Designer Gabriele Pizzale creates a master bedroom with vibrant color, luxurious accents and a closet fit for a queen.

When Gabriele Pizzale’s son left their South Mississauga home for university, she was tasked with an endeavor that was right up her alley. Gabriele, an interior designer, and her husband, a corporate chef, faced a tale as old as time: they were empty nesters, with more space in their 2,000 square foot nest than they would reasonably utilize.

The forest-adjacent home was on the spacious side, even for the family of five – including two cats – boasting four bedrooms and four bathrooms before the redesign. Says Gabriele, “We have lived here for eighteen years and we fell in love with the house because of the backyard. We knew the interior would need a complete renovation but were happy to do so, to get exactly what we wanted.”

Fortunately, the power couple came prepared with a distinct design vision. “We both love to shop and enjoy an extensive wardrobe,” says Gabriele. “Since it is only my husband and I living here now, we did not need the extra bedroom, but really wanted to have more space for our wardrobe.”

The designer cites her reasons for transforming the bedroom into a dressing room as being both passionately and practically inclined, “We have always dreamed of a dressing room, one where we store and see all our clothes. It is so great to know what you have, so you don’t keep buying similar items.”

Gabriele proudly dubs their walk-in closet one of her favorite elements of the redesign. “Having lots of space for our clothes is heavenly. I love to be organized, so having all our clothes sorted by color and type makes me happy!”

While the main floor of the home was kept original to its 1964 finishes, Gabriele referred to the bedroom on the upper floor as a “blank slate.” Here, she made a rather unconventional choice, when she chose to go dark. “We have always loved dark colors, and though the trend now is for lighter, fresher colors, I felt a dark purple almost black, wall would create a very cozy and restful space for a bedroom retreat.”

When asked where they saved and splurged during the redesign, Gabriele cites the millwork, construction, walnut flooring, and the light fixture in the bedroom. “These are long-term items that we don’t want to change again for many years,” she says. “Since we have waited so long to do this renovation we really did not look to save on much. We wanted it to be fabulous so we could enjoy the space for many years.”

For Gabriele and her husband, renovating their family home was a labor of love. “We had a plan and we were prepared for the inconvenience. Honestly, it is all a distant memory now. We love our home and it works so well for us. Short-term pain for long-term gain!”

As for Gabriele’s two cats, the transformation was a welcomed one. “They love the new dressing room – it’s their cuddling room!”

Text by Zakiya Kassam

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Zakiya Kassam

Zakiya is a freelance writer/editor based out of Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter: @zakkassam

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