Starting to work together pre-construction permitted us to choose
materials from the developer's design centre that would best
suit our vision, rather than vice versa. We were also able to
delete a flat closet in the master bedroom, allowing us to plan
for storage better tailored to our client's needs. We weeded
through the client's existing furniture, so she could discard
or sell pieces that were unsuitable. Using builder's plans, we
created a furniture layout that incorporated as many of the remaining
furnishings as possible and targeted future purchases to fill
the holes. Good quality seating pieces would be reupholstered
and restyled. With the world as our oyster, we settled on a mix
of fabrics in reds and golds -- toiles, textures, and small prints
that evoke French Country style. A large armchair, upholstered
in bright green cotton, was left as is to provide a cool contrast.
After the client took possession, we set about embellishing
this contemporary condo with traditional details. Crown moulding
was added to the main living space and a dropped ceiling was
installed in the dining area to allow for proper placement of
a chandelier. A new hand-painted fireplace surround and electric
fireplace create an inviting focal point in the living room.
Builder's paint was immediately banished in favour of rich cream
and gold tones. Even the plain slab wood front door was dressed
up with trim and given a coat of glossy red paint.
The construction of a much-needed walk-in closet to the master
bedroom resulted in the creation of a large blank wall facing
the entrance from the living room. We transformed this into a
welcoming feature wall (as well as adding storage) by building
a display niche and hanging decorative sconces to support special
objets. We used a number of designer tricks to make up for floor
space lost to the closet. Mounting a custom upholstered headboard
on the wall saved precious inches at the foot of the bed. Consignment
store side tables, painted the same colour as the walls, occupy
minimal visual space. The client ingeniously cached a new flatscreen
TV in the top of a slim English secretary desk, in lieu of a
deep armoire for the old TV. To accommodate viewers, we squeezed
in a petite French settee, carried over from the owner's previous
In the rest of the apartment, we seized on every opportunity
to add customized storage and multi-functionality to the space.
A two-sided display niche was added above the kitchen pass-through.
A small built-in bookcase/side table was slipped under an odd
bulkhead in the living room. In the dining area, which doubles
as the client's home office, a built-in cabinet in a hand-glazed
antique finish fills an entire wall, housing office supplies
alongside tableware. Its changing display forms a pleasing backdrop
for a new distressed dining table, surrounded by a mix of slip-covered
and reupholstered dining chairs in a lively toile. Work seems
like less of a chore in this room!
Opening off the dining area, the guest room cum hobby room
was designed with sight lines in mind. The immediate view is
of an inviting daybed, fashioned from a pair of matching twin
bedframes snapped up at a consignment store. The window, covered
by a tasseled Roman shade, is framed by the same toile featured
in the living and dining rooms. A visitor would never know that
the client tackles many craft projects here, as an armoire, aside
from concealing craft supplies, is also outfitted with a pull-out,
dropdown tabletop that quickly retracts from view.