P “as­sion, not plan­ning, is what makes a space spe­cial,” says Jamie Met­rick ( pic­tured op­po­site). As the gen­eral man­ager of his fam­ily’s home furn ish­ings busi­ness, Elte, he should know. Since child­hood, Jamie has been sur­rounded by some of Canada’s most el­e­gantly de­signed pieces. “If I see a chair or a lamp I adore, I bring it home,” he says. “I don’t worry about scale or colour or style. There’s al­ways a way to make the ob­jects I love work to­gether.”

Jamie is clearly onto some­thing. The loft-style condo he lived in for five years, which is now home to his brother, An­drew, is the epit­ome of in­dus­trial com­fort. Sit­u­ated in the up­per An­nex area of Toronto, the twobed­room unit is ca­sual and moody, some­thing Jamie at­tributes to his many rugs. “I am ob­sessed,” he ad­mits. He has such a love for his col­lec­tion that he even chose to hang rugs on his walls – to him, they’re works of art.

“Mak­ing a home is about gath­er­ing beauty – how­ever you do that. I work from the heart,” he says. In Jamie’s case, his rug col­lec­tion is what ac­counts for the tex­ture and so­phis­ti­ca­tion in the space. “I am fas­ci­nated by the end­less vari­a­tion in their dyes, mo­tifs and tex­tures. But I chose them be­cause I adore them, not be­cause they ful­fill a de­sign cat­e­gory.”

Jamie def­i­nitely isn’t one to get caught up in the typ­i­cal rules of de­sign. “I think the sub­con­scious mind no­tices quirky dif­fer­ences and still man­ages to clus­ter ob­jects that make sense to­gether,” he says. So, even though a hand­made foos­ball table from Viet­nam and a cus­tom bar cart crafted in In­dia don’t ap­pear to have any­thing in com­mon, they can pair beau­ti­fully in the right con­text. “If I’d cho­sen only pieces that match, one of those two things would have been elim­i­nated,” says Jamie.

The 1,300-square-foot condo has a 15-foot-high ceil­ing with floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows, and life here has al­ways been about ca­sual en­ter­tain­ing and fam­ily gath­er­ings. “I don’t cook, so I didn’t in­vest en­ergy or money in an elab­o­rate kitchen. In­stead, I put in a crowd-friendly bar,” says Jamie. “My typ­i­cal week­end is spent hav­ing friends over for small bites and drinks be­fore we head out to a restau­rant.”

And not just any restau­rant. Jamie likes places with a dis­tinct aes­thetic: “To me, a restau­rant’s decor is as im­por­tant as the food. I go to restau­rants the way peo­ple go to the the­atre or a sports event. I want the ex­cite­ment and the spec­ta­cle, not just the food. I love to sit at the bar, or­der a meal and watch the evening un­fold.”

In many re­spects, his condo echoes this sen­si­bil­ity. While many of the ob­jects are dra­matic, the over­all feel­ing is wel­com­ing and laid-back. Jamie at­tributes this to lay­er­ing. Woods, me­tals, leathers and tex­tiles ap­pear in freestyle com­bi­na­tions – some­thing that makes the rooms look col­lected, not con­trived. “I give the ob­jects I’m most pas­sion­ate about cen­tre stage,” he says, re­fer­ring again to the rugs he’s dis­played promi­nently on the walls of his liv­ing room, bed­room and guest room. “But if I was a surfer, for ex­am­ple, there’d be surf­boards hang­ing on my walls.”

Some­times dec­o­rat­ing with no plan in mind turns out to be the best plan of all.

Huge win­dows and a high ceil­ing with ex­posed duct­work give the condo a spa­cious gallery vibe. To cre­ate an in­ti­mate yet dy­namic seat­ing area in the open space, tra­di­tional pieces – such as the tufted leather sofa – were ar­ranged with more modern el­e­ments, like cowhide-cov­ered sidechairs. SOFA, SIDECHAIRS, RUGS, Elte.

RIGHT Home­owner Jamie Met­rick loves restau­rants – for both the food and the in­te­ri­ors. “Some peo­ple go to the the­atre. I fre­quent restau­rants,” he says. In his kitchen, which has only min­i­mal cab­i­netry, the em­pha­sis is on the bar area. The in­dus­trial look of the stools of­fers a ca­sual con­trast to the more pol­ished sur­face of the serv­ing area. The over­sized clock and faucet add sub­tle eclec­ti­cism. BE­LOW, LEFT & RIGHT From the in­fin­ity sculp­ture to the tray that reads “Rooms for Rent,” the ob­jets adorn­ing Jamie’s cof­fee table are cu­ri­ous and eye-catch­ing. SCULP­TURE, Elte Mar­ket.

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