Photos by Larry Arnal
In this particular small space, we started with just 450 sq. ft. that presented like a square box divided into two rooms. The finished product is very different. As this client will tell you, that is the advantage of working with a design firm. Occasionally, you will hear someone say that a small space doesn’t warrant professional help, but we would argue that you never needed it more than when every square inch counts.
We started in the living room and built in cabinets, to house the television and add a fireplace. The ethanol fireplace is suited to condo spaces and provides a focus for the room, along with ambience and heat in the winter months. The mouldings were added for detail and to add an element of class to an otherwise square box. The fireplace and television provide grounding to the room, around which the furniture can be placed. Generally in a smaller space, you want to select just one accent colour, and potentially a subordinate of that colour. This keeps the space interesting without the complexity of multiple colours. This space is generally tones of grey for its major pieces but the carpet and the cushions in the strong chartreuse green provides ample colour. Blue paired with green undertones complement the accent colour with depth and layers to the decor.
The kitchen was recreated with cabinets in off-white, with appliances hidden under cabinetry to provide the open concept space with as few interruptions as possible. The hidden appliances imply that they could be cupboards suited to the living space, and thus allows the kitchen to esthetically borrow from the living room and vice versa. Affectively, both rooms seem larger as they visually overlap. The details of the cabinets were added to the existing door of the condo, to offer an old world rich feel. Simple mouldings were applied to the flat panel entrance door, bedroom and bathroom doors. The sink with its wall-mounted faucet solved the plumbing location issue, while concealing the sink’s function, well enough, so as not to command too much attention. We created a glass whiteboard above the sink for hand written notes or any personal touches the homeowner would like to add. The green accents are also repeated into this room for cohesion.
In the bedroom, we wanted to create simple tranquility. The grey colour continues into this space and the pop of colour is found in the bedding and closet. We opted to leave the closet exposed to the room because it allowed us to provide the added function of the desk. We knew that the homeowner was fastidious enough to keep the clothes looking pristine and colour blocked so it would always be visually appealing. The adjoining bathroom of the condo received an upgrade with a vanity, tower and lighting overhaul. These custom-made elements provided additional storage, making them worth the added cost. A new mirror and side lighting provided that “hotel” bathroom feel and the simple white clean towels support the look.
This space that we called a “boring box” ended up as a classic well appointed home, perfect for our client. No one would say it lacked style or colour, and we achieved it all in just 450 sq. ft.