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Design 101: Made-To-Measure

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Design 101: Made-To-Measure

This baby bungalow gets a major function and style boost

By Cynthia Soda

Photography By Jason Hartog

It’s (now) safe to say that there’s no place like home for our newlywed clients, whose 1950s bungalow was in desperate need of updates in both style and function. What was once a “well-loved” piece of Toronto real estate is now a fresh, functional home, bursting with colour and personality on the inside.

MINI SPACE GETS A MAXI PLAN

It’s not about the amount of space you have, but what you do with it that makes the difference. When we attack a design project, we tend to think of each space as a puzzle. As soon as the pieces all fit together, we have the basis to add the fun to the function. With the main floor at a scant 710 square feet, our small space included a front entrance, side entrance and stairwell (with landing), kitchen, living room, dining room, two bedrooms and a main bathroom. Each space was separated into zones of use, which created small rooms that weren’t conducive to the homeowners’ modern living requirements. To add to the challenge, there were architectural elements in place (like the stairwell opening taking up valuable kitchen cupboard space) that provided some opportunities to get creative with design solutions.

“It’s not about the amount of space you have, but what you do with it that makes the difference.”

STRUCTURAL SHAKE-UP

The main concern was squeezing every functional ounce out of the available space and making it more personal and reflective of their style. Taking down the walls between the kitchen, entrance and main living zones meant not only opening the rooms to optimal light, it also provided the opportunity for a considerably large island (given the square footage) and customized cabinets to house every kitchen utensil and small appliance the couple owned, and then some. Removing the walls between the dining and living area also meant that we were able to incorporate a large sectional, comfortable lounge chair and a cosy dining area with room to grow.

SMALL BUT NOT SHORT ON PERSONALITY

For many, adding colour to an interior can be a scary thing. If you have a small space, it can seem even scarier. Since colours may evoke an emotional response, most tend to worry that they’ll tire or get bored of the colour, or that it won’t be “timeless” and they’ll have to re-do everything in a couple of years. Incorporating a grey-blue and white scheme provided a twist on a neutral canvas that makes the vibrant colour accents pop throughout the space. The blue tone of the cabinet colour is amplified with the blue-glass backsplash providing contrast and balances against the wood tones of the floor and counter stools. A designated space for wine bottles and glasses was also an important feature for our clients, offering an opportunity to integrate glass uppers, adding a bit of sparkle to the kitchen.

STORAGE & STYLE

The main bathroom maintained its existing footprint, which included a narrow vanity and sink, but the custom-designed cabinets maximized the amount of cubic footage and storage capacity for toiletries and extra linens. The conversation-starting, black-andwhite hexagon floor tile is a casual nod to the era of the home, and provides the basis to incorporate yet another opportunity for colour.

While it is true that styles are constantly evolving, it is important to design with function and form in mind. When styles change, or your tastes evolve, you can buy new cushion covers, swap out the rug, the accessories (even have your cabinets re-painted) but as long as the layout works, you will always have a home that is equal parts stylish and functional, no matter the square footage.

SOURCES

CUSTOM CABINETRY: Designed by Sodapop design, built by Colclo Custom Woodworking; LIGHT FIXTURES: Wayfair; FLOORS: Maple Sandstone; PAINT: Cabinets Chantilly Lace & Flint, WALLS: Wickham Gray, Benjamin Moore

Cynthia Soda is owner, principal interior designer of Soda Pop Design Inc., a multi-disciplinary interior design firm providing complete custom renovation and design services for residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. Soda Pop Design Inc. focuses on merging the client’s lifestyle, personality and architecture to create customized, liveable luxury. sodapopdesign.ca Instagram: @ csodapop, Twitter: @sodapopdesign

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Paint by number

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Paint by number

This time of year is brimming with fabulous colour. The late summer and early autumn hues have inspired many cozy interiors, vibrant and ripe for the picking. Which is a good thing, because this time of year is ideal for a “colour makeover” in the home. Now don’t feel overwhelmed. Refer to the 60-30-10 rule.

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Now, I’ll be the first to admit this, there are no hard and fast rules to interior decor. But the 60-30-10 ratio for colour coverage serves as a very good guideline. Start with a couple of complementary colours and add a third hue that “pops.” The dominant colour should occupy around 60 per cent of your room – typically the walls. The secondary colour then represents the 30 per cent of your room that include mid-sized items like a feature wall, a sofa and a rug. Last but not least is the accent colour – often a contrasting hue, covering 10 per cent of your space. Good in small doses, accent colours come alive in small pieces like artwork, accessories and window treatments.

The looming change in season is a good time for a semi-annual switch up of accessories, too. While looking at new hues to showcase in your space, also think about different, seasonal textures. A cozy high-pile rug, oodles of pillows and knits make a warm, welcome addition when the winter chill sets in. Opt for rich colours and textures, like the classic faux fur and velvet. When the spring makes its long-awaited return, pack away those wooly winter wares in exchange for crisp whites and a fresh, pale palette in lighter, natural materials like cotton and linen.

Whatever the season, regardless of your reason, bringing the right colours into your home will change how you feel – and live – in it.

lazier_blog_oct217_2Toronto-based designer Daneyka Lazier is the Principal of DL Arch + Design. Her firm is known for creating unique spaces that capture you and your lifestyle. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto and the GTA, and US.

www.dlarchdesign.com  |    Instagram DL_Arch_Design

 

 

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