Swansea Condo Brings Back Memories in Toronto


A designer transforms a simple condo into a space with high style.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of  OUR HOMES The City of Toronto, p.48. Find local businesses in our Toronto directory.

What makes for the perfect pied-à-terre? For Toronto-based couple Danielle Nostedt and Christopher Pinto, the answer is a breezy condo, perfectly located and timelessly decorated to showcase their travel mementos.
Six years ago, Danielle and Christopher were on the hunt for a downtown home to share and came across this two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo on the shores of Lake Ontario. “We wanted a place that was close to Christopher’s office downtown, with easy access to parks and nature and not too far from shops,” says Danielle, who runs her own design business, Danielle Nostedt Design. “This home fit the bill perfectly.”
The Swansea-area condo is just a short stroll to plenty of green spaces and a quick drive to bustling Bloor West Village. “It was new, but didn’t have a lot of character – it was a bit cookie cutter,” says Danielle. She added dimension to the walls by installing mouldings and painting the walls and trim one colour, Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. She chose a boldly patterned – but neutral-
toned – wallpaper for the entranceway and office area. 
The light fixture over the dining room table is mid-century modern, while using a variety of materials and textures introduces contrast, warmth and interest. In the living room, for example, a pale grey, plush rug from Elte is soft and inviting, next to the charcoal, streamlined tweed sofa from Stylegarage. The marble and steel end tables from EQ3 and lamps from CB2 also add contrast. Touches of marble in the end tables, lamps and art tie into the grey tones found throughout the space. “It carries through on the design principle of repetition, and just pulled everything together creating continuity.”
Throw pillows in both the living room and the bedroom from Tonic Living add layers of depth and texture to the colour palette and complement the deeper grey of the bedroom walls. “We decided to paint the bedroom a little darker because we wanted to define the room as separate from the rest of the home and create contrast,” says Danielle. “The dark grey also pulled in the sofa and the rug from the other room, so when we leave the door open it all flows well.” 
In each room, unfussy and balanced design creates a backdrop for some of the couple’s treasures, collected on trips all over the world. There’s a spear over the doorway, for example, that Christopher picked up in Africa. On the side table, there’s a bowl Danielle found in Hong Kong. A stone pyramid from Egypt anchors glossy books on the coffee table, and teacups from Turkey are nestled in the console. “The blown glass vase with the marble effect on the console is something we picked up in France,” says Danielle. She adds, “We didn’t realize quite how big it was until we started to lug it all around the countryside!”
Making a home personal is a big part of Danielle’s design philosophy. “When I’m designing for clients, I like to include heirlooms or keepsakes – some items that really have meaning for people,” she says. “And that’s definitely what we’ve done here – we created a calm and relaxing home that really reflects who we are and what we value, and it reminds us of some of our favourite memories, too.”