YourHome.ca, Best Laid Plans by Donna Jean MacKinnon, Apr. 29, 2011
Maureen is panicky about the lack of space in her new 563-square-foot condominium. She indicates she needs help to make her new home comfortable. On the plus side, the large terrace gives the impression of a much larger space than the reality, according to interior decorator Sharyn Kastelic.
“My best advice is not to crowd this suite with too much furniture and bric-a brac,” says Kastelic, owner of Primed by Design Inc. (www.primedbydesign.com).
She suggests dressing up the foyer with a small chest-of-drawers to the right of the front door and adding an opulent gilded starburst mirror above the chest.
Kastelic advises changing the sliders on the miniature hall closet to a bi-fold door because the opening is too narrow for sliders.
Kastelic wonders why a designer would put two sinks in a pokey kitchen that has a dishwasher. She also points out kitchens this tiny should have a European-sized 24-inch cooktop instead of the standard 30-inches.
One sink and the six inches between the stove and fridge would make all the difference in counter space. Also, the breakfast bar is a waste of space as there’s no room to pull out stools.
“If this unit isn’t built yet, perhaps Maureen can nip all this in the bud,” she says. “If the bar is already there, I urge Maureen to build storage shelves under it.”
Without stools, Maureen has room for a 3-foot by 6-foot table that she can use for dining and as a desk. Maureen can place the table with one end against the left wall and place two dining chairs on either side.
In order to glam up this condo, Kastelic suggest dollops of bling and shiny surfaces that will bounce around the light from the south-facing windows. With this in mind, she urges Maureen to buy a glass and chrome table and hang a glitzy chandelier above it.
“I’d love to see here a funky crystal fixture with strings of capiz seashells hanging down in strands,” Kastelic says. (Visit www.glowlighting.com for inspiration.)
Further along the same wall, there’s space for an apartment-sized sofa and a small glass coffee table that takes up minimal visual space.
Maureen has room for one comfy chair and an end table on the left side of the sofa. And that’s it. Kastelic favours a sofa with tufted back and creamy leather upholstery. She also suggests the one chair be an eye-popping 20th-century classic. Her choice would be a retro Warren Platner armchair (1966) in a wicked chartreuse fabric. This iconic chair, sold by Knoll, is expensive, but it would make the room, she says. There’s still space on the right wall for a media unit — preferably in a classy dark wood to match the chocolate oak cabinetry Maureen has pre-chosen for the kitchen. Kastelic suggests arranging a series of small pictures above the sofa framed in the same brown as the media unit and cupboards.
Kastelic also recommends livening up the kitchen area with a poster version of Gustav Klimt’s famous painting “The Kiss,” which features lots of shiny gold. It will fit nicely on the wall of the hall closet. Maureen may also want to visit Atlas Rug ( www.atlasrug.ca) on Eglinton Ave. W. to check out the company’s New Style collection of stunning post-modern floor art.
While the bedroom will accommodate a queen-sized bed, Maureen would be better off with a double. There’s also room for one small chest between the bed and closet. Due to the shortage of storage here, Maureen may want to invest in a campaign-style bed with drawers underneath for her linens, knickers and sweaters.
Kastelic recommends painting the walls a soft, muted yellow-green (Pittsburgh Paints Bamboo PP312-2) and using this as a backdrop for accessories and fabrics in the chartreuse and citrusy hues. She advises Maureen to carry the citrus theme out to the terrace.
Kastelic suggests a straight forward treatment for the windows with grommet-style sheers for daytime so the eye carries through from the front door to the patio. Maureen will also require draw drapes for night-time privacy.
“In the final analysis, the reality of the tightness of this space could be pretty grim. So I encourage Maureen to make this interior as attractive and punchy as possible,” Kastelic says.
Note: The Furniture Layout Plan on the right was not included with the original article.