Name: Justice Darragh, voice-over actress & photographer, and Ronan Gibney, tattoo artist
Location: Toronto, Canada
Size: 1,600 square feet
Years lived in: 15 (Ronan), 6 months (Justice); Rented
Justice and Ronan share this cozy apartment in Toronto, Canada. Together they have created a warm and inspiring space to live and work in. Ronan’s 16-year tattoo career has led him to a love of religious imagery, and Justice’s bohemian style compliments his, bringing in elements of the lively and unexpected. Both are visual artists and musicians with a love of anatomy and color, cooking and entertaining.
Ronan lived in this apartment for 15 years before Justice moved in, renovating it piece by piece, on his own for certain projects and with the landlord for others. Before the pair decided to move in together, this utilitarian apartment in a hundred-year old home served as not much more than a basic crash pad, with just two pieces of art on the walls, a leather couch/chair/ottoman, a TV, and a drafting table and desk. But once the boxes were in, the couple went to work collecting pieces and designing a space that could fulfill their practical needs and support their interests while also reflecting their individual personalities. Especially tricky was the task of trying to turn a dark cave-like basement with low ceilings into a cozy, inviting bedroom. This is where they’ve gotten with it over the last 6 months…
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Eclectic, esoteric, vintage and repurposed with bright colorful accents.
Inspiration: Nature, the life/death cycle, repurposing objects, friends and artists we admire.
Favorite Element: We love the fact that our workspaces are combined in one room. Getting to spend time working on projects separately yet together makes for a very creative atmosphere and puts us both in a great mood. It’s wonderful to watch each other at our best doing what we love most. Also, the exposed brick and original trim bring out the character of the house.
Biggest Challenge: Storage, sound and uneven everything! There is only one closet, which we share. And the only door is for the bathroom, so sound travels like crazy in this open concept apartment. All of the floors and walls are crooked — hanging anything with a level is an exercise in comedy.
What Friends Say: “I never would have thought to do that!” They usually get excited about the details and leave with design ideas for their own homes.
Biggest Embarrassment: The glass block wall beside Ronan’s drafting table. It’s outdated and reminiscent of the worst design elements of the 80’s. Also from that era was a heavy black steel tube banister that led down the extra steep basement stairs, which we removed on our first day living together. We've never looked back!
Proudest DIY: For Ronan it was tearing out a big ugly fake fireplace that was in the studio where the instruments hang now, and camouflaging the fact that it was ever there in the first place by filling in the holes it left behind and blending the new ceiling, wall and hardwood floor with the old. For me, it was the bedside table I made from the legs of an EQ3 side table and a vintage suitcase I picked up at an antique shop.
Biggest Indulgence: For Ronan it’s the flat screen TV + laptop set up for downloading and viewing our films and television shows. For me it’s devoting so much real estate to my yoga/workout area.
Best Advice: Test pieces out in different places in your home, not just the spot you originally had in mind. It can inspire all kinds of new ideas.
Dream Sources: Trianon in Toronto, Forever Interiors in Toronto, Abigail Edwards, Magnetic Grain, Metropolis Living in Toronto, Smash in Toronto, Hideaway Antiques Toronto, antique markets everywhere.
Resources of Note:
- Ghost Side Chair - Morba, Toronto
- Sailor Jerry Rum Steel Cooler - promo item not available for sale
- Terrariums - West Elm
- Sheepskin Rug - Ikea
- Coat Tack – Kitchen Stuff Plus
- Black Leather Couch - Ikea
- Brown Leather Chair & Ottoman - unknown
- Armoire – Ikea (glass doors removed)
- Mason Jars - vintage
- Cameras - vintage
- Glass Volumetric Flasks – Metropolis, Toronto
- Double Wall Mini Tea Cups – David’s Tea
- Stemless Wine Glasses - HomeSense
- Skull - Mexico
- White Porcelain Salt & Pepper Shakers – PMO Design, Montreal
- Book Planter – DIY repurposed, idea from Apartment Therapy
- Lamp – Ikea
- Couch Pillows – West Elm
- Green Vintage Moon Door - Hawk Eyes Design & Furnishings, Toronto
- White Mail Box - HomeSense
- Day of the Dead Figurines - Mexico
- Branch Light – DIY repurposed
- Antique Scales – various antique markets
- White Vintage Windows - found
- White Eames Style Eiffel Chair – Morba, Toronto
- Black Dining Table & Chairs - Ikea
- Wood Bookshelf – Ikea
- Black & White Art – Lora Zombie
- Books “book shelves” – DIY repurposed (vintage books, The Chief, Toronto)
- Green Vintage Mini Chair – The Chief, Toronto
- Metal Letters – Blackbird Vintage, Toronto
- Ampersand – Etsy.com
- Antlers – Abrahams Trading
- Gravity Wine Bottle Stand – Etsy.com
- Antique Fork & Spoon Chandelier – Chatalet, Toronto
- Pheasant Wings – The Occult Shop
- Reclaimed Wood Desk – HomeSense
- White Eames Style Eiffel Chair - Morba
- Green Bike Tire Mirror - Ikea
- Suitcase Table – DIY repurposed (base EQ3, suitcase vintage)
- Feather Lamp – DIY repurposed (base Ikea)
- Branch Light Bulb Piece – DIY repurposed
- White Mirrors - unknown
- Wood Shelving - Ikea
- Vintage B&W Bettie Page Photographs – Abrahams Trading, Toronto
- Red Banner – Japanese Paper Place, Toronto
- White Wood Apothecary Shelf – DIY
- Pee-pee Dance Map Washroom Figures – DIY
- White Feather Lights – The Fairies Pyjamas, Toronto
- White Flower Lights - The Fairies Pyjamas, Toronto
- Antler Necklace Holder – Polyvore.com
- White Frame Corkboard – HomeSense
- White Cast Iron Stool – vintage heirloom
- Pink Perisan Rug – Turco Persian Rug Co., Toronto
- Table - Ikea
- Robin’s Egg Blue Eames Style Dowel Chair - Morba
- Tree Stump Monitor Stand - found
- Sheepskin - Ikea
- Reclaimed Side Table with Vintage School Chair Legs – Forever Interiors, Toronto (custom)
- Antlers – found
- Floor Matting – Wal-mart
- Full-length Mirrors –Ikea
- Buddha Head – HomeSense
- Drafting Table – Curry’s Art Supply
- Black Desk Chairs – Staples Business Depot
- Star Wars Poster – World of Posters, Toronto
- White Shelves – Target
- Red Vintage Stool with Steps – Abraham’s Trading
- Grapevine Ball Lights – Target
- Red Feather Lights - The Fairies Pyjamas, Toronto
- Driftwood – found
- Tree Canvas Photographs – Urban Barn
Thanks, Justice & Ronan!
(Images: Justice Darragh)
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