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Curated living is about thoughtfully creating a space that reflects your personality and lifestyle.IMAGE OF 36 BIRCH COURTESY OF NORTH DRIVE INVESTMENTS

“Curated lifestyle” is a popular buzzword these days, but what does it really mean?

When it comes to the interior design of one’s home, it goes beyond emulating what’s trending by copying cookie-cutter magazine designs or Pinterest posts. A curated lifestyle is a way of living that involves a thoughtful curation and selection of possessions, experiences, relationships and people in one’s life. It mixes functional design, aesthetics and beauty, quality of items, organization, individuality and flexibility.

Curated living emphasizes quality over quantity, and creates more authentic environments, fostering a more soulful appreciation for what is unique about one’s surroundings. That branches out from the design of a home into a way of living, focusing on such priorities as safety and security, health and wellness, sustainability, and living a more purposeful life. For example, if line art is trending, one might look for a piece of work that triggers a warm personal memory.

“Everyone has their own way that they live,” says Toronto interior designer Dawn Chapnick. “It really means a custom-designed life, not just in your home, but the building where you live, the lifestyle there, the community.”

Properties, especially condos and luxury rental buildings, then need to offer a canvas on which one can design a curated life. In properties such as 2Fifteen, the new, luxury purpose-built rental property in the Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto, this starts by offering suites with versatility foremost in mind, and which are founded on luxurious minimalism.

The suites are designed so every resident can personalize their home based on their own unique vision. The rich menu of amenities and 2Fifteen’s mobile building app helps residents curate their lifestyle by making services as streamlined for residents as possible, says Kellie Speakman, vice-president, residential, for DBS Developments, who oversees designing the programs and experiences for residents at 2Fifteen. Her team offers a wide selection of programs such as wine tastings, cooking classes, or yoga instruction so residents can pick and choose based on their own interests and schedule.

“We offer the same services and programs that you would expect in a luxury hotel, but more curated to [the residents], what they would actually need, all in a building that has a very boutique feeling,” Speakman says. “It’s less transactional and more experiential for the resident here.”

Services include such things as going down to the garage and starting your car regularly if you are away for weeks, walking the dog, personal shopping, and even watering the plants when you are away. Offering such stability and simplicity of living during a tumultuous time is appealing, says Bryan Levy, chief executive officer of DBS Developments.

“I think it’s about making the resident feel comfortable and making them feel that, whatever their needs are, we can tailor to them,” he says. “If they don’t like yoga but they like personal training, we will tailor that to them. Our concierge team really has the task of getting to know our residents, getting to know what they like and what they don’t like.”

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At North Drive, the company developing the 36 Birch and 10 Prince Arthur low-rise luxury boutique projects in Toronto, it’s also about helping to simplify the lives of residents, removing the burdens of operations and maintenance while delivering perks like security, amenities and services.

“By their very nature, boutique luxury buildings are intimate communities wherein residents’ more unique needs are not just heard, but catered to, and very often they’re already in alignment with the community as a whole,” says Jana Korim, North Drive’s head of sales. “It all appears organic but this level of sympatico is impossible to achieve in large-scale buildings, no matter how ‘luxury’ they claim to be, so it is an inherent quality that sets our small buildings apart. It also protects residents’ investment over time, especially given that following completion and once a building has ‘settled,’ resident turnover is very infrequent. This is probably the strongest indicator of a successfully curated lifestyle. It also makes our addresses that much more exclusive and desirable. To come full circle at this from another angle, I recently shared with one of our residents that with North Drive, I often feel like I am participating in curating a community, rather than selling properties.”

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