Patrick's Woodsy Chic Condo

Patrick's Woodsy Chic Condo

Abby Cook
Feb 10, 2011

Name: Patrick Lightheart
Location: Church & Wellesley Village — Toronto, Canada
Size: 500 square feet
Years lived in: 5 months — rented

Given Patrick's downtown Toronto location, a visitor might expect a sleek, contemporary interior. Instead, he has filled his modest-sized apartment with an eclectic range of items — from rustic Canadiana to tribal African pieces, with a touch of Art Deco for good measure. Midcentury-style furniture and his own arresting artwork add additional layers of interest. The result is charming and unique — much like Patrick himself.

Patrick moved into this apartment from a much bigger space and it's quite impressive how he's managed to display his favorite items and handsomely store others, all while maintaining a light and airy feel through the rooms. His floor plan is well suited for entertaining with inviting seating arrangements that provide guests something interesting to look at from every angle. The south-facing windows allow for plenty of light, making the space extra warm and cozy even in these cold winter months.

The home's rustic, outdoorsy elements are offset by Patrick's bold photography and collection of Empire State Building statues, which inject a modern, urban feel. "Create your own visual style," Orson Welles said. "Let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others."

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: African-Canadian Modern

Inspiration: Africa, Mad Men and any Canadian forest in the fall

Favorite Element: The white birch trunks. I got them delivered from a florist shop here in Toronto. I used a magazine holder to keep them from falling over. I really love the natural feel they bring to the space.

Biggest Challenge: Editing my possessions down so I could fit into this apartment that was half the size of where I had come from. Having a garage sale before moving was a great way to get rid of stuff and make money from things I really wasn't using or just wouldn't fit with what I would be doing in my new place. I gave a lot away to my new neighbor. I was a good way to make friends.

What Friends Say: I put a few pics on Facebook and got some great comments. My friends that have been here say it is totally my style which is unmistakable according to them.

Biggest Embarrassment: The carpeting in my building's hallways. It looks like a casino floor, and not a good casino…YUK!

Proudest DIY: The metal corner molding used with grass cloth wallpaper to define wall columns. I used a grass cloth wallpaper that I found at a paint store. It was on sale for $10 a roll. The metal was from a local hardware store. I thought it would give it a very fifties office look.

Biggest Indulgence: I don't really own anything that is all that precious. All my projects and objects are done on the cheap or found at garage sales. Being a renter it doesn't make sense to spend too much here.

Best Advice: Use what you love and everything will look great together.

Dream Sources: Jonathan Adler Home Store — we don't have one in Toronto.

Resources of Note:


    • white birch trunks: $15 each from Eco Stems, 267 Queen St E
    • custom made coffee sack pillows: L&A Design Toronto
    • custom built desk: made by Anthony Sayers from the HGTV series "The Unsellables"


    • Chalkboard paint: $8 a can from Home Hardware


    • bedding: PC Home from Loblaws


Thanks, Patrick!

Images: Abby Cook

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