By Athena McKenzie | Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet

Beyond its undeniable stylishness, one of the most striking aspects of Jody and David Adelman’s new townhouse is how they’ve optimized the space. It’s not surprising, given they own Parc Modern, which specializes in sophisticated furnishings and home décor that fit the smaller scale of today’s condos and homes.

The neutral colour palette creates an airy, spacious flow through the interior. The kitchen features rift-oak shelving and eco-friendly birch plywood cabinets. The treads of the floating staircase were milled from old-growth cedar reclaimed from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

The Adelmans’ expertise was put to full use for their move — with their two dogs, Bentley and Lincoln — from a one-level, 1,400-square-foot condo into the 1,260-square-foot, three-level townhouse.

“People actually think it’s bigger than our old space because there are different levels and it’s so open,” David says.

Large, floor-to-ceiling architectural windows provide an abundance of natural light, and high ceilings and an open, flowing floor plan contribute to the spacious feel. A glassed-in floating staircase with large skylights above creates a column of light at the centre of the home, helping define the interior.

“When you walk in the front door, you can see right through the kitchen and living room and out the back windows,” Jody says. “There are no walls or obstacles obstructing your line of sight and cutting up the space into small rooms.”

Their new home is part of the Frank development by Aryze: a six-unit townhome complex in James Bay and within easy walking distance of the Inner Harbour and Dallas Road.

_MG_6858c“We have always been intrigued by the brownstone-style homes in Brooklyn and their counterparts in Europe, where each home has a shared wall and a driveway entering into a garage on the lower level,” says Ryan Goodman, manager of development and land acquisition for Aryze. “We wanted to provide a highly functional home that was better, not bigger … a condo alternative with multiple floors of living space.”

A monochromatic colour scheme helps with the seamless transition from room to room and floor to floor. The Adelmans credit Parc Modern designer Ben Tombs, who helped with colour and material selections.

“We stuck with greys, earth tones, off-whites and taupes,” David says. “To add visual interest, there are different textures and elements, such as marble, steel, wood, riff-cut oak and leather. Touches of colour are brought in art and accessories.”

Along with custom built-ins, including a shoe rack in the foyer, a buffet in the dining room and an entertainment panel in the living room, furniture choice was an essential element in optimizing the space.

A small sectional and chair provide flexibility and functionality in seating in the living room. Round nesting tables, which are easier to get around than square or rectangular options, provide a pleasing visual contrast to the linear upholstered furniture.

“You need to be cognizant of the room shape and scale, and be careful not to overfill it,” David says. “Just because you have 10 feet doesn’t mean you should have a 10-foot sectional.”

Upstairs, the second bedroom has been converted into a multi-function room, and can be used as an office, ironing room, yoga/workout space and guest suite. The sliding barn door means that none of the space is taken up with door swing, which is especially important when the sofa bed is extended.

Large IKEA closets in both bedrooms provide ample storage. Baseboards and mouldings were used to make them look like built-ins.

“We had a nice walk-in closet in our condo, but we like these even better,” Jody says. “The hanging is more organized and we have custom features, such as a jewelry tray and double-level shoe racks.”

Because David and Jody purchased their home in the framing stage of the project, there was some flexibility in customizing their unit. This is most evident with the powder room on the first floor, which did not exist in the original design.

“No first-floor bathroom was a deal breaker for me,” Jody says. “So we shortened the kitchen a bit to put in the powder room. We have guests that are a little more elderly, and hopefully we’ll have grandchildren down the road. We don’t want to be running up and down
the stairs.”

The light, neutral palette extends through the whole house, even into the bathrooms. The space next to the shower in the master bath was originally closed in with drywall and would have been wasted, but the Adelmans had it opened up and added shelving for towels and bathroom essentials.

This eye to detail and planning for the future is evident throughout. While the “bonus room” downstairs is now a media room, the Adelmans say they can convert it to an in-house gym or an extra guest room, depending on need. 

Small space living tip: Invest in multi-functional pieces such as dining tables that extend, nesting tables and pullout sofas. Install pullout drawers in your kitchen cabinetry. [line]

“Of course, if we have lots of grandchildren and family visiting us all the time, we might have to go bigger again!” David jokes.

For now, though, the Adelmans see a long future in their small space, biking the area and walking Lincoln and Bentley around the Inner Harbour.

“It’s a different lifestyle,” David says. “And we love it.” 

Builder: Aryze Development and Construction
Architect: Low Hammond Rowe Architects
Landscaping: Biophilia
Furnishings and accessories: Parc Modern
Custom cabinetry and interior design: David Adelman and Ben Tombs
Building envelope: Chouinard Exterior Wall Systems
Doors and hardware: McGregor & Thompson
Flooring and tile: Island Floor Centre
Framing and construction materials: Home Lumber & Building Supplies
Countertops: Exotic Stone
Finishing carpentry: AP Woodworks
Tempered glass railings and walls: B & E Glass and Mirror
Electrical contractor: CBS Electrical
Plumbing and mechanical contractor: Deep Cove Plumbing and Gas
Painting: High End Painting
Plumbing fixtures: Bartle & Gibson
Fresh florals: Poppies Floral Art