Inside a maximalist Hamilton bungalow

Toy Story

Inside a maximalist Hamilton bungalow with hand-painted murals, disco balls and retro flair

By Andrea Yu| Photography by Lucy Lu
| May 22, 2024

Marina Porter, a vintage reseller, has always been drawn to fun and colourful objects. After graduating from Humber College’s fashion arts program in the mid-2010s, she rented an apartment at Kingston Road and Victoria Park from a landlord who let her select her own paint colours. She chose periwinkle and pink, pairing them with tropical wallpaper and vintage rattan furniture. The experience stoked her interest in retro design. “I felt like I could really express myself,” she says.

Related: What living above the shop is like for the owners of a Danforth vintage furniture store

In 2021, Porter launched her Instagram shop, Rainbows and Retro, which sells vintage decor and furniture from Facebook Marketplace, antique shops and auctions. Then, later that year, she found out she had neck cancer. While going through treatment, she realized she wasn’t happy in Toronto. “It was too fast-paced, and it was taking a toll on my mental health,” she says. So, in May of 2022, with her parents’ help, she bought a 1950s two-bedroom, two-­bathroom bungalow in Hamilton.

A two-bed, two-bath bugalow in Hamilton

Porter wasted no time stamping her bright, maximalist personality onto her home: the day after she moved in, she painted the bedroom pink. Six psychedelic murals soon followed, all painted by Porter. “I use murals as focal points,” she says.

Related: How one couple transformed an old church into a polychromatic playhouse

Through her vintage shop, Porter is constantly scoring new finds for her home and swapping pieces out as they sell. Now cancer-free, she finds joy in her lively, kitschy space. “There are no bad days here because it’s so happy,” she says. Since sharing her home on social media, Porter has also inspired others to go bold. “One person told me they painted a squiggly line across their living room wall because of me,” she says.

Porter painted the decommissioned fireplace pink and filled it with disco balls
Porter painted the decommissioned fireplace pink and filled it with disco balls. She bought the giant crayons from a school custodian on Facebook Marketplace for $40. The rare hand chair is another Marketplace find, this one for $100

 

The squiggle mirror in the primary bedroom is one of Porter’s few non-vintage pieces. “My best friend found it at HomeSense and put it on hold for me,” she says
The squiggle mirror in the primary bedroom is one of Porter’s few non-vintage pieces. “My best friend found it at HomeSense and put it on hold for me,” she says

 

The kitchen originally had stainless steel appliances, but Porter swapped the stove out for a vintage one she bought for $100.
The kitchen originally had stainless steel appliances, but Porter swapped the stove out for a vintage one she bought for $100. She also ripped out the tile backsplash and painted a floral checkerboard pattern in its place
Inside a maximalist Hamilton bungalow with hand-painted murals
Inside a maximalist Hamilton bungalow with hand-painted murals
Porter freehanded the designs for the six murals in her home. This one matches her clear-and-orange plastic dining chairs
The open-­concept living and dining rooms have a retro jungle theme, with plants and ceramic animals. The strawberry stool is another Facebook Marketplace find
The open-­concept living and dining rooms have a retro jungle theme, with plants and ceramic animals. The strawberry stool is another Facebook Marketplace find
Inside a maximalist Hamilton bungalow with hand-painted murals
Inside a maximalist Hamilton bungalow with hand-painted murals
The shelf in the guest bedroom displays a variety of vintage decor pieces, many of which are for sale in Porter’s shop
A retro TV set
A view of the retro bedroom

NEVER MISS A TORONTO LIFE STORY

Sign up for The Vault, our free newsletter with unforgettable long reads from our archives.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.
You may unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Big Stories

These are Toronto’s best new restaurants of 2024
Food & Drink

These are Toronto’s best new restaurants of 2024