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What makes this living room pop? A yellow ceiling

Alex Chapman's living room.

Jac Jacobson/Jac Jacobson

The midtown-Toronto condo that British-born interior designer Alex Chapman has called home for the past five years is a reflection of his eclectic design sensibilities. To demarcate the condo's main living space and amplify the sunshine, the founder of the award-winning design firm UNION31 and fan of bold colour painted the ceiling bright yellow. "I love the different sources of light," he says of his favourite room, "and the connection with the terrace outside."

The painting over the sofa

"I purchased this at the Toronto International Art Fair several years ago. It's a portrait of John Lennon as a Cub Scout by Montreal artist Louis Boudreault."

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The side table

"This Stork Table is by Cassina, the Italian furniture maker, and it's the very first thing that I bought in Canada when I immigrated from London in 1976. I got it at the Bartello Gallery in Toronto. It has strong sentimental value."

The coffee table

"This is an original Platner coffee table by Knoll. I bought the purple bowl in Paris five years ago."

The console

"The cabinet at the end of the living room is mid-20th-century French and was purchased from Axis Decorative Arts in Vancouver, a go-to source for fabulous mid-century continental furniture, lighting and accessories."

The blue chair

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"I got this from Roseland Gallery on Queen Street West [in Toronto] It's by an artist from Sierra Leone who made furniture from found metal. This piece is made from Shell oil cans. Tragically, the artist died from AIDS, but before he did he spawned a whole school of people who now make similar items."

The bust

"This is a cast bronze bust of me as a young man. It was created in the early 1970s by Laura Fischer, a friend of mine."

The woollen chair

"My company is a big supporter of the Chair Affair, an annual charity auction that raise funds to help furnish the homes of people in need. This one-of-a-kind bespoke chair is by Kathleen Wicks and is called The Wild Thing. I like it because the chair is looped with wool and looks like a shaggy dog. I feel like it could almost get up and walk away."

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About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

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