This Colorful Condo Packs A Decorative Punch In Every Room
Riotous color, lively prints and art mingle for the ultimate in city living. “I would describe it as traditional elegance with a twist,” says the homeowner of the Toronto condo’s design. She downsized from a veritable Shangri-la, a midtown house where she had lived for 20 years, which was filled with art and antiques. The new digs, then, had to be up to snuff, both in terms of style and scope. At 3,800 square feet with two terraces — one terrace is a party-sized 800 square feet — the airy condo elegantly meanders across half of one storey of a boutique building. The home has sizable rooms and, with its coolly crisp white interior, it’s the perfect showcase for the owner’s sizable art collection.
Designer Christine Johnson, a long-standing collaborator of the homeowner, chose materials and pieces to create rooms that felt intimate and inviting. “The owner wanted color and she wanted contemporary, so we did a very open space,” says Christine. “Vast rooms are tricky; you have to make sure the space has an inviting and comfortable feel. We made it cozy through textures and color.”
Scroll down to tour this colorful space that redefines condo living.
An antique French chair, marble urn and burled-wood console create an elegant welcome in the foyer. Contemporary striated millwork on the wall offsets the traditional vignette and provides a textural backdrop for Uralkali Potash Mine #4, Berezniki, Russia by Edward Burtynsky.
The 20-year-old armchairs and sofa were refreshed with new upholstery. Column-style side tables are a fun foil to the two square marble cubes topped with iron lamps.
A shapely table lamp can be ho-hum, but snipped out of a splashy complements the pattern of the throw pillow’s Clarence House fabric.
Two Milo Baughman lounge chairs covered in silk velvet upholstery and a striking painting create a strong graphic moment. “One of the best things Christine did was find that patterned fabric, because I tend to go for geometric things,” says the owner. “Christine said, ‘You’re going to kill me: it’s unbelievably expensive, but I know you’re going to love it.’ And I said, ‘I don’t care what it costs; that’s what we’re doing!’ ”
Two identical custom Parsons tables can be pushed together for a large dinner party. Overhead, a bespoke Brothers Dressler chandelier has sculptural impact. Made in New York, the chairs were worth the four-month wait.
The homeowner opted for a contemporary kitchen; she likes the shine and striping on the cabinets. A dropped panel over the island has recessed lighting inset into glass that was extremely challenging to install because the ceilings are concrete. “We were sick of pendants, so we went for it,” says Christine.
The striking abstract painting used to hang in the old house. “It looks much better here; it gives the room color,” says Christine.
A capacious seating area directly across from the kitchen is flooded with light. “Even though it’s north-facing, the light is incredible,” says Christine. “It’s bright and cheery every day.”
The den’s regal purple drapery is dynamic and different. On the chairs the owner has had forever, hypnotic fabric is a fun upgrade.
“I always wanted a bedroom wall with patterned fabric or brightly colored paint — not boring beige,” says the owner, who got her wish with the panels of lavender fabric behind the headboard.
The luxe ensuite features a wall of grey stone tile and engineered wood floors. A roomy walk-in shower divides the bathroom into his and hers sections.
Unadorned walls deliver a quiet elegance in the bathroom. A glossy linear vanity table with a pop-up mirror and petite seat on tapered legs are sleek additions.
“Having a terrace was an important reason to move here,” says the owner. “I knew it would enable me to withdraw without too many pains from having this huge garden at my previous home.”