Design Contest, Featured Customers, Professional, Remodel-Addition

Leila Laskujarvi places 3rd with her basement remodel design

This Airbnb is located in a basement that used to be very small and dark in a residential home that had previously been a rooming house (5 kitchens, anyone). The home is located in a trendy part of Toronto, close to several large film studios, upscale restaurants and boutiques. I had to plan a layout for an awkward space since there was a support pillar in the middle of the main area, as well as one in the bathroom and several levels of bulkheads. The homeowners wanted this to be a relatively affordable renovation since they plan to renovate the entire house a few years down the road. I had to make space for a welcoming entry area with storage, revamp the kitchenette (to which I added a 2 seater bar), create a dining area that was separate from the main living area and create a space for a double bed that wasn't the first thing you saw when you entered the space. The bathroom was revamped a little as well, with a new shower, flooring, toilet and vanity.

By Kendra Dorosh

Leila Laskujarvi places 3rd in the Chief Architect Remodel/Addition Design Contest. Her creative and caring personality translated directly into her beautiful and authentic design for her clients.

“I’m Leila Laskujarvi, a designer, artist, amateur photographer and all around crafty girl! I currently live in Toronto, Canada with my husband Mike. I first moved here to go to art school at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), where I studied commercial design (advertising/graphic design). I then freelanced at some ad agencies in Toronto and got a job as a junior art director in Helsinki, Finland. Eventually, I came back to Canada and started working in graphic design, working for The Financial Post newspaper and Rogers Publishing (at Canadian Business, MoneySense and PROFIT magazines), both in the Creative Services department. I really enjoyed the creativity and teamwork and I actually met a lot of my friends at work.

“When it first came on television, I got totally hooked on watching HGTV shows about interior design. Then the idea struck me, I could learn to do it myself. We had recently bought a house, that needed work (the bathroom was totally scary) and I was feeling like I needed a change in my career, so I decided to go back to school for 4 (very long) years. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into, but I have no regrets. I got my Bachelor of Interior Design degree from Ryerson University, a top-rated school here in Canada. I’ve been working independently for several years doing mainly residential design and occasionally collaborating on projects with an architect friend of mine. I’m thinking of branching out into hospitality design since I’d love to design a restaurant! But, first, I’ll have to take a crack at the building code books.

“As a kid, I was very artsy and spent a lot of time drawing and doing creative things. Taking photos also became a life-long hobby when I got my first camera at age 11 or 12. I’ve shown my photography work at several group shows, a café, and a summer craft show. I continue to be inspired by the medium of photography (there’s always something interesting to capture on camera, regardless of where you are) and have also taken up some new hobbies like doing Japanese shibori, among others.

One of my favorite things about Home Designer is that I can add my own artwork and patterns

“I first started using Chief Architect’s Home Designer Architectural software at the end of 2016 and find it’s so much more fun to use and design with than typical CAD programs. I love seeing the 3D views of the spaces I design and so do my clients! After doing research on my options, I decided that Home Designer Architectural had the elements I needed in a design software and the price was very reasonable and it gives you the ability to upgrade anytime. I had looked at other software programs like ArchiCAD, Room Sketcher, and Autodesk Homestyler, but none had the ease of use and features I was looking for. Previously, I had used SketchUp to do 3D views but found it time-consuming. At first, I jumped right in and I struggled a bit, but then I watched the videos and I got the hang of it. I still have a few to go, including creating decks, terrain, and landscaping. One of my favorite things about Home Designer is that I can add my own artwork and patterns into materials—it’s great to be able to personalize.

“I think that the best interior spaces come about when the design concept is an authentic representation of a client’s personality and satisfies their needs, desires and adds a little extra they might not have expected. My job is to create a functional, beautiful and relaxing interior that fits their lifestyle and that they will absolutely love! It’s very satisfying to know that your work makes a real difference in people’s lives.”

 

Winning Design

 

Connect with Leila:

Tuuli Studio (previously known as Leila Laskujarvi Design)

Website

 

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