When selecting a place to live we had two main search criteria; (1) that it be close to where Danny worked to cut down on his commute time and (2) that it fit my taste seeing as I would spend a significant portion of my day there. It was definitely a stressful process to find accommodations in an already tight market, not to mention we were moving during peak season. Fortunately we found a two bedroom unit that fit the bill. Not only was it located literally across from the hospital parkade but it was brand-spanking new and had never been lived in. Score!
I was so thrilled that we had found the space but the new challenge was how to transform it into our home, or at least a place where we could eat and sleep. The first option (which was not even a 'real' option) was to find a furnished place to rent... but being the first tenants in the unit and all, this obviously wasn't going to happen. Alternatively, we could purchase all new furniture, appliances, kitchen supplies etc. and start from scratch but that would limit us to fairly inexpensive (read; cheap quality) options and although I do like a good deal, I don't like to live entirely surrounded by cookie cutter self-assembled furniture from a big box store. Plus my craftsmanship is probably pretty shoddy at best. Additionally, if we went with this route, we would still have to figure out where to store all my existing furniture. So in the end we ended up picking out the essentials from my existing furniture, shipping it across country and storing the remainder in a basement.
So there we were in a new condo and trying to furnish it with the bare essentials. Danny was really great and didn't complain too much when I would pick up a few little accessories here and there over the next few months - fully realizing that whatever we brought in was temporary and would still need to be shipped back home at the end of his Fellowship term. We were fortunate to have huge windows with wonderful views of the city, sky and water so in essence that was our 'real' decor. It was a work in progress and I'm happy to say we made this little temporary space our home for 12 short months.
So without further delay - here's a little tour of our downtown Toronto condo!
The kitchen was galley style and a dream compared to my dated kitchen in my previous place. I liked the granite countertops and two-toned cupboards although I have no idea how someone of a shorter stature could function in that space. I'm over 6 feet tall and would still have to pull up a chair to get to those top cupboards!
See that long dark column on the far right? That is the world's smallest refrigerator and freezer. They definitely taught us to become very economic with our space. I guess most people who live downtown eat out a lot?
Our bedroom was located just behind a sliding glass panel (North East Corner) and showcased the best view of the whole suite. I loved laying in bed at night looking down Bay St. at City Hall, numerous skyscrapers and the waterfront. Again, this room was flooded with beautiful light in the morning (which I liked but Danny didn't so much).
Looking back towards the living room and mini dining room area leads us into Ben's nursery. Even though he would only be living there for six months, I really wanted to make a special space for our first born child - something where I could retreat to in the middle of the night and rock him to sleep. As it turns out he stayed next to us in a little bassinet at night, but I still loved having a separate space for our little boy. Danny and I painted that back wall a soft grey - a challenging feat involving a seven month pregnant lady balancing on her man's shoulder's and barely managing to tape/paint a border around the top of a 10 foot tall wall. Yes, it was a bit ridiculous, and I realize I should have just asked maintenance for a proper ladder - but I was determined and we all know not to argue with a pregnant lady.
We kept the furnishings really minimal (plenty of baby junk to fill up the space when he gets older) and just added a few little pieces here and there. Again, we took advantage of the marvellous view out of his South facing window, a window which provided a lot of great light for his monthly photo shoots!
The bathrooms and office den were also pretty sleek and minimal but I didn't get around to photographing them because (a) who needs to look at another person's toilet and (b) we were really pressed for time in the last few weeks.
So here you have it! Not a perfectly staged magazine portrayal but hopefully a glimpse into our little 800sq ft home in the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto for twelve months. It served its purpose well and will be a chapter we can look back on with fond memories.
Oh, and that view?...
Man I sure miss it some days.