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Updated: November 20, 2012 4:19 AM | By Virginie Martocq
How to decorate a condo apartment: 10 expert tips

When interior designer Kimberley Seldon downsized from a five-bedroom house to a two-bedroom condo, she gladly compromised on space - but not on style

Kimberley Seldon (© Roberto Caruso)
  • Kimberley Seldon (© Roberto Caruso)
  • Put a graphic image on a door (© Roberto Caruso)
  • Place a table in front of a full-length window (© Roberto Caruso)
  • Throw a couple of bright accessories in the mix (© Roberto Caruso)
  • Choose dark furniture (© Roberto Caruso)
  • Go floor to ceiling with your fireplace (© Roberto Caruso)
  • Go monochromatic (© Roberto Caruso)
  • Tuck away non-essentials (© Roberto Caruso)
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Planning is everything

Planning is everything. That's never more true than in the case of downsizing, says Chatelaine interior design expert Kimberley Seldon, who learned that first-hand when she and her husband traded in their five-bedroom home for a compact two-bedroom condo. Buying from floor plans, they could see their new small place had everything they wanted - except storage. So Kimberley got down to business, organizing every nook and cranny to maximize space.

First design challenge: the kitchen. "When it comes to entertaining, we usually have hors d'oeuvres or do takeout," she says. "There's so much great food in the neighbourhood. I knew this wouldn't be a kitchen. I'd spend a lot of time cooking in." So she adjusted the floor plan accordingly: Instead of large, space-hogging appliances, she tucked bare necessities like the cooktop, oven, fridge and coffee maker behind louvred doors and opted for a small sink. The trick opened up enough space to fit a multi-purpose island turned dining table (complete with ample storage) into the main living area.

She then installed built-ins in almost every other room. "I use them as my guidelines for when it's time to purge. Once they're full, they're full," she says. The condo is now a model of brilliantly thought-out efficiency. With sleek dark walls to play up the expansive view, it's dramatic yet friendly and cozy. Perfect for a charismatic personality like Kimberley's!

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