Frederic's Chic & Petit in Toronto

House Tour

Name: Frederic
Location: Toronto, Canada
Size: 575 square feet
Years lived in: 8

Frederic has mastered the layout for single-room living. Of course, the small space is enhanced by his excellent abstract paintings and his careful choices of furniture highly practical with the right amount of personality. If you have been looking for a paradigm of a studio apartment check out Chic & Petit in Toronto.

Frederic is one of those people who has a never-ending lists of skills; he paints, he's a marketing expert, he's a tailor (Caviar20 is waiting for his fur pillows), he's an excellent English-to-French translator and the type of friend who is always willing to help out in a pinch. His apartment reflects his ingenuity, creativity and versatility. The space is modern and uplifting. Unconsciously he has mixed pieces (such as the large oak table from Quebec and the Tiffany-inspired lamp) that allude to different eras, styles and price-points. White-painted chairs cleverly covered with IKEA tea-towels have a Swedish Gustavian vibe. The apartment is Swiss-laboratory clean and organized. When asked how he manages to keep his space clutter-free he replies "Clutter doesn't get through the front door".

Perhaps the biggest success of the studio is the layout. Major pieces are placed flush against walls. The large table creates a division for the sleeping area and functions as a versatile eating place/work station. Frederic's apartment is further evidence of how enjoyable it is to live with art. Braden Labonte is one fo his favorite artists, not only a talented illustrator, but his multi-layered pieces are executed on vellum! In the entry hall Frederic created the polaroid grid made up of street shots taken from his old 5th floor apartment. Taken at various times of the day, they show pedestrians coming in and out of a peep-show. Not so different then a House Tour, really.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Inspiration: Amazing designers like Andree Putman and artists like William Steiger leave me breathless. Traveling is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Friends (and seeing their places), books, art and movies all feed me, challenge me and force me to view things in a different way.

Favorite Element: This is a difficult question as each piece that comes into my apartment is carefully chosen. The table/desk, coat rack and large vintage photo come from my grandfather. They are very dear to me. I would probably have to choose my Tiffany lamp (reproduction), as it was the first big indulgence I bought for my place years ago. It set me on defining my own style.

Biggest Challenge: Not having a separate bedroom is certainly a challenge. I don't want to see my bed from my living space so I used a big oak desk (my grandfather's work desk) as a dining table and a visual separation from the other section of my apartment. Seems to work!

What Friends Say: I live in a very modest and spare apartment — not everyone likes that style or that way of living. It's either a hit or a miss with them, but the bottom line is I live here — they don't.

Biggest Embarrassment: Choosing the right paint color might be a simple decision but it is not as easy as it seems. I have painted my apartment many times over since I have been here (8 years) to get it right. The Toronto Paint Store helped me find the perfect colors.

Proudest DIY: I'm lucky to have obtained a visual art degree and having been painting for over 20 years. The pieces I haven't been able to sell or my favorites stays on my walls. I have also painted and recovered my chairs with IKEA tea towels, I think they are great. Next on my to-do-list: wallpaper.

Biggest Indulgence: Having original art is not a cheap hobby but to me it is the most rewarding. Finding a young artist and getting pieces once in a while is my way to get around this costly past-time. I've been following Braden Labonte for years and always enjoy getting a piece from his latest show. I also managed to get a painting from Nada Sesar-Raffay represented by Toronto's amazing Edward Day Gallery in exchange for making her a skirt. Also one of my best friends Kirk Mechar is a great artist, who used me as a model in the past and I have been collecting some of his work for a few years now.

Best Advice: Keep it simple! I don't like a lot of trinkets. Clutter stays outside my door.

Dream Sources: Anything from Canadian design superstar Tom Deacon, Dwell Studio, Fluff Designs, Gus Modern, Style-Files, Designer Fabrics, Centre Pompidou and Room & Board.

Thanks Frederic!

Images: Troy Seidman

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