Welcome! Portfolio: Eclectic Downsizing
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A F T E R:

The Challenge:
To downsize without sacrificing precious family history.
The Vision:
A Bohemian mash-up of old and new.

The Process:
Having decided to simplify her life by moving from a generous 3-storey townhome to a 2-bedroom rental apartment, our client was forced to edit her ample store of furnishings. Her trove of family heirlooms, as well as treasures she and her husband had collected together, ranged in styles from Louis XV to 60's and 70's modern. The key was to identify the client's sentimental favorites, to be ruthless in discarding the tired and dated, and to combine what was left in a new way.

The apartment is a basic 70's unit, with no architectural charm. Fortunately, the rooms are generous, bright, and well-proportioned. With the client uncertain of the length of her occupancy, she was understandably reluctant to invest in repainting or embellishing the neutral walls. Window treatments too were kept functional and minimal -- at least temporarily. With such a bare-bones backdrop, we focused on enlivening the space with bold colour and unexpected juxtapositions.

We divided the huge main living space into distinct zones. In the main sitting area, we began with the client's own reproduction French bergere from the 80's and iconic Maguire rattan chairs from the 60's. We reupholstered the chairs in a mix of plaids, damasks, and animal prints in bright pastels and teamed them with a new clean-lined sofa in neutral navy. A mismatched pair of vintage tables is topped by 30's table lamps from her grandparents' home, and complemented by a new brass and glass coffee table. Underfoot, a new Persian rug in sunny yellow combines all the colours in our cheery scheme.

A corner of the living space close to the kitchen became the breakfast room/games area. Here, an odd couple of Regency chairs sit at a 60's glass table, with a colourfully accessorized 70's ètagére as a backdrop. Nearby sits an antique secretary, shipped from England by her parents.

In the dining area, we initially used a complete suite with which the client was reluctant to part, as it was the first purchase made by the couple together. When the china cabinet proved to be too small for the generous space, we honoured the client's wish to keep it and re-purposed it as kitchen storage. To replace it, we found a vintage English-style sideboard whose imperfections complemented those of the dining table perfectly. Another trip to the consignment store netted us a tromp l'oeil hand-painted mirror to reflect a curvaceous chandelier. Rounding out the furnishings in this area is an antique French baker's rack laden with heritage pieces.

The large master bedroom is dominated by a new headboard and over-sized pendant lamp -- both lending an exotic Moorish note. The rest of the furnishings hold fond memories for the client, from the night tables that once served as living room lamp tables, to the chest of drawers and lady's armchair, through to the quirky lime-green side chair. A kitschy over-sized lamp is a reminder of her childhood, and paintings by her mother are given pride of place, both here and throughout the apartment.

In the guest room/TV room, we once again partner the new -- sofa bed, ottoman, and whimsical armchair -- with the old -- a 60's Plexiglas shelving unit inherited from an aunt, and a drop-leaf desk painted long ago by her mother. To finish it off, we found the perfect rug: a patchwork of vintage carpet scraps dyed vivid citrine.

Throughout the home, starting right at the front door, we have managed to display a huge assortment of tchotchkes on walls, shelves, tables, and even windowsills. Shopping in the client's moving boxes was a fun and rewarding experience for client and designer alike, as each piece brought with it a story. We knew it was all coming together beautifully when a painting we unwrapped to hang above the sofa proved to contain all of our design elements within its imagery. And when we felt we needed a miniature artwork and a sconce to complete the wall arrangement, we rooted through the packaging and dug up just the right pieces.

The Result:
An eclectic new home with instant "soul" and fond memories.

We invite you to continue exploring our site for design inspiration, then contact us to find out how we can provide 'just the thing' for you!

 Also in this Portfolio:

Living & Dining Rooms:
VIEW | Entertaining Adults
VIEW | The Art of Compromise
VIEW | Pulling It Together
VIEW | Finishing Touches
VIEW | Living & Dining
VIEW | Artful Arrangement
VIEW | Classic Modernism
VIEW | Executive Townhouse:
-------- Public Spaces | Private Spaces
Family Rooms/Great Rooms:
VIEW | To the Next Level
VIEW | Calm, Cool, and Collected
VIEW | A Collaborative Effort
VIEW | Social Family Room
Condos & Small Spaces:
VIEW | Home Sweet Home
VIEW | Going with the Flow
VIEW | Making it Work
VIEW | Room with a View
VIEW | Eclectic Downsizing
VIEW | Downtown Pied-a-Terre
VIEW | Bungalow Reinvented
VIEW | Cozy Condo
VIEW | Traded Spaces
VIEW | Taking Charge
VIEW | Elegant Condo

VIEW | Master Suite Makeover
VIEW | Student's Hideaway
VIEW | Designed to Sell
VIEW | Condo Kitchen
VIEW | Maximum Function
VIEW | Collector's Kitchen

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