Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Monday, January 31, 2011


The first month of 2011 is almost behind us but many design trends are shaping the look of our interior spaces.

Two large design shows have presented great ideas for interiors most of them suited for condominiums, I am talking about Imm Cologne show in Germany and the IDS show in Toronto, Canada.

Both shows have many elements in common, here are just a few:

1. Recycled materials, especially reclaimed wood mixed with stainless steel, glass and stone- represented a large part of both shows.
Few examples are: this table lamp from Om , this great reclaimed wood table top from Cherrywood Studio and this amazing kitchen island from Draenert made out of 100% recycled materials.

For condos with no kitchen island, it would be a great idea to mix (for example) a white or black high gloss kitchen with a custom island/dining table made out of reclaimed wood.

2. Natural fibres and felt have been highlighted in home accessories from area rugs to upholstery and small fashion items at both shows. I love the felt pebbles- ottomans!
One of this year trends presented at Imm Cologne was Emotional Austerity-Emotional Austerity. It is one of four trends identified in IMM's Trend Book, an annual trend forecast put together by a Trendboard made up of selected influential designers.

'This trend is characterized by simply constructed, light and filigree forms as well as natural materials and colors. The elegant ambiance is defined by clear and unostentatious aesthetics. '

3. Natural wood combined with colourful and/or high gloss surfaces. These materials and textures in various combinations dominate both furniture design and kitchen cabinets design.

One company specialized in condo furniture, Casalife showcased this year at IDS a very attractive and compact extendable dining table for six as well as a matching credenza for a condo dining area.

For a super stylish condo, the black chair and matching foot stool is one of the most comfortable chairs I have sat in and notice the natural finish wood detailing to the back and the underside of the seat. I often recommend using oversized planters for accents especially for condos with a 9’ ceiling, an oversized planter emphasizes the height of the room even more!

4. Kitchen design- kitchen has become a showcase element in an open space.
Shelving is not just for function but it creates an interesting backdrop for any living/dining or den area.

Lots of ideas for open spaces- like a visual separation between the kitchen and the living space by using a one or two sided bookcase.

Starck for Warendorf kitchen vignettes presented by Philip Starck at Imm Cologne, are the recipe for most condos- compact kitchens, designed for any open space with the dual function island designed to be used either as a work surface or as a dining table.
5. A fun collection of lamp shades from Arbutus Denman from Vancouver!

6. For all our readers interested in adding a faux brick feature to their condo interior, Century Architexture has a great selection of thin faux bricks that could create a focal point in any interior space.

I particularly like the Distillery Collingwood's unrefined look especially for the mix of tones of light taupes and browns. With a very dark taupe paint color surrounding the brick, this could add charm to any interior space- whether it is a fireplace feature or just a large feature wall in a living area or perhaps a bedroom headboard wall finish.

7. A great selection of fireplaces at this year’s IDS. For the lucky ones who live in a condo with a gas line in their interior space, there is an Xtreme option- watch this video.

Xtreme Fire Sculptures from Travis Industries on Vimeo.


  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the mention!


  2. Excellent and useful article! Thanks for taking the time to post this.


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