Lovers of color and pattern know that finding the right visionary to make their daring design dreams a reality is paramount — especially in a small space. That was certainly true for Rayner Conway, who was downsizing from a 3,400-square-foot house to a condo that was half the size in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighborhood.
Enter maximalist designer
Cynthia Ferguson, who was ready to go all-in with a gutsy mood board tailored to her client’s new home. “Rayner was an absolute dream to work with — bold, daring, fun and endearing,” says Cynthia, who loves working with clients who say yes to her wild ideas.
Scroll down to step into this lively condo!
For this suite, which includes two bedrooms and a den, Cynthia’s suggestions included a blue dining room, high-impact wallpapers and yellow drapes. “I wanted a bold color in the dining room, and Cynthia convinced me that this was the right one,” says Rayner.
“When you live alone, you can make these kinds of bold choices for yourself,” says Rayner, whose husband passed away shortly before she took possession of the condo.
An arched doorway leads from the living room to the third bedroom, which was turned into a den.
The pink vanity is a colorful companion to the guest bathroom’s black and white patterns.
In the kitchen, open shelving over the sink creates a spot for display.
Cheerful yellow and pale blue create a pleasing warm-cool mix in the principal bedroom. Using color and pattern throughout gives the home an exuberant, larger-than-life personality. “I feel like it hugs me the moment I walk in the door,” says Rayner.
Rayner prioritized built-ins with plenty of drawers and shelves for her large collection of clothes, shoes and purses. Cynthia says helping edit those closets was one of the highlights of the whole project. She even paid homage to Rayner’s 1980s-era pink, bejeweled cowboy boots by painting the dressing room in a matching hue. Cynthia widened the entry to the bubblegum pink closet by removing the door and opening it up to the ceiling.
In the principal bathroom, a single sink allows for more counter and drawer space.
Cynthia had a rug resized for Rayner’s new home office, which has a pullout sofa for guests. Those big decorating moves weren’t just limited to a room or two. “If we became shy about making a statement, only choosing a couple of areas to go all out, the rest of the condo would feel forgotten,” says Cynthia.
Keep scrolling for our Q&A with Rayner!
H&H: What was on your design wish list?
RC: “To create a home that reflected my personality, with a principal retreat where I could feel calm and happy.”
H&H: Did you have to buy all-new furniture?
RC: “Not at all. I only purchased one new sofa.”
H&H: How do you keep clutter at bay?
RC: “I’m an extremely organized person, and I made sure all the closets had enough drawers and shelves.”
H&H: How many people can you host for a dinner party?
RC: “I’ve hosted 10, but I could do 12.”
H&H: What drew you to this building?
RC: “It’s dog-friendly and close to the subway with views of Toronto’s Beltline Trail.”