Rosedale dream home: Interior design fit for a fashionista
Business owner Natalie Marshall is an expert at dressing women in dreamy pyjamas. But the thought of dressing her new home top to bottom was enough to, well, keep her up at night.
The founder of KIP. luxury sleepwear and her husband Ali Ushak bought their “perfect” home in North Rosedale late last year. With 2,800 square feet, three bedrooms and four levels, the century house had more than quadruple the space of their condo where they’d lived for five years.
More daunting was the busy entrepreneurs’ plan to decorate and furnish the place in one go, with “all new everything,” says Marshall.
“Finishing it all ourselves felt very overwhelming,” she admits.
So Marshall turned to Homekin, an online platform that gives people access to expert design advice, style boards and products for everything from a one-room refresh to a full-home redo. A professional project manager and interior designer provide an approved floor plan and clickable shopping list, and handle the logistics of deliveries and setting up. Homekin matches each client with a suitable designer, although requests for a particular pro can be made.
Within a few months — some items were delayed by the pandemic — the couple’s entire living space was transformed into the “light, bright and clean” interior they envisioned.
The multi-functional, comfortable “oasis” for them and their French bulldogs, Stella and Alfie, was adorned in soft greys and neutrals with metallic accents and special touches reflecting their personal interests.
It was an “amazing” conclusion to a “very, very long journey” of three years to find “the most perfect (house) we’d ever seen,” Marshall recalls.
The previous owner had gutted and renovated it in a transitional, open-concept style four years earlier so the changes they made were largely esthetic.
The couple, who love to entertain, wanted it to look like a “city house” furnished with classic investment pieces in the most-used areas. The dining room, for example, is dazzling with a Terzani chandelier, their biggest single expense.
The Italian fixture handcrafted from metal discs “is truly the crown jewel in our home,” says Marshall.
As the business and creative mind behind KIP.s’ collection of premium cotton pyjamas, she used the same criteria of “stylish and timeless” in selecting design pieces.
Both she and Ushak have their favourite spaces: his is the TV room on the top floor with its sloped ceiling and “cool viewing area,” while hers is the living room adorned with fashion elements such as a Dior throw and framed Chanel scarf over the fireplace. The glass-fronted kitchen cabinets displaying her chinaware also “make me happy.”
Her husband is “obsessed” with German painter Michael Moebius’s picture of the Queen blowing bubble gum that hangs on their landing, laughs Marshall, who fancies the faux florals inspired by her British mother.
The primary bedroom is another highlight, with walls covered in a soft zig-zag pattern from Missoni Home and a tall, upholstered headboard with legs that had to be sawn off — then reattached later — to get it up the staircase in the 100-year-old house.
That minor snafu aside, Marshall credits Homekin for bringing her plans to life and helping her make decisions. Founder Natasha Penzo describes the design service as a “support system” that saves time and money while giving consumers the power to turn their vision into reality. Prices range from $495 to $895 for a single room package to between $2,099 and $3,999 for a full home makeover. Lower-priced consultations are also available.
For Marshall and Ushak, the happiness of a well-dressed dwelling struck home as they stepped inside after a recent two-week vacation.
It was like “a breath of fresh air,” she says.