Design stars Colin and Justin say it best: “Even dated ‘ugly ducklings’ can be morphed into beautiful swans — without the need for unrealistic investment.” Check out how they took their condo from blah to beautiful.
Old Toronto condos have their perks.
They have bigger rooms, taller ceilings, and let’s face it, they’re cheaper. All condos eventually get old and tired, but moving may not be the answer. In today’s housing market, it may be more economical to invest in renovations.
Scottish decor experts Colin and Justin sprinkle their design magic on projects across the world, and this time, it was their turn. Their downtown Toronto condo needed some love; below they describe the previous space and what they did to bedazzle it …
Before — Quite how the previous owner made it look so like a caravan is beyond us. With one eye on real estate value and another on simply banishing that flesh-toned beige, we set to work.
After — We added a faux concrete mural and a slick replacement for the bow-fronted nightmare. Finished with a mirror, the simple reversion is so much more “city life” appropriate. And those dreamy black doors …
The dining room
Before — The dark painted space had about as much allure as a truck-stop eatery. But we saw potential: even though a gut down of massive proportions would be required. Sure, the view was cool, from inside out. But looking back in? Forget it.
After — Jet-toned Windsor chairs, an eight-foot table and an Asian console steal the scene. Lit from above with Tom Dixon light fittings, it’s the perfect setting for bawdy parties and lewd exchange. And this room would appear nicely on sales particulars.
Before — This style-free sleep zone was one of the gloomiest rooms we’d ever seen. Those hacienda swaggy, twirly drapes? They’d have been dated when Joan Collins awakened, sun shielded by them, during a scene from Dynasty.
After — Ah, that’s better. Soft grey plaid walls make a statement without suffocating the space. Acres of Hunter Douglas blinds in crisp white provide shading. But won’t the sun glare through? No — we positioned discreet blackout shades behind.
Before — Seriously: this kitchen wasn’t just poor, it had flatlined. So we set our decorative paddles alight to bring it back from the brink.
After — It’ll be all white. Crisp cabinetry sails to the ceiling, pushing eye lines ever higher, while a floating island seems more like a cocktail bar. A million and one Manhattans have evolved from that marble clad counter.
Before — A diamond in the rough: literally. That paint effect? Seriously? Those quick-fix decorating shows of the mid ‘90s have a lot to answer for. Of course our TV shows are way cooler. We’d never wield masking tape in such a convoluted manner.
After —Weighty, moody, broody, sexy. Perfectly book matched Silver Wave marble and enough mirror to satisfy the vainest onlooker conspire a bathroom aesthetic that’s every bit as much butch as it is bitch. A huge trough sink sets the scene for many a moustache tweaking, beard primping and hairstyling marathon.
The living room
Before — Underneath the muggy striped brown and caramel-painted hell lay potential, we just knew it. And those leather coaches, just no.
After — Newly redecorated in crisp white, the space has been reborn. Outsized ebony built-ins provide useful surfaces upon which to showcase collectibles. And the dreamy black window frames perfectly outline Lake Ontario.
If you’re looking for more details on Colin and Justin’s renovations — check out the full story with their design tips