A Fresh Start in Toronto

A Fresh Start in Toronto

Justice Darragh
Oct 22, 2014
(Image credit: Justice Darragh)

Location: Little Italy; Toronto, Canada
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months

When these two idea-makers were preparing to move in together, their main mission was to find a space that could accommodate two home offices in an atmosphere that would inspire their work. Countless viewings of windowless basement dens & crowded corner set-ups helped this gorgeous loft-style apartment stand out among the misfits.

(Image credit: Justice Darragh)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern bones, vintage touches, and a lot of breathing room.

Favorite Element: That there isn't a corner of the space that goes unused. When we were apartment hunting, it was a challenge finding a two-bedroom in downtown Toronto with the right layout—we both needed separate work spaces, and windowless condo dens just weren't going to cut it. The desk under the stairs was just what I was looking for my after-hours freelancing, and the cozy upstairs loft, with its skylight and geometric ceilings, was the perfect spot for the office. The owner of the house is a meticulous architect who designed all the ornate lamps and pendants with dimmer switches, which completely transforms the space at night.

Biggest Challenge: When we moved in, we knew the space came furnished—we just didn't know how furnished it would be. It was great having so much to work with, but melding our tastes and the furniture we already owned with a fully designed space (right down to the vintage knick-knacks and kitchen utensils) was a lego-block exercise in trying to squeeze everything in and make it our own. Luckily, the hallway and kitchen have a ton of storage.

What Friends Say: "Can we crash?" and "Who's going to fall off the stairs first?"

Biggest Embarrassment: The vertical view in the walk-in closet, where we've managed to squeeze everything we own that didn't fit in another cabinet or drawer on top of the built-ins (think Monica's secret closet in Friends). Oh, and the lack of AC.

Proudest DIY: The little things—an antler MacGyvered to the bedroom wall, and a wooden iPad holder we carved so we can read recipes while we cook.

Biggest Indulgence: We bought the sectional in the living room and 52" Samsung flat-screen at the same time. It was a bit of a his-and-hers compromise (guess who wanted which).

Best Advice: Coffee table books are the best conversation starters.

Dream Sources: Etsy, UpCountry, Brika, The Chief Salvage, JM & Sons, West Elm, dad's basement.

Resources of Note:


• "Hello" print & frame: Indigo Books
• Chalkboard: Urban Outfitters
• Plants in planters: Asparagus Ferns
• Deer Head: Etsy


• Sectional Sofa: Urban Barn "Lure"
• Patterned Throw Blanket: A gift from Morocco
• Chevron Throw Blanket: Urban Barn
• Velvet Pillows: Urban Barn
• Bar Tray: Vintage
• Floating Book Shelf: DIY by Chelsey
• Arm Chair: antique find
• Ladder: vintage find
• Gallery frames: Ikea
• Globe: vintage find
• Entertainment Unit/Wall Console: Ikea Besta units
• Hanging Light Bulb: West Elm
• White coffee table: Ikea
• Chevron rug: Home Sense


• Rug: eBay
• Chairs: vintage finds mixed with Ikea
• Table: Ikea
• Wooden Recipe Book Holder: DIY by Cainan
• Red Prints: Smash
• Pendant lamps: Ikea


  • Doorstopper: actually a vase from West Elm

    • Bed: Ikea "Malm"
    • Bedding: Home Sense
    • Antler: The Chief Salvage
    • Side Table: Ikea
    • Throw Blanket: Indigo Books
    • Hanging Terrarium: Indigo Books
    • Lamp: Ikea

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