Seaside Homes – A Boho Luxe Condo Reno by the Sea

by Janice Henshaw | photos by Janis Jean Photography – 

The welcome mat at the condo’s front door says, “You Look Good.” Now how does that make a visitor feel? Jennifer Etherington, the delightful owner of Avenue B Home Decor in Sidney, has a passion for interior design and loves renovating, evidenced by the recent renovation of her 800-square-foot one-bedroom condo. It has a fabulous view of the Sidney Marina and the ocean and islands behind it.

After indulging in the view, a feeling of comfort and luxury envelops you as you notice the living room’s decor. It may be a small condo, but Jennifer has created an exuberant and contemporary boho luxe home that she has brought to life and made her own. A gold arched bell-shaped lamp curves over the white leather couch with a host of plump pillows, and two plush gold velvet armchairs add to the seating area. Two upholstered poufs in front of the sliding glass doors and the jute rug are from Jennifer’s store. Comforting warmth and ambience are added by the electric fireplace, which has a crystal bed. A candle on the quartz-topped coffee table has a wood fire scent to make the fire feel more natural. Intriguing artwork includes charcoal sketches and paintings; Sidney’s Marion Evamy painted Pierre.

The renovation was significant – stripping finishes down to the studs and removing the wall that separated the kitchen to open the whole space so it’s full of light and focuses on the sea view. A dropped ceiling with pot lights illuminates the new quartz-topped island. Shiny white subway tiles back white shaker drawers and cabinets (Eurocraft) that contrast with champagne gold faucets and a floating live edge cedar shelf displaying much-loved collectables on the end wall. Jennifer said the shelf adds some architecture and warmth against the tiles and Cloud White walls (Benjamin Moore)

All the appliances are new – the curved door to the counter-depth fridge gives it a streamlined look. At the bottom, it has three freezer drawers that make finding goodies much easier. Jennifer pointed out that the slide-in electric stove is a bit more expensive but has a sleek modern design due to the controls being in front, not above and behind.

Gold reigns supreme in Jennifer’s home; it’s fun looking for her elegant gold accent pieces in each room. The bedroom has floor-to-ceiling patterned cream drapes and a jute rug set off by the warm mid-tone of the engineered hardwood plank floor. Gold-and-white décor and the queen bed are highlighted by the dark blue feature wall behind them. The bed has a blue velvet upholstered headboard, and the frame has gold legs. Softness and depth emanate from the patterned layers of pillows, a quilt, a throw blanket and a cozy faux fur.

Jennifer commented that bedside tables don’t have to match if they complement each other. Her bedside table on the view window side has a circular mirror that amplifies natural light and a white-shaded curvy gold lamp. Its mate on the inner side sits on a white glass desk with a large curlicue white mirror above it. To make the room more personable and lively, there are stacked books, a plant, a quilt hanger, textured baskets, artwork by Jennifer, and a three-drawer cabinet that provides a base for the TV and black- and gold-framed mirror.

A white barn door with black hardware leads from the bedroom via a walk-through closet and into the bathroom. All is new in here, too; the original bathtub was replaced with a glass-doored shower. It has large grey tiles that Jennifer described – “They look like linen, almost like a piece of fabric that you would want to touch, and I added the two vertical rows of white wave tiles to add more interest to the shower.” As do the large bronze porcelain stool in the shower and thick bath towels rolled in a basket beside it.

The grey bathroom vanity was built six inches higher than usual to reduce the bend in posture for tall people. For the quartz countertop, Jennifer went to stone suppliers. “For a small piece like this, I always look for remnants that will fit; it’s a great way to save money.” Above the sink are a custom-built gold framed mirror and two super thin LED lights. Jennifer added: “Bathrooms don’t always have to look so sterile; you can add warmth and personality to them.”

“When you renovate, the budget sometimes forces you to make decisions on things,” said Jennifer, “that you can always change afterwards. Decision fatigue is real, but products have to be ordered in time to keep things moving along – you can’t hold up the builders.” Jennifer is not daunted, though; she said that if condos were less expensive, she would sell this one and buy another one to start the whole process over again.

Style changes that Jennifer sees for 2023 range from small items like more structured poufs to large format tiles replacing subway tiles in the kitchen and mid-tone floors with smaller baseboard trim. In the paint world, she said that earth tones are appearing, golds and greens – and other more vibrant colours, including coloured kitchen cabinets. “We all love our white kitchens, but you will start to see more colour and wood coming in. White and cream will remain popular; you can always bring colour in through your décor, right? Bring in some pillows and furniture to add colour.”

In November, Jennifer celebrated her first year in business operating Avenue B Home Decor on Beacon Avenue. She says it’s been a lot of hard work and a giant leap of faith, but she feels very fortunate to have a dedicated and creative staff. She also mentioned that she finds it a privilege to work with lovely friendly customers and the other business owners in Sidney, who she says are great. “It’s a wonderful community to live and work in.”

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