Can you guess which is the high and which is the low?
We designed a Moroccan-style bedroom on two opposite budgets. Can you tell the spaces apart?
We designed a Moroccan-inspired boho bedroom on budgets befitting a servant and a sultan. Can you tell the difference?
Unconventional by definition, the boho aesthetic doesn’t follow a formula, but here are some tips to help you get your own version of this free-spirited look.
1 Trump trends: Eschew the norm in favour of unexpected combinations of unique elements. (why not place an intricate wooden coffee table in the bedroom?)
2 Study the greats: Let the lifestyles of famous creative spirits inspire you to get in touch with your inner bohemian.
3 Play with colour and texture: Mix bold hues and bring in tactile materials, such as woolly knits and worn woods.
4 Introduce art: Dress your walls with gripping artwork – purchased or diy – and distinctive items like a woven wall hanging.
5 Set the mood: Keep an arsenal of candles on hand and opt for light fixtures that give off a soft, dispersed glow.
6 Mix in meaning: Finish the space by tucking small mementoes here and there. that mini eiffel tower, for example, is reminiscent of a trip to paris.
1 Handmade Icelandic Lopi wool and cotton warp Elephants Always Remember wall hanging, Apatacz, $400.
2 Zenza Lighting handmade nickel-plated brass Tahrir Filisky pendant light, 15" x 12", Snob, $470.
3 Pelican on Lake print on premium archival paper with White Premium Wood frame, 18" x 24", Minted, $275 US.
4 As You Are print in Quiet Gray on premium archival paper with Distressed Indigo Stain frame, 8" x 8", Minted, $80 US.
5 Watercolor Abstract Flora Series Fall 1 print on premium archival paper with Champagne Silver frame, 11" x 11", Minted, $138 US.
6 Queen Belgian flax linen duvet cover, $355, and standard sham, $65, in Midnight, West Elm.
7 Hand-dyed cotton Mali toss cushion with down insert, 18", Snob, $150.
8 Small hand-embossed nickel Offering TRAY, Cocoon Furnishings, $279.
9 Chunky wool throw in Ivory with Knit Knit weave, 54" x 70", Hobbyfelt, $445 US.
10 Antique hand-carved teak coffee table with glass top, Wood Sense Interiors, $2,599.
1 Cotton macramé Drift wall hanging, Lisa Terry, $68.
2 Powder-coated iron pendant light, 10" x 10", Wood Sense Interiors, $189.
3 Pelican on Lake print on standard paper with White Premium Wood frame, 18" x 24", Minted, $165 US.
4 As You Are print in Quiet Gray on standard paper with Distressed Indigo Stain frame, 8" x 8", Minted, $42 US.
5 Watercolor Abstract Flora Series Fall 1 print on standard paper with Champagne Silver frame, 11" x 11", Minted, $85 US.
8 Aluminum Egyptian tray, Snob, $65.
9 Hand-knit wool-blend overlook throw, 48" x 76", CB2, $199.
10 Hand-carved sheesham wood coffee table with glass top, Wood Sense Interiors, $1,199.
HIGH & LOW: Ice Mist OC-67 wall paint, Benjamin Moore, Midnight Navy 2067-10 accent wall paint, Benjamin Moore; Coral sheet set, Crate and Barrel; White shams, IKEA; White teapot with cup, CB2; Tall glass vase, Pottery Barn; Large wooden bowl (holding lavender), Snob; Candle (on wooden box), Jo Malone London.
The dreamy midnight blue of our high duvet set calls to mind the evening sky above Marrakesh. To get the look for less, we tinted an inexpensive white set using pre-reduced indigo dye. The method, though messy, is straightforward: Dilute the pigment and additives with warm water in a large container. Submerge the fabric (entirely or in folded sections, as we did with the toss cushion cover) for 15 to 30 minutes; wring and hang to dry. Repeat as desired for a deeper shade.
Even when they look indistinguishable, not all prints are created equal. For instance, our High and Low pieces are reproductions of identical images, but the pricier versions are museum calibre, printed on cotton rag using archival pigment and protected behind UV-resistant Plexiglas. While the budget-friendly options feature lignin-free art paper and deluxe ink, they can’t match the rich, vibrant hues of the splurge versions and may fade slightly over the years. Short ceramic basket weave vase in Blue, West Elm, $49.
Pile the titles on your current must-read list near your bed, so they’re right at hand when the mood strikes. A large bowl placed on top becomes a pretty and practical catch-all.
Pamper yourself: Lay out a novel, some tea and a decadent snack (see our Swirled Strawberry Meringue recipe) on a stylish tray.
Create that boho aesthetic by dressing your walls with gripping artwork – like a woven wall hanging.
Shibori toss cushions bring a taste of the Far East to our Moroccan-inspired room. A centuries-old Japanese technique, shibori involves bunching, twisting or folding fabric and then dyeing it to create a unique pattern. The tradition has become a trend, so this style of toss cushion is easy to find, whether you’re after one that’s handmade using the original technique or an inexpensive mass-produced alternative.
