11 Jul Condos offer instant decor
The packages, valued between $10,000 and $30,000 depending on the size of suite, are included in the price of the condo. Casalife (casalife.com) is the exclusive supplier of furnishings for the packages, which were designed by Toronto decorator Kelly Cray of Union31(union31.com). They include everything from sofas and coffee tables to artwork to cushions — even lamps, a mattress and bed linens are provided. All of the suites on sale at the Lifetime store — the remaining inventory from its Liberty Market Lofts, M5V, The Bond, Bisha Hotel and Residences and The Yorkville projects — come fully furnished. Call them turnkey condos. “You’re basically moving in and that’s it,” says Lifetime vice president Brian Brown, noting that construction has started on most of the associated projects. “We’ve never done something of this nature before,” says Cray in an interview at Casalife to discuss concept, which is relatively new for the Toronto market. “It definitely relieves a lot of pressures,” he says. “If you come into a place like (Casalife) and you don’t have the education and experience, I imagine it can really be quite overwhelming.” And with condos in Toronto growing smaller every year, “you really have to pay attention to what you’re putting into these suites.”
GLAM, ZEN OR EURO? In an effort to ease the plight of buyers at Lifetime’s inventory store, Cray has put together a trio of decor packages that appeal to a variety of tastes. There’s the “Modern Glam” package, with an emphasis on metals, woods and custom furnishings and fabrics that add an air of “opulence” and “elegance” to the condo, and, according to the brochure, “a little bling.” The “Urban Zen” package comprises a calming mix of walnut finishes, clean whites and softer shapes. “Usually with smaller suites it’s a good idea to keep your walls more on the neutral white side and add textures and colours to the accents and the pieces,” Cray notes. For the design-inspired buyer, the “Euro Modern” package offers sleek lines, unique-looking furniture pieces and a palette of greys, whites and chrome. “The design focus is more architectural in flavour,” says Cray. “It’s for someone more established, perhaps someone who entertains more.”
It’s all about making the condo purchasing process (relatively) pain-free, stresses Brown. “Finding the right furniture for a condo is a specialized task,” he says. “People can go to a lot of furniture stores, and buy a sofa here and a coffee table there, but when they actually bring it to their unit they find that the pieces are either too large or they don’t work together — not to mention that space is usually a challenge.”
Casalife offers design and storage solutions that are well suited for downtown condos; no surprise there, as its Liberty Village location sits at the doorstep of one of the city’s most bustling new condo communities. “We didn’t set out to be a condo store,” Whitfield says, “but then the condos started going in around us, and people we’re coming in and saying, ‘Where do we put our socks and underwear in our bedroom?’ Indeed, condos present decorating and design challenges that previous generations of detached home dwellers didn’t face. “Used to be you’d go down to Leon’s and pick up the typical sofa, love seat and chair, and usually it would fit in every house on the block,” Whitfield says. But times, and living spaces, have changed. “Today you’ve got pillars and poles, and if that couch isn’t 68 inches on the money, it won’t fit.”
The Inventory Boutique is located at 290 Adelaide St. W. It is open Monday to Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., closed Friday, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 416-546-7525 or go to lifetimedevelopments.com. Go to yourhome.ca to see more pictures of the furniture packages.