Toronto Sun

From model home to your home

Dianne Daniel
Special to QMI Agency

Not everyone has the eye of a designer. Which is why we not only bow to their expertise, we borrow it.

Interior designer Jo-Ann Capelaci sees it all the time. New homebuyers love their new home, but are unsure about what interior finishes to select. So, they go back to the model home for

inspiration and often end up choosing many, if not all, of the same options.

“It ’s partially because they know they’ll like it,” says Capelaci, “and partially because a lot of people have a hard time visualizing and knowing what to do.”

But what if there was a way to organize your thoughts, select the things you like from the model, add in other ideas from other

sources, and effectively plan your new space long before your closing?

Capelaci is betting homebuyers would use it. Recently, she teamed up with Geranium Homes to bring an entirely new perspective to decorating a new home, one that suits today’s connected buyer.

Purchasers at Geranium Homes’ Uptownes at

Cardinal Point – a townhome subdivision in Stouffville inspired by downtown warehouse loft conversions — can explore two Uptownes model homes on-line using videos and Pinterest boards custom created by Capelaci. Both are easily accessible from Geranium’s website.

“This is a way we can really help

people to create a model home look in their home,” says Capelaci. “They really need something like this because often they feel overwhelmed and not really sure where to start.”

The video clips are short and introduce buyers to two model homes designed by Capelaci at Uptownes. They show case the main features of each level – ground floor, main floor, second level (bedrooms) and terrace – and briefly describe the décor.

The Pinterest boards go a step further and offer décor ideas for each room, complete with information about paint colours, flooring, tiles and where to source specific furnishings and accessories.

“The other thing we’ve done is given them the floor plans so they can see how to effectively lay out a space,” she adds, noting that users also have the flexibility to start their own board and can easily visualize how their own furniture may work within the same layout.

“When you use some of your existing pieces … often times you end up with a far more interesting look, something that feels more homey and comfortable,” says Capelaci. “If people have the time to plan ahead, figure out their furniture plan and decide which pieces they want to reuse before they go off shopping, they’re going to end up with a great product.”

Some of the current townhome trends reflected in the Uptownes models designed by Capelaci include: open concept main floor living areas, 10-foot ceilings, rooftop terraces, warm grey tones and a move towards seamless, multi-use rooms. For example, in one model, Capelaci hides a large-screen TV by embedding it into the kitchen island, chooses a built-in range, and makes the kitchen cabinetry look like furniture, so that the space can easily be used for recreation, entertaining or cooking family meals.

Interior designer Jo-Ann Capelaci sees it all the time — new homebuyers love their new homes but have a hard time visualizing and knowing what to do.

Toronto Sun
Oct 24 & 26, 2014