Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Condo design is for everyone. From young to not so young anymore, from singles to couples to families. Singles seem to have always been a strong market for condos. How can you now love to be in the heart of the city, surrounded by the best restaurants, lounges, boutiques, coffee shops, parks and also be so close to work.

When it comes to choosing a style for your condo, I find that many times a specific design look is catalogued into “ a feminine or masculine look”. With so many different types of finishes to choose from, designers often go towards one of the two looks on purpose. Masculine looks are not just for guys but also for ladies who feel attracted to darker tones or more geometric shapes, to bold contrasts and minimalistic spaces. They can always add vibrant colors with flowers, art or other accessories to tone down the very bold & perhaps masculine look.

Some of the great inspirations for creating masculine interiors come from brands like Ralph Lauren, Armani Casa, Calvin Klein home to name just a few.

There is a strong connection between the fashion style showcased by one brand name, their jewellery, watches and their furniture and design/decor elements. What is important when creating a masculine look for a condo interior is to be very clear about the most important elements for your space.

Are you trying to create a comfortable space, relaxing, vibrant and energizing, spacious and how would you describe the mood you are trying to create?

Believe it or not it is very important to be able to define that space in your own words and write them down! it will be a fun exercise for anyone :) and no, you don’t have to run to the book store to buy a book about interior design. Just write down how would you like to feel in the space.

Also write down what would you like to see more of in your space? is it your hobby, nature, geometric shapes, color (which color?), stripes, dark bold prints, contrasts or tone-on-tone, metal or wood, leather or fabric (which texture?), natural stone or a man-made stone mix, cool or warm tones, sharps edges or curves, green plants or woodsy branches or bamboo poles, do you lean towards traditional or contemporary lines.

These are all elements so easy for each of you to identify as ‘yes this is for me’ or ‘not for me’. There is a story in every person, in every space and an even bigger story is the one you create in your own space.
Many times, I have seen spaces so well done that I could instantly describe the person living in that space. I could tell how much he loved everything he surrounded himself with, from colors, to textures, shapes and even fragrances.

Here is the latest scoop in home design using Armani Casa flavour. The latest issue of Veranda showcases Armani Casa. “Bold geometric patterns, shimmering black pleats and refined textures define the latest collection from legendary designer Giorgio Armani. But don't think these seasonal trends are exclusive to the fashion runway. Armani was one of the first high-profile fashion figures to enter the world of home furnishings, translating a design aesthetic into a range of home products from furniture and textiles to accessories and tabletop. Launched in 2000 as a separate division within the Giorgio Armani Group, Armani/Casa embodies the Italian icon's inimitable style, bringing...”

Most gentlemen I help designing the space go for one main element: a huge tv :) and accent color: Red. While I know the benefits of a large tv screen I also know that not all large screen fit well in a small condo, so make your buying decisions wisely from the start. If you have a living room where sitting on your sofa will only give you about 10’ viewing space between your eyes and your tv, it may not be enough for such a large tv screen.

Red has always been used as a color accent and perhaps it will never go out of style. Choose the right tone of red and make sure the color accents are spread out uniformly within one area/space, otherwise it could be either 'lost' or 'overwhelming'.

Aside from the tv, there are many other elements important to be determined right from the start. And the best thing to do when you’re not sure about the style you’re trying to create is to find the images that look somewhat similar to your desired look.

Identify the elements that you like and why not...the ones you don’t like. So before you purchase anything you will have to spend the time and figure out if that item is on your list or not. Be very clear about how you would like your space to be planned, ask for exactly what you need & want to see and a good designer will be able to create your space exactly as you would like it or better!

The good news (and there is no bad news :) is that once you know the big items you would like to see in your space (like furniture, color, texture, lighting etc) there are unlimited design options you can create.

If you’re not able to tell if item A goes with item B, find a design professional who can help you, however most of the time you may know exactly what you like.

Many furniture retail stores have now design consultants on staff, so do not hesitate to ask all of your design questions before you place the order for that $3,000 chair! Too many times I have clients coming in for a last minute rescue, it would be so much better if you do your homework before you click on the ‘purchase’ button.

The most successful masculine designs I have seen are the ones that exhudes confidence, clarity and most importantly it shows your personality. Falper bathroom fixtures design shows some very good examples of masculine looks, a great source of inspiration for anyone renovating a large bathroom.

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