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600-Square-Foot Toronto Rental Apartment | Apartment Therapy

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Surname: Angelo Licari, my friend Jeff and our new puppy August
Place: Cabbagetown – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Type of house: flat
Size: 600 square meters
Years lived in: 1 year, rental

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My friend and I moved into the basement of our building (a 290 square meter studio) two years ago and turned it into a surprisingly warm, spacious, and functional living space. It inspired us to move into the unit above and use its potential to create our current home. We believe that our greatest strength in home design is transforming old furniture into a more modern style (kitchen table, coffee table, kitchen chairs, etc.). We also love creating art and furniture from scratch. My friend Jeff is an artist so most of the paintings would have been Jeff original and I’m more practical so that the shelves, ladder etc would be Angelo original.

Jeff and I are a proud gay couple who live with our son (puppy) August! You can see the celebration of our identity in our home through flags of pride, photos and inspiration from our art … and how many plants we own. We live just blocks from Church St. (LGBTQ + Village) and have many neighbors who have similar lifestyles to ours, making us feel right at home! From our subtle rainbow bookcase to our flag of pride hanging in our bedroom, it couldn’t be reflected in our home!

Describe the style of your home in 5 words or less: Eclectic, Boho, Cozy, DIY, Unique

What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room would be the kitchen. I fell in love with the high ceilings and loads of natural light. This is very different from our last basement cabinet, which makes a world of difference when it comes to cooking. I was very happy when I was finally able to hang my kitchen pots on my pot rack knowing we had plenty of extra space for other storage items. The plants in the windows make me smile and the brick backsplash makes me warm. Jeff’s favorite room is the living room. It enables us to accommodate friends in a bright, cozy and spacious way. It also contains some of our favorite pieces of the house like our record player, fireplace, and bookcase.

What was the last thing you bought (or found!) For your home The latest items we bought for our home are our pup’s mini living room items. We got him a puppy-sized couch and printed out a poster of dogs playing poker and framed it to walk on. We also got him a cute wooden bucket for all his toys, in which he can live together. We put it in the corner of our hallway so that it knows it has its very own place in our house. His style is a little messier than ours, but we make it work!

Do you have a tip for creating a home that you love? I think originally Jeff and I had slightly different visions of how we wanted our home to be, but after trusting each other and compromising certain decisions, our visions worked together as one. We also like to make our regular trips to the second hand boutiques in Toronto for inspiration or to buy and renovate matching furniture!

The responses and photos of this submission have been edited for length / size and clarity.

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Robert Dunfee