How a pair of stagers made a High Park loft look its best
Neighbourhood: High Park
Meeta Gunsheen and Suhavi Makkar are a mother-daughter team. Meeta founded Studio Sheen in 2015. Suhavi is working at the studio full-time while she does her MBA at Queen’s University. The pair enjoy working together, and they say they complement each other: Meeta brings the spontaneity, while Suhavi is more practical and measured.
In September, Meeta and Suhavi were hired to stage a two-level loft in a century-old building in the High Park area. The red-brick structure was built in 1913, and it was originally used as a car repair shop. The place changed owners but remained a functioning garage until 2004, when it was divided into four spacious freehold housing units. The loft is rough but comfortable, with cement floors, exposed brick walls and big windows.
When Meeta walked into the property she was amazed at its unrefined elegance. “It’s such a real piece of architecture,” she says.
The industrial look of the exposed beams, black metal accents and red brick gave the space character. “I did not want to lose that,” Meeta says. “So whatever pieces we brought in had to be real.” They chose furniture with a slightly rough-hewn appearance, to match the loft.
Meeta and Suhavi knew that the garage-style unit would appeal to a specific kind of buyer—likely someone with an artistic bent—so they aimed to create an interior design that was both luxurious and rugged. “Walking through a home should be like watching a movie,” Meeta says. “From the beginning to the middle to the end, it has to be interesting.” Even one wrong piece of furniture, she says, can turn a buyer away.
The family room was already painted a neutral colour, making it a relatively clean slate. Meeta selected a big leather couch to show off the space’s size, along with a matching ottoman and rug. They bought a coffee table for the room, with a sturdy metal base to accentuate the exposed brick. Two round poufs add texture and a touch of softness to the room, and a painting adds a pop of colour.
Meeta and Suhavi loved the white bookshelf that dominated the office area. To accentuate the space and show its potential, they decorated with colourful accessories. They also added some books to show that the corner can truly function as a study.
The seller’s existing dining table meshed well with the loft’s industrial vibe, so they kept it, along with the existing lighting and artwork. They cleaned up the dining area and placed two white vases on the table to break the monotony of the brick and wood.
They also kept the seller’s black leather chairs and sofa. Meeta added a chessboard on the coffee table to break up the dark tones with a little bit of wood. Although she doesn’t usually decorate with fur, she opted to add some cowhide pillows, since they provide colour without deviating from the industrial theme.