Retro Revitalized

  • Andy Warhol’s “Diamond Dust Shoes” takes pride of place above the slab marble fireplace.
  • Thanks to the broad, sweeping lines contemporary designers crave, this1970s home is a worthy candidate for stylish revitalization.
  • The horizontal mirror reflects the opposite side of the family room and the large hanging orbs used for ambient lighting. Aluminum floating beams with adjustable AR lamps act as spotlights for artwork.
  • “The key to working with an all-white scheme,” says Eric, “is to vary textures and finishes.” Here, sleek white lacquer cabinets are paired with a textured tumbled marble back splash made up of small mosaics. White leather barstools add another layer of interest and provide secondary seating within the generous kitchen.
  • The chrome banding on upper cabinets mimics the horizontal thrust of the island’s bar, made of honed Lagos Blue limestone.
  • A Brueton ‘Ginger’ dining table is surrounded by four white leather chairs and positioned within the sunny kitchen alcove.
  • Relocating a well-loved piece of art sparks new appreciation. Case in point, the playful chrome sculpture moved from home office to kitchen.

Large Scale Intimacy

Interior designer Eric McClelland of Fleur-de-Lis Design Inc. was eager to maintain the retro-modern edge of this urban Toronto home. With his client’s wishes for minimal colour firmly established, he set out to improve the functionality of the main rooms while respecting the home’s inherent architecture.

Ask anyone in a small condo if they’d like more space and the answer is likely a resounding ‘yes’. But extra large rooms have their own challenges.

“By dividing the long family room into two distinct seating areas,” says Eric, “we were able to create a more intimate scale for family gatherings and conversation.”

An extreme change of ceiling height (from 9 to 18 feet) provided another challenge, easily solved by strategically positioning nine hanging mirrored orbs to create a visual balance between the adjacent areas.

Using a simple palette of smoky taupe on the large upholstered pieces provides warmth and comfort without distracting from the room’s best commodity, an impressive art collection. Bright fuchsia toss cushions are a single nod to the client’s favourite colour.

Light Matters

To create more usable space, appliances were relocated within the renovated kitchen and desk space was allocated to an underutilized adjoining hallway. The Lagos Blue limestone anchors the setting by providing a warm contrast to the all-white kitchen.

“Previously, the lighting was comprised of giant pot lights, making a Swiss cheese effect on the ceiling.” says Eric. “To modernize the lighting plan, we introduced multiple MR 16 store fixtures and recessed pot lights into simple architectural coves.”

Dabble Savvy

  • Group AR bulbs in a series of three or four to create a single architectural fixture, avoiding a sea of pot lights.
  • Drop a ceiling when necessary to add cove lighting, which tucks up into ceilings.
  • Light sources with rotating heads offer flexibility, allowing you to put the focus on artwork or noteworthy collections.

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