1 Hand-dyed Belgian linen Shibori in Cobalt Blue with feather blend insert, 20", Rebecca Atwood Designs, $229 US.
2 Cotton indigo Shibori with down alternative insert, 20", Tonic Living, $81.
3 Magical Thinking polyfilled cotton Shibori Streak in Blue, 16", Urban Outfitters, $36.
4 Cotton Indigo Shibori (cover only), 20", Indigo, $40.
A fashionable couple treat their stylish abode as an ever-evolving runway that offers opportunities to strike a decorative pose using their chic collection.
A lot can happen in a year. At this time last year – September, to be exact – designer Matthew Meisner, owner of design firm Heirloom & Knot, moved into a new home in downtown Toronto with his partner, Rick Bettencourt, and Rick’s daughters, Milena, 15, and Celeste, 11, who live there part-time. The 2,100-square-foot three-storey ultra-modern abode had great architectural character and, even better, had recently been renovated. All that it required was a coat of white paint, warm wood elements and a healthy dose of personality – of which the couple has plenty.
Fashionable fiances Rick Bettencourt and Matthew (seated) pose in the living room of their downtown Toronto home.
Art collectors, travellers and curators of quirky vintage finds, the two are fashion savvy to boot. Rick is vice-president of Nine West Canada, so even though Matthew is the professional designer, he still lets stylish Rick provide plenty of input. “I want it to feel like we both contributed equally to the look,” says Matthew.
Take, for example, the wallpapers and textiles on display throughout the home: Most are designed by Matthew for his Heirloom & Knot collection but selected for the interior by his hubby-to-be. “It’s like choosing between my own children,” says Matthew. “I can’t pick favourites, so I leave that to Rick.” The open-concept space is also decorated with relics of the couple’s past, from the antique kitchen scale that was one of the first pieces they purchased together (“out of the garage of a random guy we met on Craigslist,” says the designer with a laugh) to the framed fashion show invites in the powder room (not shown) collected during Rick’s days working as the womens- and menswear director for Holt Renfrew (Prada and Hermès and Alexander McQueen, oh my!). Art purchased on vacations, knick-knacks picked out at antiques markets and a real deer head that’s been in Matthew’s family for years all lend the home its eclectic character while clearly reflecting the fashion-forward couple. “Anywhere we turn in our home, we see something that makes us smile,” says Matthew, noting that there are memories tied to almost every object in their house.
Matthew lugged the huge deer head on the plane home from his parents' cottage in Winnipeg. "It's been in my family for ages," he explains. "My great-uncle accidentally hit the deer with his car when he was young." The bust has lived with Matthew's grandparents and parents and now acts as the perfect pairing for the tartan wool-upholstered sofa in the living room, lending a rustic cabin vibe to this modern eclectic space.
And it’s always evolving. “If I were to describe our home in a sentence,” says Matthew, “I’d say, ‘It’s curated over time and never finished.’” The two buy new pieces whenever something catches their eyes and, as a result, the decor rotates almost twice monthly. “What it looks like now is very different from these pictures,” says Matthew, explaining that while big furniture items stay the same, smaller finds flow in and out. The artwork exhibited on the master bedroom’s feature wall is seemingly switched out more often than that of a commercial gallery, and textiles are turned over seasonally.
Though their house’s interior decor shifts many times in one year, it always feels like home. “We’ve brought in things from former jobs, from frequent travels and from day-to-day life,” says Matthew. “It’s the celebration of everything that has brought us to this point in our lives.”
Credits: Ashley Capp
It’s fitting, because almost one year after moving into their dream home, Matthew and Rick will mark another milestone with their September 2016 wedding. And judging by how their two styles harmonize so perfectly here in this home, we’d say they’re a match made in heaven. Chin-chin!
Designer Matthew Meisner had sections of his Rorschach ink blot test-inspired wallpaper blown up and framed as art for his dining area. It makes for lively dinner discussions: "Everyone has an opinion of what they see," says Matthew, "and it's not always rated PG!"
Credits: Ashley Capp
A dramatic departure from the crisp white envelope of the main living space, the kitchen is decidedly dark. Warming up the existing cabinetry is vinyl wallpaper Matthew designed and named after Rick: Bettencourt Series 2. "It's durable and easy to switch out should we want a new look in the future," says Matthew.
Credits: Ashley Capp
Credits: Ashley Capp
The wall tiles in the master bath are a spin on the classic checkerboard look and a clever design hack - Matthew simply cut adhesive kitchen shelf liner into triangles and stuck it to the existing white tiles (which never get wet).
Credits: Ashley Capp
"I love that the bed frame's cane detail has old-world character while the shape is Mid-Century Modern," says Matthew, who introduces layers of history into his designs.
Credits: Ashley Capp
A basket makes the perfect vessel for a potted tree in this kitchen.
