Small Spaces
Mar 5, 2015

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

By: Lesley Young
Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

This ultra-colourful living room knows how to make a statement. Author: Donna Griffith

Small Spaces
Mar 5, 2015

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

By: Lesley Young

A 550-square-foot studio apartment is transformed into the perfect transitional pied-a-terre thanks to a few key fixes.

TV producer, designer and single mom Barbara Milner reclaimed this 550-square-foot studio from a rental property she owned in Toronto. With a few key fixes, she transformed it into the perfect transitional pied-à-terre.

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Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Kitchen renovation goals

The goal in the new kitchen was to create a bistro-style kitchen with a pure, ultra-clean look. "I really wanted this room to breathe - to be a tranquil place where I could cook in peace," says homeowner and designer Barbara Milner.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Kitchen renovation

The dated kitchen was gutted and cabinetry, countertop and appliances from IKEA were installed. Upper cabinets were omitted to maintain a light, airy feel, but a floor-to-ceiling cupboard was added at one end of the room to store dishes. The space wasn't big enough for a kitchen island, so Barbara had a peninsula put in to house the sink.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Kitchen decor

Barbara wanted to complete to open, breezy feel with a white backsplash, but she didn't want it to be boring, so she opted for oversized handmade subway tiles. "The artisanal quality is a subtle rustic element that adds warmth, while the glossy reflective finish is contemporary. I love their imperfections," she says.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Design elements

A white oven, stovetop and HanStone quartz countertop in Aurora Snow blend seamlessly with the low-profile cabinets (all installed through IKEA Installation Services), creating the illusion of a much larger kitchen in this studio apartment owned by designer Barbara Milner. Since the overall effect is minimalistic, heftier hardware was called for. Pretty glass task lighting illuminates without blocking the view.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Pops of citrine

Barbara introduced a zesty citrine hue via the stools and the rug to keep the monochromatic kitchen "happy." Roman shades in a coral chinoiserie fabric add playful contrast.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Kitchen countertop

Despite the lack of space for a kitchen island, adding the peninsula takes up less floor space while still providing plenty of countertop for cooking prep and eating.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Living room renovation

To create a statement room suitable for meeting with design clients during the day and entertaining friends in the evenings. "I love colour, and it was always in my mind to make this space a big, rich, bold blue," says Barbara. "But," she adds, "I didn't want it to feel like a Smurf village." The living room was opened up to the kitchen by removing a dividing wall. The panelling adds elegance and at the same time makes the contemporary bright blue colour feel more formal. "I like taking something traditional and turning it transitional in an unexpected way," says Barbara.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Decorating the living room

The intense wall colour needed relief, and Barbara wanted to provide it in a large-scale capacity without breaking the bank. She found an abstract wallpaper mural from Wallquest designed by Carl Robinson that was bold enough to suit the space. "It was also a lot more affordable than investing in a big piece of artwork."

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Designing the bedroom

The goal in renovating the bedroom was the carve out a space that acts as both a cheerful cozy bedroom and a fun spacious playroom that reflects the personality of Barbara's son, Marshall.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Renovating the bedroom

Barbara had a door frame built where the studio apartment splits with a step. "Defining the room actually made the whole space feel bigger," she says, adding that, "When you sit there and look out the window, you feel hidden." A space-saving IKEA daybed with storage drawers underneath adds to the airy effect.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation

Monochromatic palette

Barbara wanted the new room to have as much enery as the living room, but to set a contrasting mood. A remarkable custom-designed patterned wallpaper captures the eye and creates an entirely different atmosphere using a basic monochromatic palette.

By: Lesley Young Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

 

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Apartment tour: Colourful studio renovation