Since transplanting to Toronto several months before, our
client had yet to really settle in. She wanted the condo -- although
a rental -- to be decorated to suit the posh building. To make
up for lost time, we made it a priority to select from stocked
items whenever possible. A month after our initial consultation,
we had the major pieces in place.
While the suite has 10' coffered ceilings, fireplace, and
a terrific view from the 48th
floor, our first impression was a lack of "wow" factor
and personality. For "wow", we would bring in lots
of shine for glam, texture for interest, and shots of vivid colour.
For personality, we would make use of her cherished belongings
and draw our design inspiration from them.
Among the client's furnishings, a settee and a swivel chair/ottoman
combo -- small-scale and curvaceous -- appealed to us with their
retro/art deco flavour. On their own, these pieces were
dwarfed by the volume of the room. But adding items of a similar
compact scale would not only contribute to the lounge-y vibe
we were after, but also transition well to any future residence:
a wise consideration for a temporary home. Their neutral ultra-suede
upholstery was lower-key than we had envisioned for the final
design, but easy to work with. We visited several showroom floors,
putting items of interest on hold until we were able to glean
from our selections a cohesive group of fabulous pieces that
would meet with the client's approval and budget. A month after
our initial meeting, we had all the major pieces in place in
the living area.
To start, we found a comfortable leather sofa in the same
shade as the settee, its style and curvy outline echoing details
of the client's pieces. Opposite sits a sleek Italian credenza:
with its high gloss lacquer finish and silver base it is the
epitome of glam. But while gorgeous, it is also a practical choice
for a small space, offering generous storage capacity and concealing
a large TV -- mounted on a motorized lift -- behind it. The rich
wood tones of the credenza are also featured in a petite mirrored-top
art deco coffee table. The conversational grouping is rounded
out by a chair in brilliant blue -- a serendipitous find both
for its colour, which is pulled from the client's artwork, and
its style that perfectly complements the vintage settee. A couple
of small tables, chosen for their textural materials, add subtle
interest. Underfoot, a patchwork cowhide rug serves to unify
the floating seating arrangement.
Its tones of cream, beige, grey, and taupe reflect all the
soft neutrals in the room, while its black branching elements
add drama and punctuation.
Window niches flanking the
fireplace offered more functional living space. On the left,
a glass-topped writing desk and art deco leather swivel chair
make working from home a pleasant -- although distracting --
experience. On the right, a glass bistro table and comfy stools
are equally accommodating for dinner or cocktails. vibrant sky
blue silk drapery frames the furniture groupings and highlights
the spectacular views on the one side of the room, while blocking
an unsightly view on the other.
In keeping with the main
room, the adjoining spaces also cried out for some life. In the
foyer, instead of wallpaper, a large colourful abstract canvas
virtually covers a boring white wall (and ugly electrical panel).
In the den/guest room, we chose a large sofabed and cabinet
in white to blend with the walls and minimize their bulk, while
bright pillows and artwork and graphic dark wood elements pop.
Now, instead of looking straight out the windows to the view
beyond, the view inside grabs you first!