Design Behind the Scenes | Radiance Condo

Home is where the heart is … or in my case, where a fluffy bunny is! I truly believe that your home should be able to develop and grow with you as your life and needs change. And my home is certainly no exception to that. My little piece of home has gone through quite a few different transitions with me over the years.

My story started when I first graduated from design school, moving out on my own fresh to the word of being “a real grown-up”. I, of course, wanted my apartment to be stylish, but I quickly discovered my taste didn’t quite mesh with my current spending budget of virtually $0. Because of this, I felt it was wise to invest in one quality piece that I would see myself having for years to come. I chose for that one special piece to be my sofa, since it was the biggest piece of furniture that I would have in the space. I chose something that was very versatile and neutral, so that when inevitably got bored or restless and I wanted a change, I could easily do something. The design of the couch enables me to switch the extended chaise of my sofa from left to right with the simplicity of just moving the ottoman and switching the cushions from side to side, and I chose to go with a dark grey since it’s my favourite neutral colour. Since I spent all my money on a sofa, the rest of my furniture was what I could find inexpensively at big box stores, and what I could snag from my parents when they sold their house. Over time, I slowly replaced the inexpensive items that I needed out of necessity with items that I absolutely felt in love with. Having new beautiful quality pieces was very exciting for me, since I’m just a furniture addict, plus I believe that furniture can be art that enhances your life.

The next phase of my apartment’s life began when my then actor/stuntman boyfriend moved in with me. I suddenly found myself needing much more storage than my apartment could possibly provide as it was. My kitchen was very small and didn’t have a whole lot of additional pantry storage space. And suddenly I didn’t have this giant closet all to my self for my (very expansive) wardrobe. With a little creativity I was able to add significantly more storage to the small space without spending a ton of money. A trip to IKEA (my happy place) was in order! A few large drawers for under the bed, and a little rejigging of my dresser and closet quickly solved the clothing storage in the bedroom. Adding a tall cabinet and a couple of shorter cabinets along the back wall of the apartment allowed for me to create a full pantry, additional storage for miscellaneous items such as sheets, as well as a make-shift counter for smaller kitchen appliances like coffee makers.

About a year later, my boyfriend was accepted to law school! This was very exciting, but I realized that there was nowhere for him to study. I knew there would be lots of that involved in this new adventure, so I had a new challenge to solve! Yet another trip (or many) to my favourite place IKEA was in order! While he was away in Israel, I transformed my small den from my dining area into his personal office. This was only fair since the bedroom was my space (giant bookshelf of fancy shoes and all). He deserved a space in the little apartment that he could call his own. A few bookcases, a large corner desk and some creative “manly” art and the office was done! To make the space truly feel like his, I took his favourite Canucks jerseys, a couple Space Jam jerseys from our first Halloween, some shadow boxes, and a lot of patience to create a wall of framed jerseys. Since there wasn’t a door to divide the office from the rest of the apartment (and block his view of our certain very fluffy adorable distraction), I simply installed some office partitions. Because they go all the way to the floor, he’s able to tuck his bag under the desk and hide all the unsightly mess that goes along with computers and printers. Plus it doubles as a bulletin board for reminders for all those important law school assignments!

With good space planning and creative thinking, home should be able to adapt as your life changes. And the best part is, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune! Investing in quality pieces for the larger more focal items, and supplementing the design with more budget friendly items is key. It’s all about knowing when to splurge and when to save to accomplish the dream home you desire.