This student condo is about as far from your stereotypical "first apartment" as you can get, thanks to the design team of Margo Haines and Jill Finney of Margo Inc. World travelers Kate and Jennifer hired them to renovate and furnish their first adult home away from home.
The sisters are avid snowboarders, and after years of travelling the globe for Jennifer's competitions (she's an accomplished World Cup alpine racer), they wanted to attend university in a shared space that was equal parts modern and cool, but also classic and romantic. The living room's mural wall appropriately features a muted mountain range, a gentle and familiar contrast to the urban skyline on the other side of the glass.
Designer duo Margo and Jill exceeded all expectations of what can be done to make a 1,000 square foot space feel spacious and chic — beginning with a fresh white base and tons of light. A consistent color palette of yellow, blue and grey accents keep things simple and streamlined from room to room. They modified most of the doorways to accommodate space-saving sliding barn doors, selected their favorite photographs to be enlarged and hung as wall art in lieu of cluttered walls, and added bar seating to the kitchen so that when one sister is studying in the dining area the other can enjoy a meal without either interfering in the other's schedule or space.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: A combination of our personalities plus Margo Inc.'s styling. Classic but edgy, romantic but cool, vintage-modern.
Inspiration: Inspired by all aspects of art and culture, high fashion, urban and vintage design.
Favorite Element: The mural wall (inspired by an image found online) really resonated with us.
Biggest Challenge: Designers Margo & Jill: "Redesigning a boring condo kitchen layout…with beige thermafoil cabinets and a dated granite countertop. Also, renovating in a downtown high rise presents unique challenges with regards to parking, deliveries, and elevators!"
What Friends Say: Usually something like, "Wow this is amazing!", "You guys didn't do this yourselves did you?", "Love it!"
Get the look! → Modern & Cool Meets Classic & Romantic
Biggest Embarrassment: A few of the "can't be changed" condo features kind of stick out, like the pink-ish patio stone floor on the balcony. We plan to cover it with a green turf product this spring.
Proudest DIY: Designers Margo & Jill: "Using personal photographs as wall art. Jennifer's Muskoka sunset and Kate's trip to the Great Wall of China are important landscapes/memories for both sisters. The photographs were blown up onto large acrylic wall mounted frames."
Biggest Indulgence:Margo & Jill: "The sectional! The girls' parents wanted a comfortable sleep sofa for when they visit. Traditional sleep sofas are anything but comfortable so we went with this deep seat Lee Industries sectional for maximum comfort. And style!"
1. Be bold.
2. Add colour.
3. Don't be afraid to mix old and new (such as the HOT PIE letters).
4. Use large pieces and build around them even though the space is small.