Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sarah 101: Episode 13 Chic City Condo

Since I was in LA when the thirteenth episode of Sarah 101 aired, I've just now gotten around to watching it online. Enjoy this final recap of the series.

Sarah and Tommy tackle a blank canvas condominium in Toronto's St. Lawrence market area, calling the design "vintage urban chic with soul". In the empty space, Sarah visualizes a gallery wall, inspired by the room's view of the surrounding historical buildings. A black and white photo gallery is the jumping off point for the room's monochromatic colour scheme.

After the initial step of removing the popcorn stucco from the room's ceiling (at a cost of $1100), Sarah and Tommy set out to take photos in the historical neighbourhood. By spending a few hours with a digital camera set on a high resolution, Sarah is able to compile enough interesting photos to fill the gallery wall. Tip: To achieve a professional gallery look, have mats custom cut to fit ready made picture frames.

Now it's time for vintage furniture shopping. Tommy and Sarah visit many of their favourite vintage stores, including Filter, Queen West Antiques, and Chair Table Lamp, where they pick up several great pieces to inject old soul into the new space. First up is a unique black and white dining table base with glass top which perfectly suits the room's scheme. A round table provides flexible seating in a small space and allows for optimal circulation. They pair the vintage table with six new Tobias chairs from Ikea.

A pair of rustic chairs lend an eclectic mix to the space, with seats newly covered in a wide black and white stripe. The vintage floating black credenza behind the chairs is the ideal media unit for the television, while also providing additional storage in the room.

Sarah chose a round back single deco chair for one end of the room for its iconic style statement. The vintage block coffee table is made from burled olive wood, which offers warmth and texture in what could otherwise become a cold black and white scheme. The sofa is one of the few brand new pieces in the room. Covered in a charcoal grey linen look fabric, and a splurge at $2700, it will provide durable comfort for many years to come.

Floor to ceiling polyester/rayon semi-sheer drapes with a slightly masculine stripe maximize the view when open and provide privacy when closed. A series of 3 pendant lamps in front of the windows are an attractive alternative to pot lights and they will wash the drapes with light.

The only other ceiling light fixture in the room is the vintage chrome chandelier which hangs over the dining table. Twelve individual lights provide plenty of illumination in the space. Note the wallpaper in the hallway - it features a circular motif which echoes the shape of the dining table and the deco accent chair. Sarah and Tommy created inexpensive artwork by stamping letters onto a ready made canvas, which was then professionally stretched and framed.

The overall scheme of the room is black and white, with many shades of grey. Tip: Minimize the amount of black in the space by using it mainly as an accent (for example, the black lamp shades add a masculine nod). Sarah advises that solid colours are best, and that too many black and white patterns can be very distracting and overpowering. Budget Friendly Tip: For such a large sitting area, Sarah purchased two rugs and had them professionally stitched together to create one large rug for the space.

What did you think of this episode?
Did you enjoy the Sarah 101 series?
Let me know your opinion in the comments!

Photos courtesy of HGTV Canada.


  1. great recap Pam! This is actually my favourite room of the whole season (with the contemporary living as a close 2nd).

    Love the black and white theme and how this episode may help people to imagine what they can do when they move into a blank slate (especially when it comes to zone planning).

    I've done a recap for the show as well. .. check it out

  2. Stunning condo! Wish I can also have a condo like this. Anyway, thanks for sharing.


  3. Thank you for another stunning design! I appreciate the recap of the process Sarah and Tommy use to create such welcoming, unique and sophisticated spaces.

    Pam's provides a wonderful descriptive of the details, planning, time, resources, costs, and attention needed to achieve this design. Thank you.


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