House Tours

Seven tips for decorating a loft

With a little imagination and tidiness, designer Trish Papadakos and her husband, Alan, were able to create a 860-sq.-ft sanctuary in downtown Toronto.
Seven tips for decorating a loft

Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Loft Trish Papadakos

An 860-sq.-ft. loft

The authentic one-bedroom loft conversion Trish Papadakos shares with her husband, Alan, in downtown Toronto also serves as the workspace for her fledgling housewares company, Trish & Co. The 10-foot-high north-facing windows provide gorgeous light for her product photography while the open concept space gives her freedom to move around. Each of her collections is inspired by a specific person. Her first, the Curious Gardener, was influenced by her great-grandmother-in-law and includes linen pillowcases hand embroidered with motifs based on vintage illustrations, and wooden cutting boards in the shapes of various plants.

Invest in quality, double-duty furniture
When pressed for space, buy pieces that can serve several purposes. A sturdy narrow coffee table could be used as a bench when more seating is required, while a side table also doubles as a floor light. These leather chairs are elegant and practical when you have guests over but also tilt back into full recliners when more comfort is needed.

Chairs, cube light, bookcase, pillows, DWR. Rug, task light, West Elm. Sofa, Style Garage. Coffee table, Mike Feagan Woodworkers (designed by Alan Smith), 905-894-0191.

living-room-wooden-table-and-chairs-grey-pillows-map-of-the-worldPhoto, Roberto Caruso and Sian Richards.

Add a new top to a vintage base

The narrow shape of an antique Singer sewing table is reinvented as a space-saving console table when updated with a live-edge walnut top. The foot-pedal shelf is a great place to store back issues of National Geographic or your favourite magazines.

Wall hanging, QWAC. Lamp, Inabstracto. Vase, Coriander Girl. Dish, Up in the Air Somewhere.

antique-Singer-sewing-table-holding-lamp-and-vasePhoto, Roberto Caruso and Sian Richards.

Draw the eye up with a statement light

If your small space is blessed with high ceilings, play up the height by installing stunning pendant lights. A slatted wooden drum lamp echoes the rustic table in this dining room and plays off the white walls. Hot tip: Hang plants on your wall!

Light, Brothers Dressler. Chairs, DWR. Serving boards, Trish & Co. Wall planters, Farrah Sit. Table, Mike Feagan Woodworkers (designed by Alan Smith), 905-894-0191.

open-concept-wooden-dining-room-with-hanging-plantsPhoto, Roberto Caruso and Sian Richards.

Turn an unused hallway into an office

Find space in unexpected places. A corridor becomes a perfect spot for a desk, while a translucent wall panel allows light into the bedroom and gives a backlit glow to inspiration images.

Desk, DWR. Chair, Herman Miller. Light, West Elm.

office-desk-with-swivel-chair-and-desktop-computerPhoto, Roberto Caruso and Sian Richards.

Keep your dresser tidy with pretty boxes

A collection of wooden boxes in Trish’s bedroom keeps jewellery and other small items tucked away. An easy trick for keeping clutter at bay is to edit. It’s better to let a few things shine than to feel overwhelmed by too many pieces.

Mirror, Mike Feagan Woodworkers, 905-894-0191. Hook, Caravan Style. Table, boxes, Mason jar, vintage.

bedroom-mirror-with-flowers-and-hanging-cameraPhoto, Roberto Caruso and Sian Richards.

Double up on wall hooks

Two side-by-side coat racks provide oodles of space for coats and bags and add a bright pop of colour. If you have the space, go wall-to-wall with storage systems like this Eames Hang-It-All.

Hanger, DWR. Totes: left, Hoi Bo; Right, Paper and Tea.

wall-hangers-in-colourful-bulbsPhoto, Roberto Caruso and Sian Richards.

Opt for sliding doors

Mount doors on tracks. They will take up less space than conventional doors that open into a room. A simple bed frame and bare floors add to the airy, minimal look.

Bed, DWR. Sheepskin, sconces, Ikea. Duvet, sheets, Au Lit Fine Linens. Pillowcases, Trish & Co. Throw pillow, Virginia Johnson. Blanket, Chair, vintage.

bedroom-with-white-rug-white-bedPhoto, Roberto Caruso and Sian Richards.


Subscribe to our newsletters for our very best stories, recipes, style and shopping tips, horoscopes and special offers.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.