Primed By Design | Milton Interior Decorator

Living big after a decade in a small space, Best Laid Plans by Donna Jean MacKinnon, Oct. 23, 2010

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After 20 years of living in a junior one-bedroom apartment, Karen is excited about her new 651-sq.-ft. condo and she wants to know how to make the most of her new space.Toronto interior decorator Sharyn Kastelic likes Karen’s floorplan.

“It’s streamlined and functional. The window wall lets in plenty of natural light and the long balcony gives her an opportunity to go outdoors,” says Kastelic, owner of Primed By Design Inc.

The only major change she thinks is essential is extending the kitchen counter to line up with the bedroom wall. This will give Karen extra prep space. Kastelic also recommends extending the island to the same length as the counter.

Kastelic suggests using the bedroom wall as an art gallery and installing track lighting to highlight the pictures and illuminate the kitchen.

“The bathroom is fine as is, according to Kastelic, but Karen could improve it with a pocket door in the corridor and with a blasted glass upper panel in the bedroom door. The glass insertion would allow light to filter into the bathroom and make the space appear larger.

In a condo this small it’s rare to have a proper entrance, so Karen will have to keep it simple. Kastelic suggests putting a chest and a round mirror in the niche at the end of the closet.

Karen writes she wants a sectional in the living room. Kastelic endorses this idea and would position the short end of the sofa along the exterior wall (left side) and the long end just inside the balcony windows. This leaves the bedroom wall for a TV and the wall above the sofa for a large splashy abstract painting.

It sounds like Karen needs a zesty change, Kastelic says, and she visualizes Karen’s new suite as modern eclectic. She suggests a white leather and chrome sectional and an iconic, 1950s Isamu Noguchi coffee table with a curved free-form walnut base and triangular glass top. The Noguchi table, introduced in 1948, is available from Herman-Miller and is also sold online.

Kastelic would complete the living room with a floor lamp, at each end of the sectional, and an area carpet to ground the space.

Karen has room beyond the kitchen for a round table 60 inches across. Kastelic urges her to find one with a walnut stain — perhaps a vintage Danish Modern piece. She would also buy four upholstered chrome dining chairs that can be used for extra seating when company calls. (Marty Millionaire, 345 Queen St. E., is a stuffed with good quality, used modern furniture at negotiable prices.) Kastelic’s lighting choice would be a contemporary drum-shaped chandelier that mimics the shape of the table.Along the right wall, Kastelic advises building a storage unit that incorporates a closet, cupboards and a pantry at the kitchen end. She suggests mirrored doors for a bit of glitz and to expand the room visually.

Karen has a bedroom choice — a queen-sized bed with one nightstand or a double bed with two stands. Either way, her best bet is to purchase a campaign-style bed with storage drawers underneath and nightstands with drawers.

Kastelic also suggests pulling the bed out from the wall and building above it “libraryish” shelves that go to the ceiling.

Karen thinks she has lots of extra space in the laundry room. In reality, it is tight but she could install narrow shelves along the front exterior wall, starting at the 3-foot level, to make room to store a vacuum cleaner underneath.

Currently grey is hot and is oh-so sophisticated. Kastelic recommends dark grey wood floors throughout and outfitting the kitchen with grey quartz counters, stainless steel appliances and white kitchen cabinets. She advises pulling it all together with a backsplash constructed of a mix of grey and white glass tiles.

Silver Feather, a soft grey-white from Pittsburgh Paints (530-1), would work well with this scheme, according to Kastelic. She suggests painting most of the walls in this shade and then going wild with an accent wall.

“I’d paint the wall behind the sectional a bold red,” she says. “Then I’d invest in a couple of Empire Red countertop appliances from Kitchen Aid.” Pittsburgh Paints offers Teaberry Blossom (131-7), a sensational orange-red that would do the trick, she says.

Kastelic advises sticking with “quiet” linens and fabrics in grey and white tones and patterns and adding red accessories for extra oomph.

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

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