Hooray for hollywood
A cramped condo that lost its character gets gorgeous after a glamorous do-over.
A tiny condo gets gorgeous after a glamorous do-over
A heavy- handed
retrofit of a commercial building in Toronto’s west end had stripped Chanele and Ryan Krausz’s first home of most of its original character. But Chanele, decorator and prop stylist extraordinaire (look for her set design work on Food Network Canada’s Inspired With
Anna Olson) pulled out every trick of the trade to turn 700 square feet into a place to live, work and throw lots of parties – all in a classic Hollywood style that makes every inch close-up ready.
1. Add Technicolour
“I love bold colours, but I wanted them in small doses so they wouldn’t overwhelm such a tiny space,” says homeowner Chanele Krausz. The side table (in her favourite jewel tone) was her grandmother’s and serves as a secondary bar (yes, they’ve got two bars in 700 square feet!) and as a much-needed catchall for mail as well as bits and bobs.
2. Play to the Gallery
Chanele recommends using vertical surfaces for display in a small space. “The hallway that leads to the front door has so much empty wall space; it’s the perfect canvas for all of my favourite things,” says Chanele. She arranged works of art from an artist friend, travel photos, mirrors and thrift shop finds (including an Exit sign and a degree from the University of Toronto from the early 1900s). There’s even a tiny bust of a rhino, her husband Ryan’s favourite animal.
3. Use Special Effects
Chanele’s advice for open-space one-room living is to trick the eye by creating different zones (here, one room feels like three). Just remember to leave enough floor space to easily navigate, or your design will backfire and feel cramped. White walls unify and create spaciousness, allowing Chanele to indulge her love of bold colours in small doses that don’t overpower – for example, a sapphire blue rug and emerald green accents. “And everything does double duty,” she says. The dining table is an extra work surface by day; the desk an improvised music station or buffet table at parties.
4. Get Into Show Business
Smart display adds storage space and style without breaking the bank. “I try to use pretty containers,” says Chanele, referring to the emerald green box holding some favourite things. An oversized painting was an inexpensive bigbox-store find that brings drama to the vignette. The mirror is garage sale gold.
5. Create a Feature
An imitation brick that looks authentic was an investment but creates a feature wall in the previously ho-hum space. The trio of cubby units – a budget buy dressed up with DIY leather drawer handles – offers muchneeded storage. “Everything has a home,” Chanele says. “That’s the key to keeping a small space calm and clutter-free.”
"I love Hollywood glam, and I used brass accents and antiques, with their character, warmth and patina, to get the look.”
6. Go Bold and Beautiful
“I love bold graphic patterns and modern style, but I’m still attracted to traditional decor,” says Chanele, “and here the look was achieved on a really tight budget.” The Gap ad posters were $5 each at a thrift store (already framed!). Chanele says it may seem counterintuitive, but large-scale art and plants make a place feel bigger, as long as you use them carefully for maximum impact. The small round dining table lets Chanele seat lots of friends without eating up much space.
7. Make a Low- budget Blockbuster
Grab a canvas and make your own abstract art like this oversized DIY piece by Chanele – a bold statement in a small setting. The bar cart is a Kijiji find and evokes old Hollywood at a glance.
8. Do a Magical Disappearing Act
With the kitchen open to the main living space, the couple decided the builder-basic cabinetry had to go. “New black lower cabinetry grounds the space, and the pale uppers blend nicely into the white walls,” says Chanele. Sadly, there wasn’t room for an island. “It would have been too tight and we would have had to sacrifice the living area’s sectional, which was more important to us,” she says.
9. Cue New Glam Industrial
Chanele’s clever update of the small bathroom encapsulates her decorating theme: combining industrial, Hollywood glam and clean modern lines. She made the walls work by adding decorative and functional solutions, such as a clever towel hook fashioned from pipes, a wallmounted retro extendable mirror and shelves holding industrialstyle bins and baskets.
10. Look Up
A floating shelf holds first aid kits and regular toiletries; baskets underneath provide towel storage (there’s no linen closet).
11. Climb the Walls
Chanele’s love of strong graphics makes the utilitarian bathroom a standout. The wallpaper, depicting a New York City building facade, adds interest to the room and hits an industrial note, while a floating shelf and emerald green bamboo towel hooks make the wall more than a pretty face.
12. Be Consistent
Look for opportunities to reinforce your palette with everyday functional items. Ever the prop stylist, Chanele uses green toiletries that tie into the condo’s palette.
13. Steal the Scene
“That fabric is very Hollywood,” says Chanele of the headboard she upholstered herself. “The bedroom’s small, so it’s a great way to add pattern and colour and draw attention to the bed rather than to what the room is lacking.” Wall-mounted sconces make up for minimal tabletop space.