Whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles.
A DIY-inclined couple turns an 800-square-foot two-bedroom bungalow into the perfect home for their young family.
Homeowner Amanda Robinson transformed the secondhand piano by covering it in grey paint, casually accessorizing it like the rest of the living room and softening its bench with a faux-sheepskin throw.
The whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles. “I brought softness into the space with the upholstered pieces, while keeping a farmhouse vibe with the antique rocking chairs,” says Amanda.
Homeowners Jason and Amanda Robinson hang out in the bright living room with their sons, Ethan (left) and Aidan.
While blue hues rock this farmhouse, Amanda also popped in some pink tones as contrast.
A fun DIY project or easily picked up at a gardening centre, terrariums are a great way to keep your home green in small ways.
Durable slate tiles define the entryway in this open-concept space. Practical items in natural tones like the bench, mirror and coat rack are artfully arranged so everything looks pulled together.
The kitchen epitomizes Amanda’s love of pale backdrops punctuated with colour and natural tones. “I made the shelves out of wooden boards from our barn and left them unpainted to contrast all the white and to complement the butcher block counters,” she says. Mismatched hardware picks up on the hits of blue throughout the home.
With their young sons and pets (Weimaraner Tessie and cat Nimble) in mind, Amanda chose tongue-and-groove pine planks for the floors, ceilings and walls. “I didn’t want new drywall with two little boys and pets running around,” she says. “It was the best design decision I ever made.”
Amanda knew she wanted a light and bright space and conceived the decor with colour in mind. “This is still a really small house, so I stuck to a neutral palette for the base: white and cream with natural wood tones throughout,” she says.
Amanda and Jason knocked down walls to create an eat-in area that features a free-standing stove surrounded by stone-veneered walls and a thrift-store dining table and chairs proudly bearing a mismatched paint job. “I painted everything grey and then decided to paint all the chairs blue but got sidetracked after one,” says Amanda. “It’s fun and quirky as is, and the boys take turns sitting in the blue chair at dinnertime.”
“The walls in Aidan’s bedroom were in good shape, so we painted them and added pine planks to the ceiling,” says Amanda. “I like the masculine look of the unpainted wood.” The new blue dressers share the space with a thrift-store wicker chair, a yellow-painted hand-me-down stool and rope-hung shelves Amanda crafted from barnboard.
“Ethan wanted everything in his room swimming pool turquoise.” They settled on a seafoam blue that’s more soothing for a bedroom and then incorporated coordinating accents in every room – even on the front door. “If you keep the big things neutral and then add accents in a single shade, it makes everything seem effortlessly connected,” says Amanda.
A bright screen door frame hints at the pops of blue to be found inside the house. Amanda refinished a hand-me-down pine table in grey paint and repurposed it as an easy-to-access storage unit for firewood. Antique Canadian Pacific Railway lanterns found in the barn and on Kijiji layer in more colour and reference the surrounding rustic landscape.
After a fresh coat of paint and some carefully placed furniture, the Robinsons are set to make this newly decorated farmhouse their home.
Homeowner Amanda Robinson used blue paint throughout her home to liven up the soothing neutral palette and provide a link from room to room. Here are her three favourite shades.
Enjoy this tasty beverage on those cold winter days.
London fogs are the perfect comforting, warm drink for blustery winter days.
1 Place the water and oats in a blender and let sit for 10 minutes so the oats can soften
2 Blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl to remove any remaining lumps.
3 Return the oat mixture to the blender along with the agave nectar and the vanilla extract and blend until thoroughly combined.
4 The mixture will be thick; if you prefer it thinner, add another ¼ cup of water and blend again.
5 Pour into hot mugs of freshly brewed Earl Grey tea and enjoy!
Makes 2 cups.
This tasty rice pilaf is easy to make and takes no time at all.
This tasty rice pilaf is easy to make and takes no time at all.
Use fresh herbs when making this tasty rice pilaf.
1 In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat; add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened, about 4 minutes.
2 Add the rice and garlic; cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
3 Stir in the broth, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
4 Remove from the heat; fluff the rice with a fork. Add the basil, sage, thyme, lemon zest and juice and toss with a fork until combined; serve.
8 home essentials to stay warm and cozy this winter
The hot water bottle got a luxury makeover! This cold-weather essential features a stopper-topped rubber bottle covered in 100% cashmere for the ultimate way to warm up this winter. Available in a variety of gorgeous colours to choose from (we’re kind of loving it in ‘spruce’!). Cashmere Hot Water Bottle, Restoration Hardware, $29.
When your feet are cold, the rest of you is cold, am I right? Keep your tootsies comfy cozy with these oversized knit socks made just for cold days. Throw them on when you’re curled up with a good book (they are reading socks, after all!) and enjoy the super-soft luxury they’ll bring to your feet. Heathered Knit Reading Sock, Indigo, $36.
A blanket scarf is a winter essential. Perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, this soft wool-blend scarf has fringed edges (woven so that they won’t fray) and an abstract geometric pattern. Cozy up on the couch and enjoy the warmth and comfort this piece brings. Metro Blanket Scarf, Aritzia, $95.
When you can’t go to Paris, bring a taste of Paris home. This French-inspired black tea blend from Harney & Sons features hints of vanilla, caramel and lemony Bergamot. Warm up on cold winter nights with a hot cuppa tea and a good book! Paris Tea, Harney & Sons, $8.50 (20 sachet tin).
When you just can’t shake winter’s chill, draw yourself a hot bath. These Sugar Lemon Sugarbath Cubes will turn a regular bath into a truly luxurious experience. The cubes have real brown sugar in them (historically used as a healing agent) and will add a lemon citrus fragrance to the tub. This is the perfect way to stay warm and let go of the day’s stress. Fresh Sugar Lemon Sugarbath, Sephora, $45.
Cradle your feet in the ultimate warmth and comfort. These moccasin-style slippers are made with suede and lined with sheepskin and have a gum rubber sole so you could nip outdoors in them if you really needed to. Ansley Slipper, Ugg Canada, $135.
Winter can be especially harsh on your skin so keep it hydrated by moisturizing frequently. We suggest keeping a lightweight lotion like L’Occitane’s Cherry Blossom hand cream close at hand as much for its skin nourishing benefits as its lovely cherry fragrance. Cherry Blossom Hand Cream, L’Occitane, $12.
Dark winter mornings plus cold floors are not a good combination. Why not make getting out of bed just a little bit easier with a soft and cozy bedside rug. This inexpensive decor option from Ikea is perfect for the job! Rens Sheepskin Rug, Ikea, $39.99.