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A Renovated Black and White Loft With an Industrial Edge

Designer Suzanne Dimma elevates a Leslieville loft with rich and soothing monochrome details

By Simon Lewsen
Photography by Alex Lukey

When Les, a tech entrepreneur, and his girlfriend, Alex, an artist and talent agent, hired interior designer Suzanne Dimma to renovate their Leslieville loft, they told her they wanted to clean up the unit without making it cushy. “We still wanted it to feel like a warehouse,” says Les.

renovated warehouse loft
The glass-walled office visually enlarges the loft. A ladder allows access to additional storage carved into the stairwell. Chair from Hollace Cluny.

Dimma toured the original home and concluded that it was “a bit of a mishmash.” The rooms lacked clear demarcations, the pipes were painted garish colours, and to the right of the entrance was an unsightly staircase with grey particle-board guards. Dimma realized she had two challenges: to impose a sense of order while keeping things open, and to add texture within a streamlined palette.

renovated warehouse loft
A dramatic new staircase crafted by Jova Management leads to the rooftop. Bench by Coolican & Company; throw from Elte.

First, with the help of architect Barry Goldman, she redid the staircase with oak treads and a steel framework and moved it against the opposite wall, where it could access the roof. She could now add an open-air deck and an enclosed rooftop kitchenette. Inside, she allowed the space to flow naturally, from a front-end foyer and dining room with a double-height ceiling to a back-end living room and kitchen beneath the second-floor bedroom.

The loft’s original character is highlighted by sleek white cabinetry. Vase and pot from Mjölk; bowls from Elte and Snob; footed vessel and tea towels from Wills & Prior.

To maximize floor space within the 102-square-metre loft, she added a millwork bench that doubles as a storage unit, and to provide access to an elevated closet hidden behind grooved panelling, she installed a ladder on the landing. The finishes are sleek and minimalist. Beneath the stairs is a guest bedroom enclosed in steel and glass, with curtains for privacy. “When the curtains are open,” says Dimma, “it feels like a natural extension of the living room.”

A third-floor kitchenette services the rooftop terrace.

The overall palette is strikingly monochrome. Seemingly everything, from the walls to the exposed ductwork, is painted Oxford White. Yet there’s no shortage of accents: brick veneer in the dining area, Carrara marble tile in the bathroom and a luxurious jute and wool rug on the living room floor. The space feels open, and at the same time tranquil and far from boring. “Suzanne added a hundred tiny elements,” says Les, “that I never would have thought of.”

In the bathroom, a floating vanity integrates a countertop with extra storage.

Consider, for instance, the custom bedding, which includes a duvet with cross-stitch detailing, cushions in a medallion pattern, and a throw blanket with subtle lavender hues. “We wanted to create a sense of uniqueness in an all-white space,” says Dimma. Who needs colour when your textures are this rich? SUZANNEDIMMA.COM

A restrained palette in the bedroom adds a sense of calm. Bedding by Suzanne Dimma for Au Lit; throw from Elte.

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