YourHome.ca, Best Laid Plans by Donna Jean MacKinnon, May 8, 2008
Julie finally took her parent’s advice, “bit the bullet,” and ended up buying a 737-square-foot condominium.
Julie, a first-time buyer, has many questions including the wisdom of ordering hardwood flooring throughout and pre-installing the hardware for a plasma television.
Toronto interior decorator Sharyn Kastelic says yes to both queries.
“Because this suite has a northern exposure and almost no natural light, I would choose pale maple flooring and cabinets to keep the space light,” says Kastelic, owner of Primed By Design.
She also recommends painting the unit with a light warm tone like Benjamin Moore’s Wheat Sheaf (CC-220).
Overall, Kastelic finds Julie’s floor plan straightforward, but there is one big flaw – the bathroom. It is located in the foyer, an inconvenient hike from the bedroom.
This cannot be remedied but Kastelic has a suggestion to create a more gracious foyer. She would move the hall closet into the laundry nook and shift the laundry to the niche beside it.
“I would have the laundry open into the den with a bi-fold door that is mirrored to draw in some light,” Kastelic says.
Meanwhile, the foyer now has room, on the left, for a bureau with a mirror above. Kastelic would also add a contemporary pendant light fixture, a small area rug and hang a dramatic artwork on the right wall.
Julie asks about building the optional den wall offered by the developer.
Kastelic advises against it in order to keep the space as open as possible. She encourages Julie to turn the den into a dining room. This involves centering a 40- by 72-inch rectangular dining table, under a classy chandelier (with a dimmer for ambience). Julie can also use this table for a desk.
Kastelic suggests punching up the condo by painting the left den wall Raspberry Truffle (Benjamin Moore 2080-10) then carrying the red throughout the suite in art, fabrics and accessories. She would like to see Julie install sensational artwork on the bedroom wall, mindful that it will be visible from the entrance.
“If Julie wants a bed for a guest due to space constraints, I advise investing in a bed sofa for the living room,” Kastelic says.
Once the dining table is in the den, Julie will have ample room in the living room for the sofa, two end tables, a pair of club chairs and a decent-sized coffee table — all oriented towards an entertainment centre and plasma TV on the left wall.
Julie also has enough extra space to expand her kitchen, according to Kastelic. She advises moving the refrigerator wall to line up with the foyer wall and then moving the opposite counter out to line up with the new refrigerator wall.
“This will give Julie a balanced U-shaped kitchen with more counter space and room for two stools,” Kastelic says.
Note: The Furniture Layout Plan on the right was not included with the original article.