Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Biggest Interior Design Questions... ANSWERED!

Wow! So many questions and lots of answers coming up!

M&J from Toronto have purchased an investment condo and are wondering which standard finishes palette is the best choice considering the unit will be rented out.
There are 2 factors to consider: style appeal & maintenance.

There are several color combinations you can create when selecting finishes for an investment condo, however the best choice is to create a timeless design that best showcases the main features of your condo. Your unit is facing north thus I suggest using light color finishes and warm tones, your space will look bright right when you come in and all finishes will have same color tones throughout the day due to consistent natural light hues during the day.

When using tone on tone finishes (for eg kitchen cabinets, countertop and backsplash have similar tones and color intensity) the tenant can easily create their own design style by adding their personal furniture and accessories that will either blend or create a contrast with the existing finishes.

Talking about maintenance, you want to opt for finishes easy to maintain by each tenant so at the end of each rental time period your condo is in great shape and does not require renovations. Best floor finish to consider is laminate flooring more resistant to scratches than engineered wood floor. Quartz countertops are my no. 1 choice- unlike granite or other stone, quartz kitchen counter tops are highly resistant to permanent staining from wine, lemon juice, fruits and vegetables, soda and tea.

Next question is about window coverings for large windows. Considering the north exposure there is basically no direct sun light thus using full height white or off white sheers or sun screens would be my main choice. Let the tenants bring their own drapes which will match the rest of the furnishings of their space. This is where their personal style comes into play.

Anne’s question is related to “How to select furniture for small spaces?” Yes, this is one of the most frequently asked questions! Here’s her question: when you walk into a large condo space, the wide open space brings that “wow” factor instantly. How do I create the “wow factor” in a small condo space? Very interesting question! This is my no. 1 goal when I design a model suite. It’s not the size of the space that creates the Wow factor but the first impression of someone walking into the model suite. The quick answer is “it’s all in the details!”.


When furnishing a small space I always think of the largest furniture pieces that are functional but also will catch your eye when you walk in. As we can’t have too much furniture in a small space, I spend a lot of time trying to find the right fabrics for the upholstery, the right window treatments, area rugs and accessories. And because we aim to create not just visually attractive condo spaces but also sustainable spaces, we are constantly looking into fabrics that help a simple piece of furniture be not just “Wow" but also sustainable. In the next blog post I will go over some of your questions related to fabric selection, stay tuned...


Small space big style- here is a quick example of how one owner went about incorporating her personal style into the design of her condo.

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