Primed By Design | Milton Interior Decorator

Savvy alterations will make condo sophisticated and comfortable, Best Laid Plans by Donna Jean MacKinnon, Sep. 10, 2010

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Glen and his wife purchased a 1,250-square-foot condominium from drawings. They are moving from a three-bedroom house and fear they will feel crowded in their new penthouse digs. With some savvy alterations, this couple could find themselves in a very comfortable and sophisticated home, according to interior decorator Sharyn Kastelic.

She recommends starting with the cramped non-descript foyer. In order to create a more gracious entrance, Kastelic would remove the small closet to open up the den.

“I’d built a floor-to-ceiling cupboard along the back wall and install a pillar, the same size as the living room ones, at the end of the floating den wall,” says Kastelic, owner of Primed By Design.

There is also space enough for a classy chair, chest and mirror left of the door.

Kastelic suggests finishing the new grand entrance with a bold area carpet (6-feet by 9-feet) and eye-catching artwork on the kitchen wall.

The large enclosed kitchen with a window is a rarity in a condo. Unfortunately, this one is badly planned. And the biggest sin is no counter between the stove and refrigerator, according to Kastelic.

She advises moving the dishwasher to the other side of the sinks and building a new counter across the window wall. Also, Glen could improve the functionality of this kitchen by building a full-height pantry (13-inches deep) against the balcony wall.

“I would leave a space under part of the counter for a stool so the cook can rest, “Kastelic says. “Obviously, there will also be storage cupboards underneath the rest.”

The living area here is square, a feature that makes it difficult to divide into seating and dining areas. Kastelic suggests making the bump-out between the windows a focal point by installing an ethanol-burning fireplace.

Kastelic urges Glen to check out a Chimo fireplace (#65174) The contemporary style Chimo is constructed of stainless steel.

Kastelic visualizes the living room with two regular-sized sofas facing each other (one between the pillars) and a custom-built two-part media unit against the den wall. She would like the section nearest the hall to be low, so Glen can put a TV above it. The other section, nearer to the windows, would be in the form of tall book shelves. To create a bit of ambience in the room, Kastelic suggests adding a torchiere-style floor lamp in the upper left corner and installing up-lighting at the base of the pillars. As for window treatment, Kastelic recommends off-white sheers (in front of sun shades) hanging from ornate black rods.

Kastelic suggests distressed grey wood flooring throughout this condo — except for the master bedroom, where she would rather see comfy broadloom in dove grey. “I would upholster the sofas in soft grey leather and define the dining and living areas with a pair of carpets made from natural sisal fibres and edged with black binding,” she says.

Glen could smartly face the three pillars in a wood finish that coordinates with the floors and the cabinet work in the living room and den. (RR Wood in Mississauga, specializes in custom post covers. Go to

There’s enough room near the kitchen for a round pedestal table 60-inches in diameter. Low-backed upholstered chairs that do not block the view and are versatile enough to be used as extra seating in the living room would be Glen’s best choice, according to Kastelic.

If Glen can afford it, Kastelic suggests an elegant addition to this suite — crown moulding all around the main area, second bedroom, hall and den. She would also install an architectural medallion above the table and suspend an opulent chandelier.

Glen indicates that he wants to use the guest room as an office and is considering installing a Murphy bed.

Kastelic advises tearing out the two closets and custom building a wall unit (left wall) that incorporates a work station, Murphy bed and cabinets. ( or for bed and cabinetry.)

The master bedroom is large enough to accommodate a queen-sized bed and two generous night stands. However, Kastelic is not as pleased with the bathrooms stuck together and the shower placed against a bedroom closet. It is bound to cause the wall to sweat and clothes to dampen.

Kastelic urges Glen to eliminate the shower stall and hook up a new one in the guest bath tub. Then he can use the niche for storage.

She also advises painting all walls, except in the master bedroom, Atrium (#523), an off-white from Pittsburgh Paints. Her choice for the bedroom would be Cloudberry (Pittsburgh Paints, #443), a warm violet grey that coordinates nicely with grey broadloom.

“I would stick to a contemporary downtown look when it comes to accessories and fabrics, Kastelic says. “Muted greens, neutral greys, white and black would enhance the grey floors and work well with all the glass.”

Note: The Furniture Layout Plan on the right was not included with the original article.

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