Trends come and go, but these four stylish accent pieces are here to stay.
This tropical beauty is coveted for its wide, glossy leaves and towering height. If you can’t find the real thing (or discover it’s too fussy), try a good-quality imitation. Artifical Fejka tree, IKEA, $15.
Towering above the mantel, this tree in a burlap “bucket” is a fresh, organic counterpoint to a contemporary hand-painted wall mural.
A basket makes the perfect vessel for a potted tree in the California-modern kitchen of Style at Home design editor Stacy Begg.
In a handsome den, a fig adds a sculptural note to an empty corner.
Whimsical and eye-catching, the juju hat, a type of African headdress, has become a contemporary decorating staple. The piece’s round bull’s eye shape makes it a natural focal point over fireplaces, beds and sofas. Plus, it injects a note of softness to hard-edged modern rooms. Feather headdress in White 30", Snob, $500.
A canary yellow headdress is a can’t-be-missed feature in an otherwise neutral dining room.
When matched with the beautiful bedding, this hot pink juju hat offers a decorative one-two punch of boldness.
White feathers keep the mood calm in a home office nook, adding texture without the distraction of colour.
Soft underfoot and graphic in impact, Berber-style rugs can be made from nylon, synthetic fibres or wool. But it’s the natural creamy tone and black zigzag or diamond design that really set these rugs apart, making them a perfect fit for spaces both contemporary and traditional. Wool Souk rug 8" x 10", West Elm, $1,139.
Preppy splashes of green and pink liven up the neutral rug in this youthful living room.
A feminine bedroom gets graphic impact from the black lines of the rug and the Hollywood Regency-style ribbon trim on the valance.
Distinctly Italian in flavour, this living room vignette shines with just three colours: cream, black and honey brown.
The versatile Moroccan-style leather pouffe – a more sophisticated version of the beanbag chair – comes in almost any colour imaginable, with metallic versions on offer as well. Pouffes can present as playful or polished – it’s all about the context. For a dash of global flair, this piece can’t be beat. Moroccan leather pouffe in Pink, The Cross Decor & Design, $395.
A white pouffe with reverse stitching goes upscale as a spot to put on shoes or makeup in this dreamy dressing room.
In this stylish nursery, a pink pouffe provides a chic footrest for a nursing mother.
There’s no need to worry about little ones running into sharp edges – pouffes are super soft and toddler-safe.
Blending pretty and practical style
Vancouver designer Chrissy Cottrell shares her tips to creating a home that's both fabulous and functional.
Follow designer Chrissy Cottrell's 10 tips to creating a home that appeals to both genders.
A whimsical print by Paule Marrot adds a pretty touch to the dining room and balances out the handsome dark accents. “My husband, Corey, and I wanted to honour both the masculine and feminine in our home,” says homeowner and designer Chrissy Cottrell of Chrissy & Co. Design Savvy.
Minimalist furnishings ensure this small dining area doesn’t feel cramped. A sleek oval Saarinen-style dining table, paired with iconic Eames chairs, seats six without taking up too much visual space. Stemware and bottles stay neatly tucked away in the narrow built-in bar but can be put on display when the couple entertains.
The built-in stainless steel peninsula gives guests a great view of what’s cooking in the galley kitchen. Tucked into the cabinetry, the dishwasher drawer – perfect for a household of two – can handle a lot of dishes while taking up minimal space.
The cognac stain of the vintage-look schoolhouse stools contrasts with the contemporary kitchen’s stainless steel peninsula. The stools also complement the warm-toned hardwood floors and rich colours found in the artwork (a wall-mounted glass platter), pulling the whole space together.
The regal bust adds sophistication on the living room window ledge. “There’s so much natural light by the window, and it’s always changing, so I keep it simple with pieces that won’t detract from the view,” says Chrissy. “It’s more about the silhouette and texture.”
A living room corner gets the full decorative treament with a mix of pieces that have a Neo-Victorian vibe. The art wall – a standout feature – includes a vintage mirror, golden buffalo head and playful painted portrait of the couple’s toy poodle, Buttons.
The white Italian leather sofa provides negative space underneath the artwork, allowing it to shine. The large-scale piece by David Burdeny makes the narrow living room seem bigger than it actually is. “I really love art that pulls you into it,” says Chrissy. “It’s like a window into another room.”
When it comes to artwork and interesting accessories, people often neglect the bathroom, says Chrissy, who hung some of her favourite pieces on the charcoal wall. “Let’s face it: you spend several minutes in there, so it’s nice to have something interesting to look at.”
Upholstered in grey linen with brushed-brass nailhead trim, the tufted headboard takes centre stage in the otherwise sedate master bedroom. A sleek black and gold pendant light adds drama and helps draw the eye upward.
The master bedroom gallery wall showcases the couple’s history, with sentimental pieces that reflect their time and travels together. “I’m a big believer in buying what you love and then making it work,” says Chrissy, who splurged on custom framing in a mix of complementary shades and sizes.