Home Decor

5 condo decorating mistakes and how to avoid them

Are you making the right upgrades?

Decorating a condo can be daunting. How do you make those freshly painted white walls come to life? And how the heck do you make your condo look different from the unit next door, above and below? You might think that reaching for paint pots filled with bold, bright colours or going overboard with trendy finishes is the answer. Designers Ryan Martin and Amy Kent from Croma Design, who are masters at reimagining small spaces, disagree. Here’s their expert advice on the most common condo decorating mistakes, and how to avoid them.

1. Painting the walls with bright, bold colours. Let your accessories do the talking instead. Stick with a quiet palette and inject personality with art, lights and family heirlooms. Try sticking to natural materials and tones, like vein-cut tiles and warm paints. This will also prevent your space from feeling outdated five years down the road.

Condo kitchen

Photo, Sian Richards.

2. Picking the finishes before you’ve even settled on a design scheme. Martin and Kent suggest starting from scratch. Many condo builds offer pre-packaged finishings, so if you’re really stuck on a design scheme, start there. Pick one with a colour scheme you like, then settle on the finishes later.

Condo bedroom

Photo, Sian Richards.

3. Ignoring the backsplash. Instead, invest in one. If you’re worried about your space looking too monochromatic, add a wow factor with an interesting colour or pattern. Martin and Kent like marble and tile.


Photo, Stacey Brandford.

4. Upgrading everything. Martin and Kent suggest sticking with the condo’s standard finishes, then spending money on two big-ticket areas — like splurging on limestone tile on the bathroom wall.

Condo warm finishes

Photo, Sian Richards.

5. Being super focussed on trendy finishes. Try to think ahead as much as possible. Flashy finishes may seem enticing, but Martin and Kent suggest avoiding anything too trendy, which you could tire of in a few years. The owners of this condo chose to wrap their interior walls with wood, a finish that instantly sets the tone of the space and ensures that it will look stylish for years to come.

Condo decorating living room

Photo, Sian Richards.

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