A Dated Loft-Style Condo Is Redesigned As A Serene Urban Oasis
Tired finishes, buttercream-colored walls and an awkward layout — the 1,000-square-foot condo in Toronto’s Mimico neighborhood wasn’t exactly Bret Williams’ dream home. But she could see its potential: there were high ceilings, a full wall of windows and nicely proportioned rooms. With an eye for detail honed in her former job as a product designer at Gluckstein Home, she knew the space needed a lighter touch — and she knew exactly how to do it.
First, she introduced a palette of cool grays and whites, complemented by new wide-plank white oak flooring, and layered in thoughtful details that maximize the square footage and enhance her calm, laid-back aesthetic. Under the open-tread staircase, she installed a built-in daybed using Ikea storage components topped with a cushion in a durable, linen-like fabric. “Adding seating and places to lounge was really important to me,” she says. “When I lie here, all I can see is sky.”
Upstairs, Bret continued the open feeling by removing the door to the walk-in closet and replacing it with an archway that leads to a run of cabinets. She also widened the doorway to the principal bathroom, adding new doors that are customized with an applied Regency-style trim pattern she sketched herself. A new porthole window in the shower brings in natural light but is high enough to maintain privacy. “We get the most amazing sunsets here, and now the light travels all the way in,” she says. “The bathroom is my favorite room.”
Her savviest move was born of necessity. When she couldn’t find the porcelain flush-mount lights she envisioned, she designed her own, creating templates and finding local studios and suppliers that could make the various components for her to assemble. They dot the ceilings throughout and now form the basis of her one-year-old business, Huey Lightshop. This summer, she launched a collection that features many of the organic shapes found in her home — pleats and reeded silhouettes figure prominently.
Somewhere in her busy days, she finds time to tinker with her home, always with a laser focus on the finest details. “I’m forever mixing up the materials to make it feel warm, but it will always be a work in progress, you know?”
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House & Home September 2021