Primed By Design | Milton Interior Decorator

Ditch the shower for storage space

YourHome.ca, Best Laid Plans by Donna Jean MacKinnon, Oct. 24, 2009

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Jeanne and her husband are moving into a 1,076-square-foot condominium in Port Credit. This location meets their needs as seniors, according to Jeanne’s letter. “We have a corner unit on the second floor, with a large expanse of windows. We do love the light, but unfortunately, our view is not the most desirable,” she says. “We would appreciate suggestions regarding window coverings and also furniture placement. “

Interior decorator Sharyn Kastelic recommends Hunter-Douglas Luminettes (the most common practical choice for banks of condo windows) with creamy sheers for all the windows. She finds the vertical Luminettes offer privacy and screening, yet they filter in light. They also look quite elegant. Overall, Kastelic approves of Jeanne’s floor plan. She likes the separation of the bedrooms, the open, airy main living space and the long balcony. But she does have quibbles. The minuscule foyer, with a direct sightline into the bedroom, is hardly a civilized feature in such a large condo. There are virtually few walls for furniture and art. And the lack of closet space is problematic. (Where will two people stash their winter coats and gear?) “They don’t need a second shower in the powder room. It would be better to ditch it and create a storage room for things like an ironing board, cleaning supplies and a vacuum cleaner,” says Kastelic, owner of Primed by Design Inc.

Kastelic’s best advice is to hire a professional closet organizer who has the expertise to maximize the functionality of the three closets. She also suggests changing all the swinging closet doors and the laundry door to bifolds. Jeanne indicates she is moving her traditional furniture to the condo. This includes a mahogany dining suite, an L-shaped sectional, upholstered in cream and burgundy stripes and a burgundy leather La-Z-Boy chair. Jeanne plans to turn the second bedroom into an office and use the lounge chair there. Kastelic would put it and a floor lamp in the upper left corner to create a reading nook. This would leave the right wall free for a desk under a set of wall-mounted shelves. Jeanne plans to install an electric fireplace against the (left) living room wall. Because it is the only solid wall in the living area, she will have to put her new LCD television above the fireplace.

“Obviously, the sectional has to be oriented towards the fireplace and TV. Then, I’d find a low bookshelf and place it against the back of the sofa to provide a surface for a table lamp,” Kastelic says. “There’s also room here for an end table and a glass coffee table. “Kastelic would anchor the living room with an eight-by-10-foot sisal-style carpet. The casual carpet will update the burgundy sofa. Kastelic advises placing the mahogany dining table parallel to the balcony (vertically). She would nix the matching buffet and china cabinet and instead build a unit for dinnerware and linen in the niche beside the bedroom door.”Those heavy pieces do not belong physically or visually in an airy loft-style modern space,” Kastelic says. “I’d also go with small upholstered dining chairs in a fabric that complements the sofa.”She also suggests investing in a dazzling chandelier for above the table and making a feature out of the pillar in the corner. Jeanne could give the pillar a faux

She would nix the matching buffet and china cabinet and instead build a unit for dinnerware and linen in the niche beside the bedroom door.”Those heavy pieces do not belong physically or visually in an airy loft-style modern space,” Kastelic says. “I’d also go with small upholstered dining chairs in a fabric that complements the sofa.”She also suggests investing in a dazzling chandelier for above the table and making a feature out of the pillar in the corner. Jeanne could give the pillar a faux lapis, malachite or marble treatment or have faux (painted) ivy winding around it. The corner is also an ideal spot for a couple of potted trees. Kastelic urges Jeanne to reduce the depth (the overlap for stools) of the island by two feet.

Due to the large sectional and placement of stools, traffic would be hindered and people would have to travel through the kitchen to get to the dining room and balcony. The master bedroom has ample space for a king-sized bed against the exterior wall. There’s also room for a small chest-of-drawers on either side of the bed and, on the opposite wall, space for a narrow storage console and a large artwork.

In order to punch up the bedroom, Kastelic suggests painting the wall behind the headboard in Cargo Pants, a greenish shade, from Sherwin-Williams (SW7738). She visualizes the rest of the condo with cream to buttermilk hues. Kastelic recommends hardwood flooring throughout in a medium walnut tone that will complement the burgundy and mahogany furnishings.She also advises darkish wood for the island and light creamy tones for the kitchen counters and cabinets.

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

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