A ‘Blank Canvas’ Toronto Apartment Shows How to Highlight Artwork Beautifully

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Blue velvet sofa with round yellow pillow on it

Name: Rachel Elliott and vizsla, Penny
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Type of home: Apartment / Duplex
Size: 750-800 square feet
Years lived in: 7 months, renting

Before moving in

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I moved back home to Toronto this past June after living in the U.S. for the past six years. I’ve moved a lot in my life, lived in different styles of apartments, had roommates, dogs, stairs, and so on. I’m an art advisor by trade, and this space felt like the first time I could really make it my own. It was a blank canvas. The space does not have much natural light, so I needed to figure out how to highlight artwork best.

I lean toward that post-modern design but with a bit of eclectic/bohemian flair. I like to have variety but keep it simple at the same time. I think I’m just a modern woman and continually in progress. My style is like this, too, and it only feels more and more like ‘me’ every day. I’ve always been a believer that space should equal sanctuary, ergonomics are important, and art, on some level, should be meditative. I want my space to have order but feel soft. I’m a collector but always attempting to be minimal. A constant battle in my heart!

Living room with artwork by Karina Bania

What is your favorite room and why? I love my living room with the large-scale painting by Karina Bania. I love that it holds its own in the space but also ties everything together. It was a commissioned piece, so it was about the process of talking to an artist and creating something completely unique with them. This whole room is an accumulation of things. The couch was my first large purchase. The Eames chair was a dream of mine and subject of my thesis in school.

Living room with Eames lounge chair

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern but soft.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I honestly love my faux flowers from this local spot in Queen West called Euclid Farms. They are the best! Plus the black vase from West Elm was just so perfect with my all black kitchen.

Artwork by Christina Watka

Any advice for creating a home you love? Collect what you love and take your time. My collection did not happen over night but over years! Also, if you have the opportunity to meet the artists you are collecting and collect from emerging artists, do it! These are relationships that can last a lifetime.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.