The Toronto Star
The creative team behind The Carlaw condos has always taken risks. But Streetcar, with the help of Jeff Schnitter and Jessica Helps, the principals at Seven Haus Design, have taken innovation a step further in their customized model suites for The Carlaw, an intimate 12-storey condominium. They veered away from the generic, opting instead to visualize the suites as belonging to two specific characters, Edwin and Genevieve. Their silhouettes flank the outside of their individual model suite, welcoming visitors into their private lives.
“Creating these characters gives us the perfect segue to discuss the features and finishes of each suite because people respond naturally to story. It’s the little details that help potential buyers picture their own lives there,” Schnitter says. The Carlaw is located in Leslieville, among many artists and film-industry types who became the inspiration for the characters whose lives will likely reflect those of potential buyers at The Carlaw.
The two-bedroom plus den suite belongs to Edwin, a 30-something architect with a passion for travel, history, and design trends. The warm, masculine space features an old-school drafting table, brushed oak floors throughout, and an old bike painted and mounted above the bed. The quirky lighting, huge, seven-foot mobile and high-end kitchen with sleek appliances and finishes offer potential buyers an idea of just how dynamic and inspiring their own space could be.
The one-bedroom plus den suite is Genevieve’s, a fashion blogger and first-time buyer with a strong sense of style. She’s the “it” girl on the rise. Whimsical light fixtures juxtapose with classic black and white décor, while the pop of orange on the glossy cabinets in her walnut kitchen are on the cutting edge of fashion. The bedroom is awash in purple, while the large den offers work-at-home functionality along with the inspiration provided by bright, upbeat décor and her collection of fashion magazines.
But it’s Streetcar’s suites themselves that inspired the individual lives and tastes of Edwin and Genevieve. The illustrative décor of the model suites springs from the layouts which maximize possibility while also utilizing every square foot of the available space.
“A lot of the condo units out there are all hallway,” Schnitter says. “There’s a lot of wasted space. When you’re taking about, say, 600 square feet, you can’t waste a foot. Every square foot of space should be usable. It makes the units larger and more functional.”
Usable space was Streetcar’s number one priority behind the numerous layouts in the project. “In Genevieve’s suite, where you might expect a small laundry closet and hallway, the hallway has been dispensed in favour of a larger walk-in laundry space and closet combined. Minimizing hallways creates living spaces that the buyers will appreciate. The 761-square foot Edwin suite offers two bedrooms, an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet as well as an open concept den workspace and a balcony that is the width of the entire suite,” adds Schnitter.
Maximizing light was another priority. Designs put bedrooms as well as living spaces along the window side, so natural light is abundant. Many of the wide balconies extend alongside the living space and the bedroom allowing for lots of natural light into the suites.
Another hallmark of the suite designs is the integrated kitchens. A European trend used to excellent advantage here, Schnitter says, “the designs give the kitchens a feeling of fine custom furniture. They are very sleek, refined and functional. There is always a market for well-designed suites!”
“Wow” is exactly what you’ll think when you take a peek into the lives of Edwin and Genevieve — and potentially your own — at The Carlaw. Suites include studios, and one- and two-bedroom designs, some with dens and/or lofts, from 460 to 1,000 square feet; townhomes are up to 1,561 square feet. Prices start in the mid-$200,000s.
Streetcar Developments is known for designing boutique mid-rise condominiums that integrate into their existing neighbourhoods and enhance their surroundings on multiple levels. Just as their motto says, they are indeed “Rethinking. Urban Living.”
The presentation’s centre’s two model suites at 345 Carlaw Ave. are open Monday to Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Closed Fridays. Call 416-690-8588, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thecarlaw.ca for details.