Small Space: A 900-Square-Foot Rowhouse
When Toronto interior designer Mazen El-Abdallah, of Mazen Studio, bought this two-storey, 900-square-foot rowhouse, he embarked on a radical mission to transform its tiny rooms and tight quarters into a breezy, loft-like space.
So out came the sledgehammer — and the wall and vestibule on the main floor. By opening up the layout, the once-constrained home is now a handsome 1 1⁄2-bedroom filled with his iconic furniture and beloved finds. “I gave the house the feel of a chic New York townhouse. I wanted tall, spacious rooms and a harmonious flow from room to room. It’s great. I love it.” Click through to see inside the modern small space.
Mazen collected items for his home over time, including these coveted mid-century modern Jens Risom chairs and contemporary artwork for a truly modern aesthetic.
A large mirror in the entryway rids the home of a bowling-alley feel and gives it that lofty look Mazen was after. A strip of floor tiling neatly lines up with the stairs (not shown) and demarcates the entry.
“I installed the built-ins to define the space and give the room vertical interest,” says owner and designer Mazen El-Abdallah of the millwork in his front room. The shelves and full-length drapes draw the eye upward, making the space appear larger.
In the masculine galley kitchen, the charcoal grey-painted Shaker cabinets are topped with oiled-oak butcher-block counters. White subway tile is clean and unobtrusive — key in tight quarters. A vertical wine rack is cleverly built around a drywalled heat vent.
Repainted and retrofitted by Mazen, an old office cabinet from a vintage shop enjoys a new lease on life as a charming pantry.
Bolted to the wall, the walnut table acts like a built-in and works overtime as both desk and dinner table.
Cantilevered cabinets and a dramatically dark wall color make an eye-catching focal point on the upper landing.
The upstairs sitting area doubles as a guest room. Wall-to-wall sisal carpet throughout the second floor helps unify the rooms. The daybed was a housewarming gift from friend and H&H editor-in-chief Suzanne Dimma.
Charcoal grey grasscloth wallpaper adorns the walls in the master bedroom, while a modern sconce brings light to the low-level bed.
A clawfoot tub anchors the cottage-inspired bathroom (there’s an open shower on the opposite wall). The soothing white palette and minimal accessories give the illusion of more space. A ledge behind the tub offers room for storage and display.