Monday, January 28, 2013 9:00 AM EDT
Today we begin a three-part series written by Richard Marazzi, a graphic designer and photographer who designed much of the furniture in his Toronto home. Visit Richard Marazzi Design to find out more about his work.
A couple of years ago, me and a friend decided to invest in a home that we could fix up, and flip in a year or two. I also needed a place to live. I took on the role of general contractor, landlord and designer. I also took over one of the units on the second floor of this 4-plex. We found the perfect house in Roncesvalles, near shops, waterfront, highway and crown jewel, High Park. My unit was in a pretty rough state but I could see the potential.
The first thing I did was to re-do all of the floors, installing bamboo hard flooring and painted all the walls white. My partner thought my choice in wall colour was curious (“the designer chooses white walls?”). I wanted the objects/furniture/fixtures in the house to be the focal point, not the walls.
I am a graphic designer and I run my own business out of a home office, so being comfortable in my space was essential for me. I also wanted the design of the space to reflect my interests and background as a designer, photographer and also bring in some of the modern Italian aesthetic that I have seen in my numerous trips (8) back to the homeland. Because of the graphic design background, I wanted to have elements of Type throughout the house and you see that in the wood type collection on the bookshelf, the vintage posters from Cuba, the old typewriter, the old signs and the chalkboard wall in the kitchen. I am also a documentary photographer and many of my photographs are handing on my walls. Beyond those I have a collection of art that I have accumulated over the years, not a fan of Ikea frames and posters hanging on the walls of my home.
Part 1: The Bedroom
I’m very proud of this room design and I took the challenge to draw and plan all of the furniture. I sent my designs to a company in Idaho and had to put my trust into somebody I had no previous experience with. I realized only later how long it would take them to build and waited for five months until delivery.
The wait was worthwhile: designing the dresser was great because I had it built to fit the space with additional drawers underneath the bed, allowing me to have the additional storage as I don’t have a closet in this room.
The pillows come from an artist called Nicole Tarasick. She’s a talented designer/screen printer I met at an artist studio space downtown where I was dealing with another resident on other business. I hired her for one of my design projects and substantially saw the work she was doing. Her pillows with icons and typography were perfect for my style. I also decided to throw out the big puffy duvet once and for all to give the room a more modern feeling.
The approximate cost of the room: $5000.
Next up — the living room, dining room and porch makeovers!