The Open Door Blog
Whether you own a new home or condo, are considering buying one, or just love to dream about it, the Open Door blog is here to share stories that can help you protect what is likely the biggest investment of your life.
The Open Door blog is published by Tarion, a non-profit corporation that administers Ontario’s New Home Warranty Plan and registers all new home builders in Ontario. Click here to learn more about us.
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Congratulations on the purchase of your new condominium!
If this is your first condo unit, then you are already thinking about how to furnish your space.
Tarion has collected some tried-and-true approaches from home-styling experts to make your space not only liveable but one you can’t wait to come home to!
But first - be mindful
The beauty of a newly built condo is that you can often customize your selections of flooring, lighting, countertops etc. These choices can give you a great head start on how you want to style your home. Your customized selections are protected by your warranty coverage. See an outline of the statutory warranty coverage provided by your builder and backstopped by Tarion here.
But be aware that changes you make to your condo unit after moving in can affect your warranty. Make sure to check with your builder before making any alterations.
Now, it’s time to get creative!
Tarion has compiled some helpful furnishing tips:
- Use the unit’s floor plan as a starting point. It gives you the dimensions of each room and indicates the location of furnishing obstacles, such as windows and doorways.
- You can convert your condo’s dimensions to an online program like Roomsketcher.com or Goodspaceplan.com, which allows you to design your ideal furniture arrangement and optimize your space.
- Before you go shopping, ask family members for older pieces of furniture they are not using, like armoires, desks or cabinet drawers. Older pieces offset modern furnishings beautifully.
- You don’t need to shop high-end. Many big box stores have solidly designed condo-friendly furniture. You’d be hard pressed to tell them from some luxury brand names.
- While they may be a touch expensive, custom built-ins like bookshelves and walk-in closet organizers pay off huge dividends - they work hard to give you extra storage with the added benefit of a specific design and fit.
- Use mirrors to make a small space look larger - and for functionality.
- Make clever use of accessories: cushions, vases with flowers, baskets, framed posters, planters, bowls and lamps. These elements in various colours and materials can help make a room pop.
- Play around with groups of objects on a table - candles, books, small bronze or wood planters or boxes - being mindful to mix-and-match heights and textures.
- Pick a fabulous rug. A rug is like a painting on your floor – it will enhance all your furnishings and can be used to bring a cohesive look to your room.
Big or small, putting a unique decorative stamp on your new condominium will give you years of pleasure in the space you call home.
Style your condo accordingly
Keep in mind that while you are customizing the look and feel of your new space, condo corporations may limit what changes you can make, such as:
Requiring white-only window coverings to be viewable from the street. This is in fact a great rule - if all curtains/blinds are the same colour, the building will look gracefully uniform. You can still play with textures and fabrics in this great neutral shade.
Decorating the outside of your front door, including doormats. This rule is in place so that the common hallway is neat and tidy and not littered with shoes, boots and strollers. Door ornaments can seem lovely to you but eyesores to your fellow neighbours.
Finally - preserve your investment
As an added bonus, a well-designed and decorated space will enhance the value of your investment down the road. So make sure you understand your warranty coverage and learn what you can and cannot do to your new home.
Then dig in – and make the space your own!
The goal of this blog is to provide you with general information about the warranty process by sharing real experiences from new homeowners. The blog should not be relied upon as legal advice. For privacy reasons, we will not address or resolve current cases in a public forum, so any comments or questions that are posted on this site that describe individual cases cannot be discussed. If you have a question about your warranty or Tarion generally, we would be pleased to discuss your issue, in the context of your particular circumstances and in confidence. We exercise reasonable care to avoid offensive, illegal or defamatory content from being posted, as well as comments that are intended solely for self-promotion or considered to be spam.