Friday, June 26, 2015

Interior Design in the Penthouse: An Interview with Kathy Chow

As you probably already know, Aura's 79th top floor Penthouse Suite is now complete! It's the most luxurious and tallest Penthouse in our entire building (and in Toronto for that matter) with the best views in the entire city. Part of that luxury comes from the expert layout of the space, which has been styled by our talented interior designer Kathy Chow.

Now that the interior design of this spectacular Penthouse is finished and people have had a chance to go through the space themselves, we spoke to Kathy to find out a bit more about what inspired her design choices for this Penthouse and what sets it apart from other Penthouses in the city.

How would you describe the overall look and feel of the Penthouse?

It's very elegant and sophisticated - the high ceilings help with that, along with the breathtaking view. I wanted to have different layers and textures all over to give it a layered effect, whether that's coming from the wallpaper or the velvety look of the sofa.

What inspired your design choices for the Penthouse overall?

In terms of the finishes, I wanted to create a luxurious feel and a more neutral tone. With the neutral tones, people can do what they want with the place using different colours or furniture and it will still look great. When I started sourcing for furniture for the model suite I was searching for pieces that carried the classic feel of the place but with a modern twist.

What role did the floor-to-ceiling windows play in your inspiration?

Since the windows practically envelop the suite, they give an impressive wow factor to the space. Every time of the day you get different lighting effects. For example, with the wallpaper, you get a shimmering effect off of it at a certain times of the day and at other times, the patterns become more prominent. It's quite amazing. 

The colour scheme is very neutral with the exception of the purple and blue accents. Why those colours?

I wanted to set a soothing neutral tone without having everything blend in too much. I wanted to accentuate the space with some colour so it's more visually interesting as you're going through the space. For the purple I played off the wallpaper, it has a bit of a purple tone to it, and then for the blue I pulled off of the tones within the furniture. 

Where do you start when you're faced with a new project?

First, I look at the layout. The layout really determines where you're going to be putting everything. In terms of the finishes, I look at where accent walls are and which ones have potential to draw in people's attention. Once I have an idea of where everything would go, I then start looking into details in terms of artwork, accessories, such as table lamps and chandeliers, and how they will all unify nicely together to showcase the space to its potential.

Which room in the Penthouse was your favourite to design?

I actually have a lot of favourites, because different spaces have their own advantages. The living room has a lot of windows and it's very open and airy. The dining area is a bit cozier, and the large painting in there sets the tone very well. The master bedroom is huge, which brings out the grand and luxury living. To me, being in there and looking out over the city (especially the night view) is amazing. It feels like you're on an airplane. While the second bedroom is smaller, it still turned out to be one of my favourites. With the smaller space and the high ceiling, once we brought all the furniture into it it really came together. It's really elegant in there. Finally, even though the den doesn't have a window we really played with the walls and the decor to make it become a room with talking points.  It's really hard to choose a favourite! 

Where did most of the furniture and decor come from?

Most of the furniture came from ELTE, but I try to shop at at least five stores so I get a good mix of conversational pieces. Definitely shopped around to style this Penthouse. 

If you could describe the space in one word, what would it be?