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Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget Author: Style At Home

House Tours

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Decorator and blogger Laura Collins dresses up her beachy-glam Toronto townhouse apartment with a few tried-and-true tricks as well as some inventive DIYs.

Decorator and blogger Laura Collins pours tea into petite teal cups as Bruce Wayne, her Boston-pug mix, bolts up and down a flight of stairs. The giddiness is palpable in this cheery, personality-packed Palm Beach-meets-the-Hamptons pad that Laura also shares with a human companion - her boyfriend, Blayre Ellestad. When the couple, who films weddings and lifestyle events through their company, Elle & Be Films, was hunting for a rental property three years ago, they were immediately drawn to the architecture of this 1,500-square-foot duplex apartment in a 1920s townhouse in Toronto's Cabbagetown neighbourhood. "I loved that it had high ceilings and traditional bones but was still modern and open concept," says Laura, who often writes about the space on her decor and lifestyle blog, Laura Collins Design.

Laura kept the wall colour the same as the previous renter - white - but then brought the urban space to the coast with a classic Palm Beach palette of punchy blues and greens. She also repeated sea scenes throughout to add a masculine feel. The fabulously layered flat - featuring bright hues, flashes of bronze, lighthearted gallery-style artwork displays and beachy rattan furniture - looks like it cost a fortune to decorate, but came together on a dime. To keep costs down, she filled the home with inexpensive artwork and revamped retro furniture culled from a variety of sources, including Craigslist, secondhand shops, Toronto's popular Sunday antiques fair at the St. Lawrence Market and - adventurously - the side of the road. Other treasures came from the couple's travels and big box stores.

"The mix of new and vintage pieces makes the space feel authentic," she says. Laura's vintage preferences are primarily lifted from the disco and synth-pop eras. "I have an eclectic sensibility, and I'm very specific about what kind of 1970s and '80s decor I like - chunky Lucite and clean lines. I also like Art Deco style," says Laura. Additionally, she's inspired by designers who combine traditional furniture with splashy hues and fiercely fun prints. The influence has certainly been a good one: The home feels modern with a retro-tinged flair that's a tad cheeky and full of energy - and that's what Palm Beach is all about.

Photo Gallery

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Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Entryway

Gallery walls are popular because they’re so versatile. The pieces in the offbeat assortment of artwork along the staircase is framed in various materials, including vintage brass to echo the console. Laura crafted the sunburst mirror out of Popsicle sticks to add whimsy to the wall.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Stacey Brandford; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Seaside-inspired decor

As a devoted table-scaper, Laura loves to remove everything from a surface and then recreate the vignette. Here, the shell orb and vintage crab fit the room’s seaside vibe and add an eclectic feel.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Stacey Brandford; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Living room

Hits of brass, Lucite and vibrant patterned fabrics evoke Palm Beach in the apartment Laura shares with her boyfriend, Blayre Ellestad. Laura's cost-saving ideas in the living room include painting the vintage etagere blue and making the hold Sputnik-inspired sculptures on it using Styrofoam, skewers and spray paint.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Stacey Brandford; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Gallery wall

“I’m not matchy-matchy, but there are themes that run throughout the space, like the ocean and Boston pugs,” says Laura. “I also like travel motifs; I love unfamiliar scenes that stray from the typical.”

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Stacey Brandford; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Dining table

“A money-saving tip is to scour the Internet for deals – these Bertoia-style dining chairs were only $250 for the entire set of six on craigslist,” says homeowner Laura Collins. The graphic white perches make a big impact against the dark solid dining table.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Stacey Brandford; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Tabletop decor

Details make all the difference. On the dining room bar cart, a textured tray, a clamshell dish and roses lend a decorator’s touch to a functional piece.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Stacey Brandford; styling by Christine Hanlon Credits: Style at Home

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget

Repeated decor theme

Laura, Blayre and their dog, Bruce Wayne, in their Toronto kitchen, where a patchy cerulean rug feels nautical - a theme repeated throughout the home.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Stacey Brandford Credits: Style at Home

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House Tours

Interior: Beachy-glam on a budget