For Alessia De Gasperis-Brigante, the singer-songwriter known as Kai, her two-bedroom Toronto condo is a refuge. She’s often busy collaborating with artists like Diplo and Jessie J or on the road touring, so when she heads home, it’s to relax and recharge in her hip, personality-filled space. With the help of designer Sabrina Albanese, Alessia’s Asian-inspired home is a seamless combination of her eclectic tastes. “For me, it’s all about finding pieces that stand out,” she says. Click through to see the space and get creative small-space decorating ideas.
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A stunning outdoor chair by Patricia Urquiola for Driade is a witty addition in Alessia’s living room; it commands attention, but the open-weave construction keeps it from looking bulky. The neutral, low-profile sectional provides a functional, cozy lounge space for reading, and a tufted love seat adds a dash of girly charm.
Two Scandi-inspired shelves are mounted above the sectional to corral Alessia’s extensive book collection.
Originally a shoe closet, this nook at the end of a hallway was transformed into a whimsical, albeit tiny, dressing area courtesy of a nature-inspired wallpaper. An iconic Saarinen stool adds a splash of vibrant red.
The kitchen is understated but feminine. Low-backed stools are especially comfortable, and overhead smoky bell lights are topped with glass bow ties for a touch of whimsy.
The clean lines of the dining table gave Albanese freedom to choose almost any style of dining chair. She went with bucket-style resin chairs from Hay’s About series, choosing different colors for a sense of playfulness. Two Cappellini Ribbon stools make a bigger style statement than oversize end chairs might have and can be tucked away when not in use. The chandelier, a modern interpretation of Japanese cherry blossoms, adds a feminine note.
Albanese created a more memorable entryway by papering the foyer with this showstopping wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler. It has the bonus of helping the living room feel much more spacious, a strategy she credits to Frank Lloyd Wright: Moving from a room that’s dark and dramatic to one that’s bright and open makes the second room seem larger.
Alessia liked the warm wooden walls she saw in converted lofts. Here, the look was achieved with faux-wood wallpaper. A lamp wrapped in purple cowhide picks up on the colors in the Kelly Wearstler ikat throw pillows, which inspired the room’s design.
The dramatic palm-frond motif on the wallpaper in the principal bathroom is one of Alessia’s favorite things in her home.
Albanese says a darker print like this makes the walls recede, creating a sense of grandeur in the small bathroom.
The second bedroom was transformed into a cozy studio, where Alessia retreats to practise her craft. Lush carpets and pillows create an L.A.-style boho atmosphere. Guitars are stored on the wall to save space — and to stand in for art.
House & Home September 2014