When Joey Diaz (left) bought his downtown Toronto condo, he never imagined spending so much time in it. He was moving from a large house with a ravine view on the edge of the suburbs and wanted to move back to the downtown core — he missed his more urban life. Born in the Philippines, the retail executive grew up in Manila and spent a lot of time in California. He’s enjoyed a long career in fashion and home merchandising in both San Francisco and Toronto, including many years at Holt Renfrew. This move would mean more time for travel and enjoying local restaurants and his new pied-à-terre. “I’ve always wanted a New York–style condo with European flair,” says Joey. The unit was an empty 1,248-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom model suite at The Harlowe, at Bathurst and Richmond, complete with exposed concrete ceilings (which he liked) and dark wood floors and sterile synthetic materials in the kitchen and bathrooms (which he didn’t).
In 2020, before Joey moved in, he called on Mazen El-Abdallah (right) of Mazen Studio to overhaul the space. Mazen had worked on Joey’s last home, and the two immediately fell into a comfortable rhythm. “Mazen already knew my style and what I was looking for, so the process was easy,” says Joey. They quickly settled in to their shorthand and got to work.
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