Home Tour: A vintage-filled 500 sq ft apartment in Forest Hill (PHOTOS)

Aug 4 2022, 12:30 pm

Welcome to DH Homes, a new series featuring Torontonians and their homes! Whatever your design aesthetic, we want to hear about what makes your home uniquely you. Click here for more details, and apply to have your digs featured.

Camille Lalonde was barely home, spending most of her time travelling for work. But when the pandemic hit and she lost her job, Lalonde suddenly found herself stuck in a space that didn’t feel quite like home.

That’s when she decided to finally set down roots in her Forest Hill apartment and embrace her love for unique and vintage items. She started scouring Value Village and Salvation Army; sometimes, she’d even take home furniture she’d found on the sidewalk.

“I’m all about sustainability,” she said, adding that the only item she bought full price was a DIY credenza made out of three IKEA IVAR cabinets.

The result is a cozy European-inspired space filled with items with a story to tell. Friends were so enamoured with her space that they’d take photos for inspiration.

And the experience was life-changing, too — Lalonde decided to go back to school to study architectural design.

“I love to have unique items,” she said. “I love to be different.”

Watch the video tour below:

DH Homes Q&A

Name: Camille Lalonde

Neighbourhood: Forest Hill

Type of home: Apartment

Size: 500 sq ft

Camille Lalonde

What’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood?

The architecture. This is why I chose this neighbourhood when I first moved to Toronto. I love older buildings and I knew this was the area for me.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Eclectic mid-century modern.

Camille Lalonde

How long have you lived in your home?

Ten years.

Camille Lalonde

What is the best and worst part of living in Toronto?

The best is how multicultural it is; the worst is how expensive it is to live here.

Camille Lalonde

Where do you get your decorating ideas?

To be honest, my head. The amount of ideas that I get from just seeing a piece of furniture on the street is crazy. I want to save every piece of furniture from the landfill so I see a project in everything. I love following European decor pages on Instagram.

Camille Lalonde

What’s your home’s best feature?

No question, my balcony.

Camille Lalonde

How has the pandemic shaped your space?

The pandemic completely changed my space. I [travel for work] and used to never be home and now that I had to spend all my time here I decided to finally take the time to make it my own. Nobody would recognize the space pre-pandemic.

Camille Lalonde

What’s your favourite item in your home?

My favourite item is my rattan hanging chair in my living room. It’s from my grandfather and my mother always kept it for me.

Camille Lalonde

What’s your biggest expense so far?

All my DIY! Recently, I made an eight-foot-long credenza. I’d say that was my most expensive project as most of it was [made with] new materials and usually, I source second-hand items.

Camille Lalonde

And your favourite DIY project?

The two chairs on my balcony were found in the garbage on Stooping Toronto. They were destroyed and I ended up just keeping the frame and having to redo all of them.

Camille Lalonde

What’s your least favourite part of your home?

My room. It’s quite empty but I love an empty space to sleep in. That is why I’ve put most of my energy into the rest of my space.

Camille Lalonde

Where do you usually source furniture and decorations?

I find my furniture on the side of the road, vintage shops, and my parents’ basement!

Camille Lalonde

Camille Lalonde

What’s your decorating advice?

My biggest advice would be: go for it — don’t be scared. Watch a lot of videos before doing something you saw on Pinterest or TikTok. Inform yourself about products and the staff at hardware stores are a great resource.
We have way more options than we think as renters. A lot of people don’t want to invest in a space that’s not theirs. But I think you should be proud of where you live whether you own it or not. Also, most landlords won’t disapprove of you improving their units.

Camille Lalonde

How do people usually react to your home?

When I first meet people and they add me on social media, they see my home and ask me if they can come over. Recently, one of my friends visited for the first time and she was taking photos for inspiration for her space. It was very flattering as I’m studying to be a designer. Also, often my friends would rather hang out on my balcony than go out.

Camille Lalonde

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