A Toronto design firm has taken the mystery out of turning a condo from a clean slate into a beautiful, albeit small, home. It’s called The Condo Quickie and it has become the most popular service offered by Isabelle Glinka and her company, Lux Design. Glinka says she had that “light bulb” moment when she conceived the idea and immediately trademarked the name.
“People call and say, I don’t know if I can afford working with a designer. So I said, let’s come up with something that demystifies the design process. It’s not like going to a store and you know how much something will cost. So we made it clear, no hassle, and one price.”
The Condo Quickie is a complete design service for a flat rate $1299. Clients must first qualify by essentially agreeing to purchase their new furniture through Lux at prices Glinka promises can’t be beaten at retail. Then it’s on to the “get to know you” phase.
“Our designer talks to the client about what they like and what they don’t like. We really learn from the customer. Two to three weeks later we have that client come in for a presentation complete with 3D images, floor plans, furniture ideas, window treatments, paint swatches, fabric samples, etc. We’ve gotten pretty good at nailing it on the first shot by really listening to the client. It’s usually a hole-in-one. They give us the keys and we take care of everything.”
First-time buyers are often overwhelmed by all of the decisions that need to be made and they’re wary of making an expensive mistake. Even veteran condo owners can find themselves stuck for ideas and need the advice of the professional. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Glinka’s clients are 70% male.
“People are busy. They don’t have time to do all of the shopping. They’re getting these tiny box-like condos and the rooms are so small. We have people calling us before they even buy, saying, can you make magic with this small space?”
Magic is what The Condo Quickie is all about. Lux Design frequently works with high-end clients on big projects and they apply that same know-how to the little generic boxes in the sky that people are snapping up in the city. The Condo Quickie service even includes sourcing the things that give a home its unique personality, including artwork, lighting and accessories. Glinka says she likes to go against the quaint design rules that dictate a cozy space should be painted a light colour and contain only small furniture. You probably won’t find her hanging the requisite big mirror to give the illusion of a bigger area.
“A client called and sent some pictures and after we had a look we asked if he was open to a hotel suite kind of a look because hotels use their space so efficiently. Our designer created his whole bedroom around a black colour scheme. Rather than trying to pretend it was big, we made it all moody and dramatic and it really worked. Even though it’s a small space it makes such a big impact when it’s got drama and intensity.”
The Condo Quickie is so successful in Toronto that Lux Design is in the process of opening an office in Calgary, an emerging condo market.
“It has really taken off. I’m actually pre-hiring designers for the busy summer season. It’s just crazy.”
For more information about The Condo Quickie visit www.thecondoquickie.com.