Small Spaces

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

Rustic-meets-refined condo design Author: Donna Griffith

Small Spaces

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

Blogger and decorator Tim Lam adds his signature style to this 800-square-foot condo in Waterloo, Ont.


What’s love got to do with it? Judging by the look of this Waterloo, Ont., condo, quite a lot, actually. The approximately 800-square-foot unit owned by engineer Chris Gabriel was designed by his partner of eight years, blogger and decorator Tim Lam . “Chris absolutely adores the space now,” says Tim, “but if it were left up to him, the condo probably wouldn’t look like this at all. It certainly wouldn’t be as decorated.”

Wallpaper in every room is something Tim Lam really pushed for, even though Chris associated it with dated interiors. “My biggest moment was when I converted him,” says Tim. “When the first strip of bathroom wallpaper went up, Chris emphatically exclaimed, ‘Oh, that looks great!’ The condo is the perfect mix of the two of us – and I’m proud to say we both love it.”

How to get Tim's refined eclectic design:

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Chinoiserie accents + whimsical wallpaper + playful patterns
 

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Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

The power of paint and fabric

“Never underestimate the power of paint and fabric,” says decorator Tim Lam of the caned barrel-back chairs he upgraded from garage sale finds to favourite pieces in the living room. On the flip side, the sophisticated sofa is a Sarah Richardson original found on Kijiji that needed only a quick cleaning.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

A tale of two tastes

Where Chris is a little bit country, Tim is all city. “Chris likes rustic simplicity, and I gravitate to more polished and refined spaces,” says Tim. And who better to steer you in the right decorative direction than the one you love?

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

Updating the kitchen

Tim insisted that the kitchen’s brown cabinetry, brown granite countertop and blue glass backsplash, which homeowner Chris Gabriel inherited with the condo, had to go. Though upgrading the countertop, replacing the marble backsplash, updating the faucet to a showpiece and adding the slide-in range was a bit of a splurge, the couple cut costs by simply repainting the existing cabinetry and applying a DIY barnboard treatment to the peninsula’s base.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

A glimmer of country charm

Though country charm isn’t exactly in Tim’s wheelhouse, he wanted to indulge Chris’s style throughout the space – and that’s especially visible in the dining room, which doubles as an office. “That door is hands-down my favourite piece in the room,” says Tim, who found it at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for around $100. “And I got it just like that – I didn’t have to refinish it or anything.” He did, however, tape Alanna Cavanagh’s silk-screened artwork in the window to hide the stuff inside (which includes pantry and office staples).

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

Natural elements

The sideboard in the living room offers a nod to one of Chris’s desired elements: natural wood. Above it, the gallery wall displays artwork and travel mementoes the couple has amassed over time, including a quirky cuckoo clock that references the couple’s shared affinity for birds.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

Playing with pattern

The bedroom’s soothing grey, yellow and white palette allowed Tim to play with pattern, from diamonds to stripes to polka dots. Asian-inspired elements like the faux bamboo nightstands and pagoda-shaped table lamps add elegance to the geometric look.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

Make room for the ensuite

A tiny cheater ensuite with doors leading to both the living area and the bedroom left little wall space, so Tim had the bedroom door replaced with a wall, which now accommodates artwork and a towel bar. The builder-basic vanity was cleverly customized with a brass-coated toe kick for a floating effect, while the glitzy cream and gold bird wallpaper casts a glamorous glow.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

It all comes together

The high-gloss dark grey wall paint in the bedroom acts as a luscious counterpoint to the suble texture of the grasscloth on the feature wall behind the bed. The herringbone throw is a souvenir from Chris’s hometown in Germany.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined

Different tastes, same love

Chris (left) is from Germany and had planned to return there, but he met and fell in love with Tim and hasn’t looked back since.

By: Sara Cation Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Morgan Lindsay Credits: Style at Home
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Small Spaces

Condo tour: The perfect mix of rustic-meets-refined