What I bought

A creative approach to condo shopping and design

If you’re looking to add value to your condo buy, searching out a raw, open space like the Dundas and Carlaw loft that CBC talent manager Carolyn Rohaly moved into eight years ago could be the ticket. She recently completed a $50,000 reno on the unit that took advantage of its 18-foot ceilings to add a second-level bedroom and workspace. Rohaly has been told the update has doubled the unit’s value from the price she paid.

Original budget: $300,000 / Unit price: $218,000

Wish list: A unique space with live/work zoning (“I was starting a clothing company at the time,” she says), soundproofed so loud machines and music wouldn’t be an issue, close to transit.

Number of properties checked out: Five

What she got: An 890-square-foot ground-floor unit with south-facing windows, two skylights and polished concrete floors. Post-reno, the loft’s floor space has increased to 1,245 square feet.

What she says about her place: “I interviewed three designers and found an amazing design-build duo, Mary Lovas and Jim Dunn from Superfly (superflydesigngroup.com). They came up with an innovative idea to separate the workspace and bedroom with a skywalk for an open atrium-type feeling around the kitchen. When they got a sense of my design aesthetic and suggested red glitter kitchen cabinets, I knew they were the right team.”

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