The loft rental is nearing completion. It is just a rental, so the theme here is budget, budget, budget. It’s a true hard loft and didn’t even have a kitchen, save for a rough sink hook up. This project had me pulling from my experience pre-design school. Pre-design anything. Back to the days when I bought white tab Levis and sewed the reused red tab in, so to not be socially ostracized by my classmates. Sorry dad, for stealing your jean short, red tabs.
I grew up in a small town, and we didn’t have a lot of extra money, or any money really. My dad would buy antiques and old furniture then strip it, refinish it, and sell it for a profit. I spent many a Sunday afternoon selling hot dogs and coffee at a local auction with my mom, while dad assisted the auctioneer Gordon Fitzgerald. My mom had a knack for making our house look pretty out of things we had. I remember the year we got to have new bedding. We went to the Giant Tiger and I was allowed to select the pattern my sister and I would have in the room we shared. I selected the white background with multi-coloured tulips. It was of course the classic bed-in-a-bag combo that would not have been more then $30.00 all in. Mom used the top sheets to sew matching curtains to cover our closet openings. She would sew ruffles onto just about anything she could get her hands on. I have to say, our house be it humble, never looked like we were poor. Thriftiness is in my blood, and it has been an invaluable skill throughout my life, and now career. Something I think, one must live to be truly good at.
I’ve applied a few of these skills in this loft, for sure. Kitchens can be done inexpensively, and I do those often, but the name of this game was free or bust. I spent hours with the Ikea catalogue, planning, exploring, adding, removing, then I went to Craig’s List. Luck would have it that a photography studio in Burlington, had an entire Ikea free-standing kitchen. I offered $700.00, and away we went wth the U-Haul to collect my find.
The appliances were another potentially big ticket item. To keep costs down we went for a retro theme. We were able to pick up the stove for $175 and the fridge for $150, plus $45 delivery at a joint on Queen west. Both are small scale and look fantastic in the space.
The bathroom needed a bit of love. I wanted to have something with a bit of storage over the sink, but after visiting the usual spots could not find anything that looked good, and kept us on budget. I decided to take another look through what was already in the loft. I had a light box made a few m0nths back. They made it the wrong size so it’s been sitting there empty, waiting for my to buy a new light. There was an existing metal medicine cabinet over the sink, the typical type with mirrored door and two shelves inside. I dissected it with a screw driver and hammer and kept the piece of mirror for my new project. Luckily the mirror fit perfectly and snugly against the rear of the walnut box. I turned the box horizontally and installed it over the sink and toilet. I used it to house colognes and hand towels and the end result looks as though we had a custom unit made.
The last piece I can’t take any credit for. Inspired by the exposed bulb fixtures that are seemingly everywhere right now, Timmy decided to make his own. He went to a few china town convenience stores and bought up the parts for half the price of the hardware stores. I think he did an incredible job. He did end up spending about $200 but it’s a far cry from the thousands these fixtures sell for.