My Home Is My Portfolio

(Style At Home magazine)
by Marni Andrews

Interior designer Jason Chapados lives and works in his home in Toronto’s Riverdale neighbourhood. He and partner Mirek Otremba opened up a small space (1,200 ft2) and kept it simple. As a result, his home is now his portfolio and a perfect example for clients of how to achieve a clean-lined, modern aesthetic.

What’s your approach to design?

JC: I pull inspiration from all areas including travel and my surroundings. I love modern and historical design but feel you should compliment the architecture of a space. Clients also need to be honest about how they will use the space. Then use high quality finishes and furnishings, and pay attention to every detail. It’s all in the details.

Where did you start?

JC: The space was taken back to the studs and rebuilt, reconfiguring the second floor to maximize storage. The biggest change was the back of the house. It faces south but had only two small French doors. The back of the house was replaced with almost all glass so the space is flooded with light. Light plays off the clean white planes so it has a gallery feel.

How did you choose the palette?

JC: We wanted a “white house.” The dark floors have an old world feel with tung oil finish for character and warmth. The hits of red add punch and sophistication in unexpected areas: under the breakfast bar, pocket door to the vestibule, the glass fireplace tiles.

Did you keep anything from past homes?

JC: We had all the furniture except for the dining room. We made an antique door into an entry table and built a recess in the vestibule to showcase it. The antique trunk in the bedroom was my partner’s.

What’s the best way to deal with storage in an open design?

JC: It’s editing and keeping on top of clutter. Recycling is under the sink. The pantry is also a coat closet, while the sideboard stores glasses, linens, etc. It comes back to knowing when to stop buying stuff!

How did you make the kitchen look bigger?

JC: Cabinets match the width of the 36-in. stove for uniformity. It also keeps it grand because the space is not broken up with drawer fronts. We used drawers down below to maximize space because you can pull them all the way out.