IN8 Design Inc. enlivens an outdated condo kitchen and bath with a bright and modern concept
Michel Arcand and Don Parker have a reputation for an uncomplicated, contemporary design style. The principals of interior design consultancy IN8 Design Inc. launched their Toronto practice in 2009, and have underpinned years of success designing commercial and residential spaces with an emphasis on order and organization. So, when it came time for Arcand to finally finish the renovation of his Rosedale condo, a project that started nearly ten years ago, the task was measured and swift.
“I had already built the custom island,” says Arcand. Made of recycled modular filing cabinets from Herman Miller, the simple, white laminate structure detailed with a white-oak edge set the tone for the entire renovation. To complement the quartz countertop, dark wood panels on the kitchen cabinets and appliances were replaced with white laminate to match. “Though it was quite a technical challenge,” says Arcand, “it was especially satisfying to refresh the face of the fridge.”
With the rationality of Bauhaus design, clean lines distinguish kitchen appliances, cupboards and storage without compromising a streamlined aesthetic. And for a touch of playfulness: a pop of teal.
An initial plan to cast the upper cabinets in white-oak veneer was slashed when the design duo couldn’t find a perfect match for the kitchen’s warm, white-oak flooring. IN8 Design, no stranger to vibrant hues, opted for a colour block to break up the stark palette and add some dimension. “The teal was pulled from a Louis XVI replica I have in the living room,” says Arcand, “I thought it was the perfect colour to carry into the kitchen and add to the contemporary feel of the space.”
Among the renovation’s small changes boasting big impact, Arcand’s outdated bathtub was removed in favour of a modern walk-in shower. The demolition led to an exciting discovery: The plumbing shaft wall, within the footprint of the stall was completely void, inspiring IN8 Design to quickly revise the drawings to extend the shower stall by a whopping 8″, creating a much more spacious morning routine. “I’m blown away at the effortlessness and simplicity of this open concept,” says Arcand, “Mornings have drastically gotten better for me.”
Spanning a cozy 700 square feet, the condo doesn’t offer many blind spots. “Now, when the bathroom door is open, I no longer have a view of a cheap shower curtain,” he says. “The smoky grey shower stall is a lot sleeker and more pleasant to look at; it’s a glass I always wanted to use and I thought the shower would be perfect location for it.”
Arcand admits that for him and Parker, the renovation didn’t come without its challenges. “I would describe a project this small as somewhat of a puzzle,” he says. “Every intricate piece fits so tightly, and so perfectly, that you can’t force anything to fit where it simply cannot.” Though, for the designer who prides himself on the extent he’ll go to create the perfect details, the payoff was well worth it.
“It feels so good to finally be done and have the home that I’ve always envisioned,” says Arcand. “I’m pretty sure this is the last condo I will be living in downtown, so, it was important to me that I enjoy the years I have left in it and make it truly my own.” IN8DESIGNINC.COM