Downsizing to a condo doesn’t mean giving up on high-end interiors
When buyers are downsizing from large homes in Rosedale or Forest Hill to a condo, the smaller square footage brings its share of challenges for designers working to capture a luxury aesthetic.
Frank Mazzotta, president of Armour Heights Developments, says the key to success lies in the builder’s ability to customize. Armour Heights Developments has been building custom homes for 30 years and one of its latest projects is 89 Avenue Yorkville. A way to bring a luxury aesthetic to homes with smaller footprints is an attention to detail in the finishes.
“When you are dealing with luxury products, the room for error minimizes and installation of the materials has to be as seamless as possible,” says Jordan DeBrincat, director of operations at Altree Developments, the company building 2 Forest Hill Road, a private residence project on St. Clair Avenue West.
At the recent Interior Design Show in Toronto, minimalism was a much-discussed topic. Designers spoke about how paring down elements in a room can creating iconic, beautiful looks.
“I have become a big fan of larger pieces in a room, but less of them,” says Karl Lohnes, a broadcast personality and editor of Style at Home.
Sarah Nguyen, director of marketing and innovation at the House of Rohl, a company featuring a portfolio of high-end decorative plumbing brands from around the world, talked about opting for a rose gold faucet in her new luxury kitchen because she wanted that “pop factor.”
“Some people accomplish that with tile, others with wallpaper. We do it with faucets,” she says. “It’s almost like a piece of jewellery or an expensive handbag.”
More people are moving into condominiums and townhomes in the downtown for reasons of convenience, walkability and other livability factors.
Buyers of luxury homes are sophisticated and have extensive experience with interior design, and have refined tastes and precise needs, so the process ends up being very consultative and nuanced, says Paul Johnston, real estate sales representative for Charbonnel, 19 bespoke luxury townhomes being built on Avenue Road at Oaklands Avenue, just south of St. Clair Avenue West in the heart of Summerhill. Brian Gluckstein of Gluckstein Home, a featured speaker at this year’s IDS, is also the interior designer for the 89 Avenue Yorkville and Charbonnel projects.
The ultimate objective in designing smaller spaces for these clients is to allow them to maintain a lifestyle they have grown accustomed to, even in a smaller space, says Kelly Cray, creative principal partner at U31, an interior architecture and design studio that is working on the 2 Forest Hill Road project.
“And in many ways, [you want to] improve it through a comprehensive list of luxury-inspired hotel amenities and services,” he says. “Services such as 24-hour concierge, valet, enhanced security, as well as sommelier services. The concept of luxury is something different to many people. However, we feel that in the context of a home, superior or unique materials, thoughtful design and quality craftsmanship will always articulate an aesthetically elevated lifestyle.”
According to Cray, some of the more popular interior design requests from buyers are functionality and storage, a defined entry foyer with ample coat closets, a large and spacious kitchen complete with top-of-the-line appliances, a generous-sized master bedroom with ample natural light and closet space, and larger entertaining spaces to host families and other gatherings and dinner parties.
This content was produced by The Globe and Mail’s Globe Content Studio, in consultation with an advertiser. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.