This Lovely, Modern Toronto Home Is Filled With Clever and Cool DIYs
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Name: Momina, her husband, Ali, plus two kiddos
Location: Greater Toronto Area, Canada
Size: 1,800 square feet
Type of Home: Three-bedroom Townhouse
Years Lived In: Just short of 2 years, owned
Momina and her husband were looking for a bigger place after they had their second child. Being close to their families was an important factor to consider, so they could not move too far from the greater Toronto area. They were also looking for a pre-construction house so that they could have the opportunity to decide on most of the design and materials. They were fortunate to find a house that met all the criteria, and as a bonus, it was close to a lake as well!
They moved in at the start of the pandemic and, like most of us, have spent A LOT of time at home. Since then, they have been slowly and intentionally customizing their space. In between caring for two young children, Momina turned to decorating as a creative outlet for herself. Albeit at times ambitious, she took on the challenge of DIY with projects such as the powder room makeover, installing and painting double-batten walls in the dining room, custom cabinet doors for for the IKEA hack, and homemade benches. She shared that participating in design challenges through social media has been motivating to get things done! As well as a lot of fun and a way to connect with others.
Apartment Therapy Survey
My Style: I think so far every room has its own style, but I mostly gravitate toward a modern traditional style paired with pieces that reflect my culture.
Inspiration: I get inspired by places that reflect someone’s personality and look lived in. And I have been very inspired by all the talent online to DIY a lot of things around the house — I love adding my own spin to furniture pieces.
Favorite Element: The big windows in almost every room (even our walk-in closet) have my heart!
Biggest Challenge: For a big chunk of the pandemic, school and work was operated remotely from home. At that time, it was challenging to create work and study spaces in a way that did not clutter the bedrooms. My parents were also in between houses, so we had more people in the house for almost a year. We plan on finishing the basement so that we have more room to accommodate such needs in the future.
Proudest DIY: The double-batten accent wall in the dining area is my favorite DIY. It turned out just as I had envisioned, and it was the first time I was solely undertaking a DIY of that scale with some tools I had never used before.
Biggest Indulgence: Kitchen cabinets, which we upgraded through the builder pre-construction. Standard ones come in white or golden oak — we upgraded to gray and a smooth front, which makes cleaning easy. I would say they were worth it since our kitchen is heavily used and I’m not sure if trying to DIY them would have been durable.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Our living room is our family room. We spend all our time there with kids outside of work and school. So it was important to have their (painfully growing) collection of toys in sight but not really in sight. That’s when I decided to customize four IKEA IVAR cabinets into a T.V. console — but in reality, it is being used just for toy storage.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? There are a lot of things we purchased when we got married and moved into our first house, and those will always be dear to me since they are a reminder of how we started building our life and home together. Cheesy, I know!
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: I keep coming back to this, but try to double up on storage. You can never have enough of storage, especially with kids. In our living room we store toys in the IKEA console, an ottoman with storage, and our sectional, which opens up.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? My best advice is to be intentional with how you decorate your house. Especially if you are showcasing your house on social media, it is easy to follow trends or pump out projects to stay relevant to others — however, you might lose your own vision and style in doing so. Enjoy the process and remember to style your house so that it feels like a home to you.
My second best advice is to source deals on Amazon Warehouse. You can almost always find something you want at a reduced price on there and most people don’t know it exists.
PAINT & COLORS
- Powder Room — Benjamin Moore “Swiss Coffee”
- Dining Room — Behr “Jungle Camouflage”
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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