Name: Sally "the decorator" Smallwood and Cameron "learning to love grey" Algie
Location: Toronto, Canada
Size: 958.2 square feet (approximately)
Years lived in: Own 8.5 years (with a little help from the bank)
As soon as you enter Sally and Cameron's home you can immediately feel and understand their personalities—warm, friendly and most of all FUN! Neither of them are afraid to push the limits of design. Sally is the self-proclaimed head decorator and nest maker and though Cameron says "he's along for the ride," he has a keen eye for design as well.
Sally and Cameron met at an ad agency. She was a senior writer and he was a wide-eyed intern. They moved in together six weeks later. Sally was worried he'd change his mind, since she was 32 and he was "almost 22" (direct quote from 22-year-old Cameron). That was 18 years ago.
Their first place together was someone else's. So they moved out and found a place for just the two of them. Except for the mice. And the raccoons in the wall. And a squirrel. So, the twelve of them.
Their next place had a nicer view than the parking garage, but one night a bat flew in the hole in the front door. Toronto's wildlife had lost its lustre. It was time to stop renting and look for a Real Home.
Then they moved here. It was love at first sight. Just like them. Park view, granite counter tops, high ceilings, open concept… stop, stop, you had me at "no bats."
Get the look! → Improvised Modern in Canada
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Improvised Modern-slash-Creative Contemporary
Inspiration: '60s art, film, fashion, music, architecture and design, improvisation, Apartment Therapy, and our endlessly creative friends. Our home is filled with art by some incredibly talented artists, designers, and improvisers.
Favorite Element: All the natural light, and the view of the park. We lived in an apartment that faced onto a parking garage for seven years. We kept the blinds drawn and window closed so we wouldn't be overcome by exhaust fumes. Looking back, we undoubtedly suffered from S.A.D. but now we're H.A.P.P.Y.
Biggest Challenge: Decorating around the previous owner's colour choices. We're not doing any major renos till the mortgage is paid off.
What Friends Say: First-time visitors: "Love the view!" Return visitors: "Is that new?"
Biggest Embarrassment: The ghastly pink-beige tiles and yellow marble in the bathrooms, beige carpet, and oak cabinetry. (See: Biggest Challenge) Also, having a guitar and no one knowing how to play it.
Proudest DIY: It's super simple, but the washi tape over the fuse box in the bedroom. It was placed in a way that made putting art over it awkward, so I made it into a piece of art. I also love the bookcase in the entryway that my dad built and my mother wallpapered with remnants to create a room divider back in the '60s. They were both geniuses at making things from odds and ends.
Biggest Indulgence: The Breaking Bad Blu-Ray barrel. And MCM furniture. Let's just say we've had a lot of chairs.
Best Advice: Your home isn't static. There'll probably always be stuff you'd like to change, so think of your space as a reflection of your life and enjoy the process of trying new things, cherishing old ones, and moving stuff around. Keep what you love and let go of the rest. And love yourself.
Dream Sources: 1st Dibs (truly, in our dreams), ABC Carpet & Home, Orla Kiely, Paul Smith, Portobello Market, The Modern Shop.