Friday, March 23, 2012

Contemporary Classics: Joel Bray

Happy Friday!  I am working away on finalizing my Spring/Summer 2012 palette and before I show you what I am cooking up this time, I would like to share with you this gorgeous condo featured in the February Issue of House & Home.  This 690-square-foot condo is designed and decorated by the talented Joel Bray.   If you know me well enough, you would know this is my dream home!

Hard to believe this condo was once a 10 year-old unit trapped in the 1980s.  Instead of creating an ultra contemporary, mid-century modern iconic show home, Joel decided to bring in traditional elements such as the panel moulding on the walls, high baseboard, and panelled doors throughout his home.  Does this approach sound familiar? That was what I did as well:  I wanted my condo to feel like a house and I love traditional details for soul and a sense of history.  Great minds think alike!

To create a truly eclectic space with loads of personality, Joel selected a streamline sofa in soft charcoal grey, a collection of mid-century iconic pieces such as the Eames Molded armchairs, Saarinen tulip dining table, and the Eames walnut stool doubling as side table/ extra seating, and a sleek lucite coffee table.  Joel livened up his grey and white living space by introducing warm wood tones via the dining table and the baskets under the coffee table, injecting shots of colors with delicious grey and yellow pillows (my favourite fabric: vintage plumes from Dwell studio), and of course I love this incredible rug in soft grey and cream from Elte.

I opted for a dramatic entrance at my foyer when I moved into my condo (just realized I'd never shown it on DesignMaze) by painting the walls in deep chargoal grey.  In Joel's case, he went with sumptuous dark navy blue and I am absolutely in love with his foyer!  That was exactly what I was after, only Joel did it perfectly with the classic pendant in chrome, stylish console in glossy white, a tall black mirror, and yellow accents via flower, artwork, and the little birch stool.  

You may not believe me but again, Joel and I took the same approach to renovate our kitchen.  Instead of gutting the entire kitchen, we both had the cabinet doors sprayed white, invested our money in durable countertops, and installed a new backsplash.  For those of you who are looking for a kitchen facelift but on a tight budget, follow this fool-proof kitchen reno formula: 100% success rate guaranteed! 

I am totally taking notes of what Joel did in his master bedroom and his to-die-for dressing room!  I simply can't get over those gorgeous drapes ... so dramatic and very practical!  Another detail I took note of is how to install the cornice to create a clean finish.  In this case, Joel wrapped the cornice all the way around the ceiling (including the window) and painted everything else in warm grey: the perfect way to disguise the bulkhead.

Another design idea I love is how Joel paired a desk and a dresser as bedside tables on either side of the bed. Yes this idea isn't exactly "new", but I just love how Joel pulled the look together.  Cozy, inviting, sophisticated, and elegant, what's not to love about this master bedroom?

A big thank you to House & Home for featuring Joel's amazing condo to us and I sure have taken lots of notes for my future renovation.  For such incredible talents, I'm sure we will see many great work to come by Mr. Joel.


  1. I noticed this home and was instantly drawn to it as well. You both are spot on my style as well. And love that makeover kitchen on a budget. Why bother with new cabinets when they can look like that?? Happy Friday.

  2. Loved this place too. Especially love the fabric on the dressing room drapes!

  3. Too funny! when I saw this article, I thought of you right away. There are many elements I thought to myself "I bet Tim would like this...."

  4. Thanks Ladies and Gent! I would like to believe that great minds think alike! See you all next week!