Downsizing in Style in a Toronto Condo — Professional Project


Project by: Cynthia Ferguson Designs
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Cynthia was enlisted to help a family of four downsize from their family home into a condo that would better suit their life now. Working with her clients she was able to create a chic space that mixes new pieces with old favorites.

From Cynthia: With their two daughters moving on to University, my client decided to take advantage of the crazy real estate market in Toronto and downsize from their family home. We had to figure out how to move a family of four with two dogs from 4,000 square feet to 1,200 square feet. We also needed to figure out which pieces of furniture would fit and which would not. There was a lot of editing to do, and a lot of letting go. It was not an easy task but we were excited to work together and create a new chapter and a different lifestyle for my client and her family! Now living within walking distance of hip art galleries, fabulous restaurants and all the amenities she could want in Forest Hill, my client and her family are thoroughly enjoying their carefree condo lifestyle and the days that we gutted the entire condo to create a blank slate seem like a distant memory.

I have three pieces of advice for anyone embarking on creating a new home. First, work with someone you trust and like spending time with. This was the second project my client and I had done together so we already knew how our working relationship would be structured — lots of laughs and lots of creative ideas! Renovating the condo was a long process, so you spend a lot of time together. Sometimes clients need hand holding. Sometimes they need a little push to make a decision. Knowing how to maximize their design dollars and create the best possible outcome can be akin to walking a tight rope sometimes. You want to pick your team wisely.

Secondly, decide what pieces in your home are your favorite. Start with those pieces and build your new home around them. Allow the designer to be creative and integrate lots of your family pieces with new pieces and mix vintage with the new. You still want your new home to feel like yours, not a hotel room!

The last piece of advice is about the financial end of creating your new home, set a budget and set aside 15%. Keep the additional 15% for those hidden issues or upgrades you absolutely have to have. If you don’t have enough saved to do all of what you want, have the contractor and designer break the job down into phases for you. Spend your money wisely, don’t send a designer out to look for a more economical mirror for instance, you will end up spending more money in design hours when you could have purchased a better product for the same money.

Thanks, Cynthia! Readers, see more of her work at Cynthia Ferguson Designs.

• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Project Submission Form.

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