Primed By Design | Milton Interior Decorator

Lack of kitchen space a problem in tiny suite, Best Laid Plans by Donna Jean MacKinnon, Sep. 18, 2008

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Carolyn has already set aside a few pieces of furniture for the 533-square-foot condominium she purchased from plans. She has a five-foot couch, matching armchair and generic tall white bookcases.
“These pieces may go eventually, but for now I’m focusing on purchasing a new desk and ottoman,” Carolyn says.

Interior decorator Sharyn Kastelic is impressed with the large amount of storage in Carolyn’s tiny suite.

“It’s nice to see a large bedroom closet, a decent-sized hall closet and extra storage in the laundry,” says Kastelic, owner of Primed by Design Inc.

Small as the foyer is, Carolyn still has room for a diminutive demilune table on the right and a tall mirror above, according to Kastelic.

The kitchen is problematic as it barely has counter space, thanks to the laundry door. Kastelic urges Carolyn to change the double sink to a single to gain a few extra inches of counter space. She also advises sticking with unobtrusive white cabinets, white quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and a glass tiled or mirrored backsplash.

She also recommends building adjustable shelving in the laundry closet.

Unfortunately, due to the location of the laundry closet, Carolyn will have to live with the smell of cleaning chemicals permeating her kitchen.

Kastelic advises switching the living and dining functions, since the left wall is the only one that will accommodate an entertainment unit.

There is room for Carolyn’s small sofa on the right wall, flanked by a pair of end tables and two tall floor lamps. She can arrange her matching club chair with its back to the kitchen, and place a new storage ottoman that doubles as a coffee table in front of the sofa.

Kastelic suggests delineating the living room with a six-foot by eight-foot shag or sisal rug.

“I would invest in a low sleek media unit as a base for a flat screen TV and install floating shelves over it for books or knick-knacks,” she says.

Kastelic recommends finishing the living room with two wide pieces of art, stacked horizontally over the sofa to balance the shelves on the opposite wall. In front of the window, Kastelic would like to see a chrome and glass-topped dining table with three small-chrome and white leather chairs. (Carolyn could use a fourth dining chair in the bedroom as a boudoir chair.)

“This arrangement will create a fabulous focal point at the end of the unit and take up a minimum of visual space,” Kastelic says.

She also suggests installing a contemporary chandelier above the table and, on the right wall, lining up with the table, a tall mirror with a dark wood frame. Finally, she would frame the view with full-height neutral drape panels suspended from a dark rod.

The dining table can also function as a desk, according to Kastelic.

Kastelic hopes Carolyn has dark wood floors — a punchy contrast to the kitchen and the contemporary white and metal furniture.

A double bed with headboard against the exterior wall will fit easily into the bedroom.

Kastelic suggests Carolyn use two small bookcases as nightstands and place her white bookcases against the right wall.

“I also recommend wall-mounting swing-arm lamps above the nightstands,” Kastelic says.

Carolyn indicates in her letter that she likes bold colours and is thinking about olive green paint.

Kastelic endorses this plan and recommends using an eco-friendly paint with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) from C2 Paints. She would go with Element C2-424P, an “amazing” green (

Kastelic advises using the green on the left walls in the bedroom and bathroom, and the right walls in the kitchen and living room. The other walls should remain white to help visually expand the space.

“I would choose artwork, throw cushions and accessories in shades of green and chocolate brown. The brown, green, dark floors and clean white will create a stunning interior,” Kastelic says.

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

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