Daring and dramatic decor using a high-contrast palette
Artist and owner of Made By Girl, Jen Ramos shares design tips for adding dramatic interest to her small space.
Find helpful design tips from artist and owner of Made By Girl, Jen Ramos's stylish New York City abode.
Drama defines this apartment’s small entryway. Homeowner Jen Ramos painted swatches of high-gloss black on top of the matte black walls, which serve as a bold backdrop to a console accented in gold. An organic-shaped white mirror offers a fresh counterpoint.
"To take attention away from the odd indentation behind the sofa in the living room, we created faux panelling with black paint,” says Jen. The treatment also enhances the graphic artwork and lively mix of toss cushions.
Faux fur toss cushions add lushness to a sleek leather daybed, which hides an unsightly radiator. Placed beside a marble-topped coffee table, a pair of python-print stools creates a conversation area without taking up much square footage in the small living room.
Jen and her husband, Mat, customized an inexpensive sideboard, adding an ebony-stained reclaimed-wood top and finishing it with gold knobs to provide much-needed storage to the cramped living room. Jen keeps its surface relatively clear so that it won’t compete with the treasure-filled bookshelf.
Gold is Jen’s go-to metallic for adding instant shine and standout glamour. In the entryway, brass horse-head hooks offer intriguing function and organic form. Here, Jen loves to display her favourite Rebecca Minkoff bag – it’s ready to grab and go when she’s heading out the door.
Jen needed a large work table in her office/studio, so she and Mat merged two storage cabinets and affixed a countertop to the surface.
Normally a diehard fan of gold, Jen brought in silver for this high-impact installation of her graphic love print. She mounted 12 posters made of metallic foil on heavy card stock, alternating gold and silver to showcase the warm and cool tones.
When living in a small space, every inch has possibilities – even a ledge. “I like to use decorative and personal items that reflect light and shine in the sun,” says Jen.
Jen created a sophisticated vignette in the master bedroom by painting a ceramic lamp base glossy black and placing it on an ebony-stained nightstand, both of which disappear against the soft black wall.
In the master bedroom, Jen painted the wall behind the bed black, allowing the white bedding and leather headboard to provide relief. A gallery wall breaks up the darkness. “I used personal art and photos, while mixing up their frames; it makes things more interesting,” says Jen.
A wooden dresser transforms into an ultra-stylish statement piece.
Put your DIY skills to the test with these simple and stylish IKEA furniture transformations.
Style at Home's talented design team puts their own unique spin on IKEA's VITTSJÖ nesting-style coffee table with three personality-packed rooms to match.
Discover how all three looks came together and how you can create the same look in your home.
We created a customized office desk for this cozy home office nook.
Using IKEA's ALEX desktop you can create the same look at home.
A simple DIY project dramatically transforms a regular wooden dresser into a luxe piece of furniture on a budget.
Using IKEA's TARVA three-drawer chest get this look at home.
Glam up a plain pendant light with a coat of gold spray paint.
Using IKEA's HEKTAR pendant light get the step-by-step instructions here.
Add some stylish storage to your space with this gorgeous do-it-yourself cabinet featured in our high/low: chic dressing room.
Using IKEA's SEKTION wall cabinet get the step-by-step instructions here.
Create your own free-standing island like the one featured in our Parisian-style kitchen. This budget-friendly accessory can be customized to suit your style while adding an extra prep area to any size space.
Using IKEA's KARPALUND base get the step-by-step instructions here.
Image: Ashley Capp / Styling: Christine Dovey
Five ways to fashion a space that will easily suit your daughter as she grows into her 20s
Your girl's bedroom is her oasis — it's where she escapes, unwinds, tackles challenges, and grows. So, this should be a room that grows with her, instead of a room that has to be made over every few years to suit her changing tastes. Below, five tips on designing a space for your girl that she'll love now and then.
Pink isn’t only for youngsters and bubble gum. Designer Matthew Meisner made the “it’s a girl” hue more grown-up in his step-daughter Milena Bettencourt’s room by combining it with black and gold. He also ensured the pink items were easy to swap should the 16-year-old ever tire of them.
Custom pieces don’t have to be pricey. Matthew upgraded a big-box-store desk with funky geometric-print vinyl wallpaper for added charm.
"Persuade your kids to try looks that will mature with them," says Matthew, noting that the Rorschach-inspired wallpaper that resembles a haute French damask wasn’t an easy sell. “I don’t think Milena would have chosen this wallpaper on her own, but she loves it now.”
Establish an eclectic aesthetic that looks collected over time by grouping items that have personal significance. Take, for example, the pink-undertoned artwork on Milena’s desk: Many of the pieces reference her dad, Rick Bettencourt, from the photo of a Missoni fashion show he attended to a print of Jimmy Choo shoes that nods to his work as the vice-president of shoe empire Nine West Canada.
To help you create the perfect room, we've rounded up some cool accents that will make your daughter's space equal parts cute and chic.
#OOTD: Fashion Flat Lay colouring book by Laura Hickman, Indigo, $21.
Cotton velvet Bianca toss cushion with down alternative insert, 20", Tonic Living, $70.
Heirloom & Knot Regency wallpaper in Neapolitan, Spoonflower, from $5 US per sq. ft.
Heirloom & Knot Rorschach wallpaper in Noir, Spoonflower, from $5 US per sq. ft.
Kate Spade New York crystal Hampton Street rose bowl, Hudson’s Bay, $90.
Ceramic antique-look medium Staordshire dog figurine, Jayson Home, $95 US.
Polypropylene Sillerup rug, 7' x 10', IKEA, $159.
Industrial-style rental loft in Montreal's Quartier International
This gorgeous rental flat serves as the perfect backdrop for an online art gallery owner’s expansive collection of work.
Between the bedroom and bathroom sits a chic home office area. The industrial look of the vintage chair and Eames desk is softened with a beautiful piece of underwater photographic art and an antique Chapman ram’s horn lamp.
Though tenant Alessandra works as an art dealer, she was enchanted by the gallery wall already installed in the living area by the flat’s owners, Nathalie Bouchard and Annie Horth. “Annie works as an artistic director and fashion stylist, and some of these photos are her collaborations,” says Alessandra. “I love the editorial feel of them.”
Alessandra leaned two dramatic works of art by photographer (and floral designer) Ashley Woodson Bailey on either side of the TV in the living area to create a pleasing sense of balance.
Instead of loading up on small decor throughout the home, Alessandra chooses to use a few select bright accessories along with artwork to pull the display together.
Alessandra often uses the dining table as a workspace; she finds it inspiring to look through the windows across the room at historic Montreal. The custom doors are an architectural highlight.
“This is definitely not a cookie-cutter rental kitchen,” says Alessandra of the modern bistro-style space, which is open to the rest of the loft.
Renters are often hesitant to hang artwork because it puts too many holes in the walls, but this wasn’t a problem for Alessandra, who prefers to lean her pieces to create a more relaxed vibe.
In the bedroom area, a floor-to-ceiling black velvet curtain acts as both a backdrop and space divider.
A windowsill affords an opportunity for art: Alessandra chose this work by Spanish photographer Rebeca Cygnus because she loves its moody blue-black palette.
A vintage wall-mounted unit provides much-needed storage in the front hall. Alessandra uses the lower surface for display purposes.