and authentic way. Hand-drawn quality also adds a human touch and personality to the design, which can also contribute to the timelessness of the design

This approach is carried out through various architectural design services, including interior design, landscape design, furnishing, and decorating. This holistic approach allows us to perfectly curate the intended environment that you want to experience over and over again, as this is the truest form of luxury design by Jesse’s definition.

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THE
IMPORTANCE OF

3D MODELING
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While we believe that the process of sketching is what separates the ranks between different architectural design firms, this doesn’t mean we stick our noses up at computer-generated home design. In our eyes, 3D modeling and other forms of computer-generated home design complement the old-world practice of sketching to a high degree for several reasons. Our approach is one that blends the practices of sketching and computer-generated 3D visualizations to harness the best of both the old-world architectural principles that have proven to be so effective throughout history and the new-world practices of 3D modeling to improve the accuracy of design, the flow of information, and the construction process itself. By utilizing both of these methods, you are able to harness the free-spirited whimsical exploration that sketching offers while creating an accurate and detailed home that can be easily visualized before swinging a hammer.

In fact, the level of visualization our architectural design firm is able to create is accurate down to the detail, serving as a visual reference for our clients of the natural light and interior proportions of their homes. These models also serve as the foundation for a much more complex interior design model that is created for our clients in later phases. Builders are also able to use these models as a reference to review through the process of completing their work. By offering everyone involved a vision, we are able to offer a flow of information that helps everyone find the right answers and self-regulate their work to match the visual examples provided. Computer modeling offers efficiency through the process as a result of being able to utilize sophisticated modeling to visualize specific features, quickly outline specific construction sequence notes, and create a comprehensive design package that sketching and hand-drawn drawings can’t offer. By designing the exterior of the home’s massing in a 3D format, we are

DETAILED
DESIGN

COMPELS

DETAILED
CONSTRUCTION.

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We are obsessed with the details. We believe that creating a space that exudes the design style of choice in every selection, profile, texture, and art piece in the space is what sets an environment apart. To create this standard of an environment, we pride ourselves on not only our design creativity but also our ability to create well-explained, intuitive, and highly technical design plans that are rooted in the application.

Detailed design compels detailed construction, a saying Jesse reiterates over and over again throughout team meetings within the firm. After over a decade of designing and bringing custom homes to life through active involvement in the construction process, Jesse and our team have put drawing standards in place along the way in our day-to-day experience. We believe our drawings consider both the technical and the beautiful to solve 85% of the common construction information gaps that drawings often miss.

After all, we can design an amazing space, but it is all for nothing if we aren't able to execute these plans smoothly and practically. For this reason, we continue to play a role through the construction process, working with our in-house team, led by John-Luke Sahlani, or a builder of your choice. We feel a sense of stewardship that we believe should naturally come with the idea of our art characterizing the neighbourhood it’s designed in for decades to come.

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BEHIND THE DESIGNS: A BLOG

An in depth look at the approach, travel experiences and inspiration that serve as pillars of reference for
Jesse and John-Luke Sahlani, the principles of Sensus Design Studio.

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Why every timeless design starts with a sketch?

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The benefits and methods of maximizing natural light

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THE ROLE OF LANDSCAPE DESIGN IN CREATING A COHESIVELY LUXURIOUS ENVIRONMENT

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OUR FAVOURITE MASONRY MATERIALS, FEATURES, AND DETAILS

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The Role of a Multidisciplinary Approach in the Creation of a Cohesive Environment

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Design diversity the passion behind a pillar of our our firm

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