Primed By Design | Milton Interior Decorator

Floors reduce ‘bowling alley’, Best Laid Plans by Donna Jean MacKinnon, Jan 30, 2010

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Anne wants to know how to furnish her new 980-square-foot condominium so the living room doesn’t look like a bowling alley.”We like dark wood floors and a bit of sparkle. And we would like to have a sectional sofa,” she says.The best method for minimizing a bowling-alley impression is to employ different floorings, according to interior decorator Sharyn Kastelic. She recommends light stone or porcelain tiles for the kitchen, foyer and den. She would lay dark wood horizontally throughout the rest of the condo.

“Leave the bedroom doors open and the eye will wander wide rather than narrow and give a sense of more space. I’d also buy a light-coloured rectangular area rug (seven by nine feet) for the living room. It will zone that area and help break up the flooring,” says Kastelic, owner of Primed By Design Inc.

Anne’s desire for a sectional sofa in this narrow space is a no-go. Instead, Kastelic recommends an apartment-sized sofa against the right wall that anchors a grouping consisting of an easy chair, with back to window, and a chair opposite, resulting in seating for four. Anne also has space for rectangular end tables and matching lamps. Kastelic suggests finishing the look with an elegant, round ottoman and with a large abstract painting above the sofa.

The left wall will accommodate a flat screen TV and a low five-foot media unit.

Dining room options are limited. Kastelic advises four chairs around a small rectangular table (3 by 5 feet), placed horizontally. The table must be small.

(Unfortunately, the sightline, from the dining table is directly into the bathroom.)

On the laundry wall, there’s an opportunity for a floating shelf under a mirror.

Anne plans to move the walk-in-closet door in the master bedroom, to the side wall.

“I would discourage Anne from doing this. Again, there would be a sightline problem from the dining area to a closet door. I’d rather she used the closet wall for something nice to look at, like a tapestry or colourful poster,” Kastelic says. Anne and her husband desire a king-sized bed. One will fit but there will be no room for a dresser. However Anne could have generous nightstands with drawers. If this couple insist on a monstrous bed, Kastelic suggests they consider a campaign-style bed with storage drawers underneath. “I would break up the left wall with a narrow bench under a flashy artwork and park a big plant in the top left corner,” Kastelic says.

Because Anne likes sparkle and sounds stylish, Kastelic suggests investing in a showy tufted headboard with more nail-head trim and hanging large-scale wallpaper with a floral pattern and silvery flecks.

Anne does not mention a guest room, so Kastelic recommends turning the tiny second bedroom into an office with a full work station across the window wall.

“I would set up two classy book shelves along the exterior wall. These will be visible from the living room so they must be neat and worth looking at,” Kastelic says.

There is not nearly enough closet and storage space for two people. Kastelic advises utilizing the itty-bitty den as a closet. This involves tearing out the foyer closet and building two new closets – one along the bathroom wall for coats and another opposite for general storage.

“The upper closet should line up with the one on the shorter exterior wall,” Kastelic says. “This reno also creates a niche opposite the kitchen counter suitable for a small chest for keys, mail and gloves.”

Once this alteration is completed, the foyer will be more open. If Anne mirrors the end of the (new) upper closet, it will reflect the kitchen lights and visually expand the vestibule space. This foyer would benefit from a long, narrow carpet that takes the eye from the front door to the dining area and from the addition of a shimmering chandelier.

Kastelic urges Anne to stick to white for the kitchen cabinetry.

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

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