Designer Montana Burnett suggested adding panelling to the dining room and painting it a grey- brown shade: “It makes the area feel more sophisticated and grand, which you can’t always achieve in a small space.” Table (now hitewashed), Ikea; pendant light, Universal; art, HomeSense.
By IRIS BENAROIA | Photography by ANGUS FERGUSSON
Love conquers all — even small living quarters. It certainly
helps if you’ve got an encouraging designer, a willing
contractor, and an open-minded boyfriend, too. Lindsi
Mandelbaum, a teacher, and Lorne Rose, a lawyer, had been
dating for six months when Lorne purchased a single-storey
Toronto townhouse. It had potential, but natural light was
scarce, and the interior was a 1990s nightmare: honey-toned
floors, bland fixtures and a kitchen that was cramped and
generic. Style-savvy Lindsi (whose previous 700-square-foot
apartment was featured in H&H, August 2008) was
comfortable enough with the narrow space, but felt that if she
was moving in, there was a lot of work to be done.
Enter interior designer Montana Burnett, who set to work
with the couple to create a lively home within the constraints
of the small space. But this wasn’t a designer-as-dictator
project. The dauntless duo got dirty themselves, ripping out
the old floors (they’re now a dark hardwood) and doing some
of the painting. In terms of colour, Burnett devised a punchy
palette to rid the space of its humdrum feel and connect the
rooms — plum and yellow with white and grey contrasts. ( The
plum and yellow were such a hit, they were even used on the
couple’s wedding invitations.) Like a good marriage, balance is
the key in this space: too much bubblegum colour would have
robbed it of its sophistication and made it seem girly. In the
end, their hard work has paid off, earning the now newlyweds
a smart, adaptable space that will work for years to come.
Lindsi Mandelbaum and Lorne Rose
in their dining room, which is full of
woven texture. White chairs, West
Elm; brown chairs, L’Atelier.