Name: Maria Raco, Founder of NewWall
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years Lived In: 9 years, owned
The walls in Maria Raco's downtown Toronto apartment do not disappoint. As the founder and director of NewWall, a wallpaper distributor of collections from Marimekko, Timorous Beasties and more, plenty of rooms in her home feature vibrant patterns. Rustic wood beams and tall ceilings contrast nicely with the kitchen she designed two years ago, which has sleek cabinets and a contrasting black and white materials palette. She shares her dramatic and comfortable home with her husband and new baby son.
With so many fun wallpaper patterns to choose from, it's got to be hard to pick some for your own home, but Maria choice boldly. The entryway features an exuberant gold and white Wabi pattern by Calico Wallpaper. In the kitchen, a small strip of the Kippis pattern by Marimekko is a small but potent accent. But not all the patterns are wild; some of the wallpaper choices add texture and glam to rooms. The master bedroom's furnishings are kept minimal to let the Armani Casa's Versailles pattern take center stage. And the gold-colored, woven sisal wall covering in the powder room off the kitchen makes the small room feel downright luxurious.
"Right now, I have six different wallcoverings in my home, each one from a different brand NewWall represents. I change the designs regularly, with all the beautiful wallcoverings we have it's hard not to!! It's safe to say I have a change-out rotation that has my installer at our place every four to six months," says Maria.
"When it comes to choosing the right pattern, I tend to be attracted to the ones that are not necessarily the most obvious choice. I think this comes from the part of me that prefers to 'think different' and not follow trends (following trends of the moment can end up feeling dated very quickly). Showcasing designs that people would normally stray away from is very rewarding; in fact it's my favorite part of the job."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Effortlessly eclectic meets timeless
Inspiration: The internet takes you around the world with a couple of clicks in a matter of minutes. Daily inspirations come from One Kings Lane, innovative designs recommended by Dering Hall, or small businesses with artisanal inimitable pieces found via Pinterest.
Favorite Element: The design concept of the modern "soft loft" featuring high ceilings, exposed brick and beam throughout, combined with handpicked wallcoverings around my home.
Biggest Challenge: Managing storage space! My husband Alex and I love hosting dinner parties and it's a challenge to find a place to hang coats. Definitely our next project!
What Friends Say: When people come over, the first thing they say is 'WOW what an amazing place' in awe that we found a gem in a residential neighborhood. The building we live in is from the early 1900s and the façade is very minimal, leaving one surprised that such a beautiful and truly unique space resides within.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our lack of "extra" space becomes a challenge when family and friends come over during winter and need a place to hang several coats.
Proudest DIY: Decorating my home from the smallest details, which resulted in a home that truly matches my family's style and functionality.
Biggest Indulgence: I have no regrets with my kitchen, which I installed two years ago. I love how the dark marble backsplash stands out from the all-white aesthetic. In a clean and sleek look, adding the thin strip of Marimekko for NewWall wallpaper on the side gives a hint of playfulness and personality.
Best Advice: Invest in one-of-a-kind pieces to make your home more you.
Dream Sources: Visiting local galleries for distinctive and rare art work. With my love of wallpaper, I am always inspired with new creations by Timorous Beasties, Calico Wallpaper and Abnormals Anonymous.
PAINT & COLORS
Loft area – Benjamin Moore Regal Select – custom color black
Myles' nursery – Benjamin Moore Natura – custom color
White used throughout – Benjamin Moore Natura – Chantilly Lace
Wabi by Calico Wallpaper
Custom made mirror – Gold Leaf Frame
KITCHEN/LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM
Kippis wallpaper by Marimekko
Sam Sofa - Perez Furniture
Iguana Cushion — Timorous Beasties
Jonathan Adler throw — Jonathan Adler
Era Arm Chairs — Design Within Reach
Flos Parentesi lamps – Design Within Reach
Haiku Fan - Big Ass Fans
1920s Vintage Leather Armchair – family heirloom
Pendant Globes – West Elm
Digital Clock – QLOCKTWO by Biegert & Funk
Versaille wallpaper by Armani/Casa
Bed side tables – vintage Dorothy Draper
Night table lamps – Target
Decorative cushion - Timorous Beasties
Missoni duvet cover
French mattresses custom made in orange velvet
Animal House wallpaper by Abnormals Anonymous
Stripe to match wallpaper – hand-painted
Vola Glider – Monte Design
Classic Crib – OEUF
Fawn Dresser – OEUF
Change pad cover – Aden & Anais
Chevron Area Rug – Wayfair.ca