Welcome! Portfolio: Downtown Pied-a-Terre
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A F T E R:

The Challenge:
To convert a basic box condo into an elegant retreat.
The Vision:
Just enough renovations to add convenience, pizzazz, and resale value. Just enough furnishings to be comfortable and still make a statement.

The Process:
These clients purchased a downtown condo to use as a weekend getaway, but its bare bones look was a far cry from the posh suite they imagined. Flooring, bathroom, kitchen, and lighting: all required attention, while still considering budget and resale value. Our mantra when selecting finishes was to be "bang for the buck".

Our first task was to remove the existing broadloom. In order to improve the visual flow, we installed tile from the entryway into the den, bath, and kitchen, transitioning to hardwood in the bedroom and living area. For elegance and drama, we chose glossy black porcelain tile and dark walnut planks.

As in most condos, limited lighting was an issue. In the kitchen, we added under-cabinet task lighting and dropped the ceiling so we could install recessed LED fixtures. The curve of the new kitchen bulkhead echoes the curve we created as the flooring transitions from tile to hardwood. We continued the bulkhead into the living area and illuminated the main wall with additional recessed LED's. Pot lighting was added to the bedroom and bath as well.

In order to make the open concept living area feel more formal, we wanted the kitchen to blend into the decor. The additional cost of replacing versus refacing the cabinetry was deemed a worthwhile investment. Although space was limited, minor adjustments to the layout and pushing the peninsula slightly forward greatly enhanced the kitchen's functionality. New cupboards were painted the same colour as the walls -- but with a luxe lacquered finish. Matching doors installed on the laundry closet make it virtually disappear. The addition of a 54" high panel to back of the kitchen peninsula affords multiple benefits: it screens the work area from the living space; its stone ledge is an extra serving/display surface; and its mirrored front visually expands the space. In addition, it allowed us to further dress up the kitchen with a wrap-around argyle-patterned mosaic backsplash.

The bathroom required updating -- as well as some style. Again, we opted for drama here. A custom black lacquered vanity topped with white-veined black marble is a bold statement, as is the wild mosaic tile in the tub area. The small space is made more expansive by a large black-framed mirror.

As the last items on our list of enhancements to the unit, we added decorative architectural trim to the flat doors and skinny casings, replaced cheap closet sliders with mirrored shoji-style ones, and upgraded bedroom storage with a custom closet system.

Now came the fun part: decorating. On our first shopping trip, we spotted a plush orange and brown pillow, which became the jumping off point for our design scheme. We started right from the front door, painting it a vivid red-orange. In the tiny den next to the entry, the wallpaper's orange touches leap off a black background. The lively chinoiserie pattern creates a jewel box of a space that needs little more than a simple writing desk and chair to fill it. From there, our eyes are carried into the suite by a common thread of colour.

In the main living area, furnishings are minimal and small scale. A center hall table, enlarged by a glass top, serves as a dining table. Graceful dining chairs serve double duty as occasional seating. A low shelving unit is used for serving, display, and storage. A mirrored cabinet acts as media console and bar. A curvy sofa almost blends into the wall, saved from disappearing by its dark wood frame and punchy accent pillows. Our mix of traditional and contemporary elements is exemplified by the coffee table: a warm veneered top set on a modern chrome frame with classic spade-foot legs. A whimsical ostrich-legged side table, retro floor lamp, and original artwork add personality. The largely quiet room is energized by flamboyant orange silk drapery.

Only the bedroom remains totally tranquil. It is a monochromatic space, with subtle textural variation and shimmering metallic highlights. And since this is a fantasy room and not designed for day-to-day living, all we need to make it perfect is a beautiful posh bed.

The Result:
This getaway is exactly what the clients craved -- an exciting escape from the everyday.

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
Townhouses:
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

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

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