Decorating & Design - Styling Secrets

One room, two looks

Lauren Flanagan, produced by Samantha Pynn
Photography by
Virginia Macdonald

Contributing design editor Samantha Pynn takes four spaces and offers two decorating options for each.

When living in a small space, you need to use every piece of furniture to its maximum potential. "I want people to know they can take items from big-box stores and use them to create different looks and to serve different functions," says Style at Home contributing design editor Samantha Pynn, who explores that in the HGTV web series The Switch. With a few simple changes, a dining table can become a work surface, a TV unit can become a bar, a lady’s dressing area can become a gentleman’s retreat, and a living room can go from spring to summer.

Whether you want a quick and easy style update or you’re looking to give a room a new raison d’être, having smart, versatile pieces will make it a snap. "Good design for a room is all about having furnishings that work for you, no matter what size your home is," says Samantha.

dual-purpose-dining-1.jpgDinner plans
You don't have to spend a fortune to have a chic and stylish dining room. A simple round table from a big-box store was given a glam makeover with a coat of spray lacquer, then accented with a set of garden chairs. "The chairs were already painted a dove grey, so all I did was cover the seats in this graphic acid yellow fabric," says Samantha. Bright porcelain dishes found in Chinatown for a steal add a pop of colour and pattern.

Ginger jar artwork by Lindsay Agnew,; white Ribba frames, Bjursta dining table, IKEA,; spray painting (dining table), Benjamen Furniture Refinishing, 416-745-2559; garden chairs, Frontier Sales,; dishes, Tap Phong Trading Co., 416-977-6364; custom chair pads, Lapis table lamp, inVU Drapery Co.,



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