DIY Makeover: This renter glammed up her one-bedroom with vintage French farmhouse-style decor
The renter: Camille Lalonde, a flight attendant
The project: A one-bedroom apartment in Forest Hill
DIY budget: $500.
Camille found her apartment near Casa Loma in 2012. She had just moved to the city from Montreal with her friend Sarah to pursue a career as a flight attendant. “Even at the time, we thought the prices in Toronto were crazy, so we decided to share a one-bedroom,” she says. When she saw the gorgeous original cast-iron sink in a century-old unit in Forest Hill, she knew she had to live there.
Camille took the bedroom while Sarah took the living room, splitting the $1,000 rent evenly. When Sarah moved out two years later, Camille decided to keep the place for herself; she couldn’t part with the apartment’s old-world character, like its French doors and cast-iron radiators. The decision paid off financially too: over the past 11 years, her rent has increased by only $100.
As a flight attendant, Camille was rarely home. Initially, she treated the apartment more or less like a dormitory. “I was travelling for work and during all my time off, so I didn’t care what the place looked like,” she says. “It was filled with old IKEA furniture. I barely updated anything.” But, when the pandemic grounded all flights, she couldn’t help but notice that the place was falling apart around her.
In 2020, Camille took on her first home improvement project: transforming an awkward built-in ironing board in the kitchen into a farmhouse-style coffee nook. The board was decrepit and awkwardly sized, stretching all the way to the oven when fully extended. “It was a fire hazard,” says Camille, who sawed the board in half and purchased two staircase poles