Paradigm Grand Interior Design Inspired by Resort Living

A trusted collaborator with the Molinaro Group, Interior Designer Tara Lee (Tara Lee Designs Inc.) brings empathy, practicality, and an eye for human interaction to every assignment.

Interior Designer Tara Lee understands the importance of making a great first impression.

Her lengthy partnership with the Molinaro Group in Burlington includes established lakefront projects 360 on Pearl, and Strata, and current midtown condo developments, Illumina and Paradigm and Paradigm Grand  It’s a measure of the company’s level of trust that her contribution to these projects has often been right up front, as the design lead for the building lobbies. As any interior designer will tell you, an appealing entrance makes residents feel at home, and visitors feel welcome.

This mood-setting space requires a calculated blend of ambience, elegance and practical utility. It’s a meet-and-great area that can set the tone, not just for a building, but alsom for a communal environment where residents become neighbours. The beauty is, every lobby has been different since the partnership began. That’s one of the things she says makes the two parties simpatico; neither is content to repeat itself.

“I love the fact that every project for the Molinaros is different and there are new opportunities in all of them. I don’t get bored and I’m consciously not trying to copy what I’ve done before. A lobby is a lobby, and I could have been copying the same lobby for the Molinaros all this time, but I don’t. I purposely move forward…I never repeat what I do.”

Lee says it’s been fascinating to watch the management team of President, Vince Molinaro, his brother, Executive V-P, Robert Molinaro, and their brother-in-law, Managing Director, Sam DiSanto, evolve in their outlook and expectations. Their instinct, she says, has always been to up the ante to bigger, grander designs. Lee says, she has grown with them.

“I do feel that they have matured as a company and as people. Let’s look at each lobby; they were always the same components but separately, they understood with Strata, that it got a little bit bigger, a little bit grander.”

“I love the Molinaro projects because they are so impressive and  resort-style.”

A light comes on with that last remark. The word “resort” triggers an insight that Lee thinks encapsulates the glamour and impact of Paradigm Grand. The landmark development next to the Burlington GO Station is entering its final phase, with two majestic front towers soon to join the three existing buildings which already set a new standard for midtown development and lifestyle living.

Lee compares Paradigm Grand, a condominium residence, to the type of resort spa commonly seen in the US – in all the best ways.

“This is a high-end, resort-style development with fitness and health front and centre; the pool, quality change rooms, outdoor terraces off the pool, yoga and wellness studio… there’s so much here that is inspired by resort living,” she says.

Tara believes residents have the convenience of leaving their suite, exercising at five in the morning, (then) going to work. It’s so much more convenient and it’s all there. She works with some clients in the United States and “everything down there is like a resort, everything has a built-in pool, a clubhouse feel, and the Molinaro Group has built this in Burlington which is really exciting what they offer,” she says.

Lee is quick to point out that while a grandiose design coupled with deluxe amenities makes an impressive package, none of it would matter if it didn’t mesh with the creature habits of its flesh-and-blood occupants. Again, she says, that’s where the Molinaro ethos really shines.

“They’re prepared to invest the money to get the right amenities because they know, in the end, it pays off for the projects and their residents and for a better community. And one thing I will say about them… is that they are building communities for human beings and families to live in… that is a core value. They understand that people are living here, it’s not just, ‘We’re making money and building a box.’”

The St. Catharines-based designer says she derives her greatest satisfaction from seeing residents and their guests at the original Paradigm using the common areas in the way they were intended. She comments on the natural flow from indoor recreation areas to the outdoor terraces, none of which, by the way, conflict with anyone’s individual suite sightlines or personal privacy.

Lee has really warmed up now to her own magic word, to describe the overall effect of the place she helped design.

“I like the word resort,” she says. “Resorts are getaways that still have all the conveniences, and the attraction of that resort concept is what I see at Paradigm.”

Lee says the Molinaros’ biggest project to date, Paradigm,  could only come from an experienced builder with a progressive track record of success after success.

Tara sums up the relationship in her inimitably personal and professional way. “I like them, and I enjoy working with them. Their projects are fulfilling… and obviously they’re developing at an exciting time where they are creating their projects their way. And they’re really good at what they do.”