A Calgary Condo with Sophisticated Safari Style
Designer Ana Cummings creates a luxurious space with wild wallpaper and animal print.
Unlike most home tours you’ll find on Houzz, this one was not designed with a specific family in mind but instead was created around a fictitious persona. The design for this model unit in a new boutique building in downtown Calgary was inspired by a love of all things animal print and safari-themed. Interior designer Ana Cummings tailored the decor to suit homeowners who would appreciate a minimalist but well-appointed interior that reflects a love of travel. With a budget of $30,000 for the decor, Cummings set out to create a luxurious space designed to draw attention.
At a Glance
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Size: 543 square feet
Designer: Ana Interiors
While Cummings assisted with the cabinet colour and style, and the fixture and backsplash selections, the builder’s suite of options was designed for the broadest appeal. It’s through the decor that Cummings really injected personality, which is seen in the living room.
Cummings had ample time to seek out just the right treasures, having been brought on about a year before the condo was completed. She was given a blueprint, a budget and carte blanche to unleash her imagination on the space. “You can rush a project, but you won’t get that same feeling that it’s been curated and collected and put together thoughtfully. Plus, you can find more interesting things if you have more time to source them,” Cummings says.
Throughout the process, Cummings always kept her project binder handy so that she’d be ready for whatever inspiration came her way during the design process, and the living room design profited from her diligence. Most of the furniture pieces are consignment finds living out their second act covered in new upholstery.
For example, the campaign-style chairs are European imports picked up in an antiques pop-up shop and re-covered in a faux animal print on the back and a textured vinyl on the seat. The cost savings on the secondhand furniture allowed Cummings to splurge a bit more on knockout wall coverings, like the wallpaper by Paul Robinson in the living room.
With its safari theme, Cummings wanted to keep the room neutral, so she drew her colour palette from sandy desert tones. Some of the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Picnic Basket, which plays nicely with accents like the glass-top coffee table filled with actual sand. Atop the sand is a whip, and atop the glass is a ceramic snake from Jonathan Adler. The oversized hammered-metal light fixture draws the eye up; at night, the light casts a pattern onto the ceiling meant to mimic a starry night in the desert.
Cummings added a drop-leaf dining table to the galley kitchen, which also serves as an entry hall into the condo. Just inside the front door, a storage bench can be used to stow shoes and purses. A console table acts as a demarcation between the entry zone and the dining zone. Wallpaper from Philip Jeffries covers the corridor wall, while an antique mirror visually widens what Cummings describes as a very linear space.
The drop-leaf table was purchased from Napa Home and Garden. Finding a dining table in the ideal weathered hue that also folded down turned out to be one of the challenges of this project. It took a few months to locate, but when Cummings saw it, she knew she had to have it. “It was more of a splurge, but a dining table is something you use every day,” she says. The slipcovered chairs with little faux animal horns for buttons fit right in with the safari theme.
The bedroom is where the safari theme really comes alive. Cummings didn’t have space for a grand headboard, so she pushed the Ikea storage bed against the wall and added vinyl with a zebra print that acts as a headboard without the bulk. Cummings also designed the canopy for the bed, modelled after one she’d seen at a hotel in Hawaii.
“I love doing bedrooms, because many people just get that matching sheet set and duvet and call it a day,” the designer says. “I like to design bedrooms with many layers.”