Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

Modern Toronto Lofts

Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

Unique Toronto Homes

Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.


Run for cover

How to drape your windows, whether you want to splurge or save

Samantha Pynn, National Post

A client once said to me, “One thing I really need but can’t afford is window coverings, because I’ve been caught by the mailman streaking from the bathroom to the bedroom.”

Uh huh. And of course she was streaking in front of the very floor-to-ceiling windows that had sold her on the condo. Did I mention she was on the ground floor?

It’s not an uncommon story. Many first-time condo owners have been understandably lured by the natural light pouring in those big building windows, which they plan to leave bare because they’re above the first floor and out of the sightlines of passersby or mail carriers.

I, too, once thought I would leave my ninth-floor windows bare until one night after work I was sitting at my dining table, and the guy in the building across from me waved.

But trust me, the attraction to bare windows will fade when the hot August sun makes you feel like you’re in a greenhouse. The attraction fades even further if you have a full-sun southern or western exposure.

Window treatments are an expense you should budget for, just like appliances. If you’re on the market for a condo right now, know that good window coverings cost roughly between $300 and $2,000 for a 60×60-inch window.

Motorized blinds are becoming increasingly popular in condos with several windows – three or more large windows adds up to a lot of time spent manually raising and lowering your shades. Plus with the touch of a button you can have your blinds line up evenly.

According to Hunter Douglas motorized blind expert Jack Belmonte: “You get a cleaner and less obstructed look because there are no cords or cord loops.” He also notes that they’re energy-efficient when installed with sun sensors and timers, “a sensor can be mounted on a south/west facing wall and as the sun’s rays begin to hit side of the condo, the blinds will automatically come down to block the heat.”

Automatic timers also provide security, giving the impression that you’re at home when you’re on vacation.

The cost of motorized blinds, including installation of a power supply and wall switch cost approximately 70% more than manually operated blinds.

When it comes to manual blinds, simple roller blinds will filter light, blend into the wall seamlessly, and look great from the outside. (Yes, the outside. Do consider your condo regulations. Some say window treatments must be white on the outside to keep the look uniform.)

Honeycomb blinds are a wonderful innovation from Hunter Douglas. Like the roller shade, they filter light and look clean and tidy. But they also provide soundproofing and regulate room temperature. The fabric’s cellular design creates insulating pockets of air, blocking heat in the summer and drafts in the winter.

My favourite way to dress windows is with a simple shade, like the ones mentioned above, layered with curtains. Blackout lining will protect your custom curtains, whether they’re silk, linen or cotton. Custom drapery gives you many pattern and colour options. But you can also choose from so many fabulous ready-made drapes. The standard ready-made length is 96 inches long. InVu Drapery sells the standard, but also has longer 120-inch quick-order panels.

If your windows require longer panels, purchase two sets and have them sewn together. The Rivta 98-inch-long pair of cotton curtains from Ikea cost a mere $39.99 and look like linen (without the wrinkling) and come in white, sand, and brown. Disguise the seam with a horizontal band of fabric sewn over it. Or simply increase the length of a panel by adding a width of fabric to the bottom.

Curtain rods can be mounted at many different heights, depending on the window and ceiling height. In general, rods look best three to five inches above the window trim. To make the ceiling look higher, hang the rod directly below the crown moulding or as close to the ceiling as possible.

A ceiling-mounted hospital track is a cleaner modern option that also works well with traditional drapery fabric. Pelmets or valance boxes have made a big comeback. A simple rectangular box will hide the rod and hardware. Fancier pelmets will bring a traditional and stately feeling to the room.

Designer Yanic Simard, who decorates many of downtown Toronto’s swankiest condo pads, surprised me when he said, “I love sheers.” But he explained these aren’t your granny’s sheers, “they allow you to see out during the day and in the evening they give you a glow.” Indeed sheers do look good, neatly tailored, just kissing the floor, no puddle. Mr. Simard also favours the ceiling-mounted hospital track or simple rod-and-pocket styles mounted as close to the ceiling as possible.

If you’re wondering whether you can apply a film to your windows to shade the room, you’re not alone. I don’t recommend them. UV protective films must be professionally applied, but they tint and alter the colour of your windows and will make you feel like you’re wearing sunglasses indoors. Plus, they only make a slight temperature difference. In order to feel a significant difference, you’d have to tint your condo windows as dark as car windows, but who wants a dark room?

Also, steer clear of skinny metal horizontals or anything that reminds you of the office set in the ’80s movie Working Girl.

Let’s get back to how the windows look from the outside. To avoid angry neighbours, paper blinds, bed sheets, as well as curtain panels that don’t reach the floor and leave the bottom third of the window exposed, should only be temporary.

If you don’t have heat or privacy issues, and you have nice windows, bare windows can be lovely, especially when you have a fabulous view. And, if you simply can’t stand window treatments, then beware of voyeurs. Unless, of course, you have an exhibitionist streak.


Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information¬† –¬† 416-388-1960