Decorating your condo
“I installed a skylight in my apartment... the people who live above me are furious!”
—Steven Wright

When you buy a resale condo, you may want to fix it up. Read the declaration, the by-laws and the rules before you start any project. Every condo is different so you need to know what you are allowed to do and what you cannot.

Some older condos do not allow dishwashers or washer and dryers because the old plumbing drains cannot handle increased water volumes. In some condos, all new flooring, aside from ceramic tile, must have a sound deadening underlay and the property manager must approve your choice of underlay before you start the job.

You will definitely need to inform the property manager before you knock down any walls or do any major changes to the plumbing or electrical wiring. Make sure you get authorization from the board—in writing—before you start any major projects.

Decorating common elements
The outside of windows and the outside of your door that faces the hallway are common elements so condo unit owners need to know and follow the condo's rules. You are not allowed to paint the outside of your front door a different colour or make any changes to the door.

In most condos only white curtains or blinds are allowed facing the outside. Flags and colourful curtains may be banned.

Holiday decorations and lights on your hallway door or on your balcony may be controlled by the corporation’s rules. Check on this before you spend money of decorations that may have to be removed.

Hiring a contractor
The condo magazines are full of great ideas on how to decorate your condo so you can get the most out of small rooms and have it look great at the same time.

Some home decorators are better than others

There are a lot of interior decorators, skilled retail sales staff at home furnishing stores and good ideas in the home decorating magazines to help you make wise choices.

One day you will put your unit up for sale and you want it to look attractive to as many potential buyers as possible.

Loud colours
Look in the new condo model suites and you will find that the builders love light beige. It is a neutral colour that doesn’t turn anyone off.

A bright red, blue, purple or orange wall in a room can really stand out but many recent immigrants would never have loud colours in their homes. Most Chinese like red in restaurants, not in their apartments.

Some shades of blue or green can also discourage potential buyers so play it safe and stick to neutral colours.

Less is more
Try to limit what you buy so your home will not look too cluttered.

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