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Project reveal – a builder basic condo goes luxe

January 23, 2020

I'm Caireen, Owner and Principal Designer at Shift Modern Home, lover of wallpaper, tiles, gin, Formula 1 Racing and potatoes. Who's with me?

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Our clients were delighted to find their condo in downtown Calgary, located within walking distance to the Stampede Grounds and with a great view of the Rockies. As regular event goers at the grounds they planned to use this condo for both pre-event cocktails with friends, and as a crash pad afterwards.

The brief was to create a hotel-like space, upgrade some of the finishes and provide a complete escape from regular life. We had a fair bit of creative licence with this client (woo hoo!) but we also didn’t want to overspend on the renovation and price the condo too far above the current market. So, we had to be smart about the changes we did make.

This 550 square foot space had to work as well for two as it did for a crowd, we needed to have a workspace, dining space, seats for as many as possible, and as much flexibility as we could squeeze in.

Here is what we started with:

Small Modern Condo Calgary Kitchen 03.jpg


Dealing with renovations in condo buildings always brings it’s fair share of challenges, so to minimize this and quickly secure permission from the board to do the work we opted not to move or remove any walls. This also helped with the budget.

This is the floor plan we were working with.

Small Space Condo Calgary As Built Plan.png

The main issues we had with the space was how dark the kitchen was, being set so far back from the windows, and the rather lack lustre finishes in the space – just the standard builder grade options were present.



Living Room

Living Room

Living Room towards the Kitchen

Living Room towards the Kitchen





The solution | here’s what we did

  • We replaced the tired looking carpet in the bedroom and living room with luxury vinyl plank in a rich finish to complement the kitchen cabinetry.

  • Created a bump out wall in the living room to place the electric fireplace within along with the components for the TV above, creating a second focal point, other than the view to the mountains!

  • The living room also gained a full size sofa, a custom console/desk, metal cocktail tables, ottomans sized perfectly to fit alongside or under the cocktail tables and three additional chairs that can be moved around the space in different configurations. We used a mix of fabrics in neutral tones but with lots of texture, also echoed in the gorgeous area rug that we felt was reminiscent of the mountain ranges seen through the windows.

  • A fresh marble like backsplash was added to the kitchen and does wonders for brightening up the space. We also added a cornice to the top of the cabinets, and in our opinion, this addition really elevates these cabinets to a custom look. Two generous bar stools were added, either for dining for two or as a comfortable spot to work at.

  • Stunning feature lights were added to the kitchen peninsula and bedroom to add some personality to the rooms.

  • Continuing with the luxe feel we wallpapered all four walls of the small bedroom in a gorgeous navy grasscloth, finished off with stunning drapes and an upholstered queen bed. It’s amazing how luxurious it feels in comparison to what we started with.

  • The bathroom also received a few upgrades with a new mirror, backsplash and lighting. The scene stealer has to be the custom mural depicting a map of Calgary, and a sweet ‘you are here’ marker – in case a guest forgets or something!

  • Our clients had requested artwork symbolic of the area, so we delved into several local archives. We were fortunate enough to find interesting maps, cartoons and photographs from years gone by and had these reproduced and framed. We love the connection to the local area that these pieces bring to the condo.

  • We didn’t forget the entry either, adding a small cabinet as as drop zone for keys and phones.


We are totally thrilled with the final outcome of this project, as are our clients. If you can believe it they recently hosted 12 people in this space, and everyone had a seat to sit on!

Small Space Condo Calgary Plan After.png

Small Space Condo Calgary Modern Lounge.jpg

Small Space Condo Modern Calgary.jpg

Small Condo Calgary Desk Modern Hygge.jpg

Small Space Condo Calgary Cocktail Table Modern.jpg

Small Space Condo Calgary Modern Kitchen 01.jpg

Small Condo Calgary Lighting 01.jpg

Small Condo Calgary Kitchen 02.jpg

Small Modern Condo Calgary Drapery.jpg

Small Condo Calgary Bedding.jpg

Small Condo Calgary Modern Entry.jpg

Small Space Condo Calgary Bedroom 01.jpg

Small Modern Condo Calgary Bath 02.jpg

Small Modern Condo Bath Wall Mural Calgary.jpg

You can see more photos of this project on our portfolio page.

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Caireen Handwritten.png


After photos by Lindsay Nichols Photography

Renovation by I Know A Guy Renovations

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  1. Caireen,
    This is simply gorgeous! What a transformation for a smaller condo. I can see why your clients are thrilled with this new space of theirs.

    So well done!

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