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.”
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.
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