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.
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.
Elegant dramatic bathroom.
We created two variations of the same serene, elegant bathroom -- can you tell which is high and which is low?
Tough day at the office? Plunge into deep relaxation in this serene, elegant and dramatic bathroom, designed on budgets suitable for a CEO and her personal assistant.
• Thibaut Tamarind Wenzel 839T7170 Wallpaper in Black, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $178 per single roll, through designers. • Chrome-plated iron Evana Mirror, Decorium, $999 • Horus brass floor-mounted faucet in Polished Nickel, Roman Bath Centre, $2,450. • Victoria + Albert volcanic lime-stone and resin free-standing York Bathtub, Roman Bath Centre, $2,680. • Ralph Lauren small metal Hendricks Globe Pendant light in Polished Nickel, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $1,460. • AR brass Luggage Rack in Brushed Nickel with hooks, Roman Bath Centre, $299. • Leather and brushed stainless steel Matteo Bench in Mont Blanc Daffodil, Ethan Allen, $1,459. • Wool Chobi Rug, 5' x 7', Imperial Carpet and Home, $2,598.
• Wallquest Villa Sienna Lily SN10000 Wallpaper, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $71 per single roll, through designers. • Bevelled Mirror, HomeSense, $100. • Aquatek brass floor-mounted Chelsea Faucet in Chrome, Roman Bath Centre, $849. • Bristol acrylic free-standing Alia Bathtub, Roman Bath Centre, $1,599. • Matteo medium chrome and glass White Pluto Pendant light, Universal Lamp, $240 . • Aluminum Mason Wall Coat Rack, Urban Barn, $119. • Faux leather and metal Bench, Bouclair Home, $190. • Karastan Bellingham wool Everson Rug in Celadon, 6' x 9', Imperial Carpet and Home, $1,325.
You’ve got your favourite music playing, a glass of wine in hand, bubbles billowing over a bathtub and a rare 40 minutes to yourself. What could make this moment any sweeter? A gorgeous floor-mounted faucet that calls to mind the glamour of gatsby and allows you to wash your hair without stepping into the shower. HIGH: Horus brass floor-mounted face in Polished Nickel, romanbathcentre.com, $2,450. LOW: Aquatek brass floor-mounted Chelsea faucet in Chrome, romanbathcentre.com, $849.
Simple sketches of the human form have captivated artists for centuries, from Michelangelo to Matisse to modern-day amateur artists taking their first evening class. (How many sitcom characters have come face to face with an unexpected nude in a night art class?) but nakedness is nothing new to artwork – just ask the Ancient Greeks! – and the modest renderings here hint at the scandalous without revealing anything that would make you blush – perfect for a painterly bathroom design like this.
A globe-shaped pendant light adds graceful curves and can help geometrically balance a room with an abundance of right angles.
What’s real? What’s fake? And which is less expensive, anyway? If fresh flowers are a luxury, then faux flowers must be the ultimate luxury, because good-quality ones, the ones that actually look freshly picked, cost quite a bit more. But the benefits are obvious: They won’t wilt, they require no maintenance (save for a little dusting now and then), and they don’t have to be in season. The only drawback? You’ll miss out on the unmatchable fragrance of the real deal.
1 Faux lilac, Michaels, $26. 2 Fresh lilac, from the garden. 3 Faux peony, HomeSense, $3. 4 Faux peony, Urban Barn, $7. 5 Faux gloriosa lily, Michaels, $10. 6 Fresh peony, from the local flower market. 7 Faux cabbage rose, Michaels, $10. 8 Fresh princess tea rose, from the local flower market. 9 Faux princess tea rose, $6.
One resourceful designer creates a cozy space for her family.
One resourceful designer creates a cozy space for her family.Credits: Ashley Capp
A resourceful designer with a knack for all things DIY creates a cozy and contemporary space for her family of four.
For the design inclined, recognizing beautiful pieces is easy enough, but the real decorating challenge comes from knowing how to fit all the elements together in a harmonious way. Designer Sarah Walker has this down to a science. Last year, the reno expert transformed her Oakville, Ont., home’s uninspiring family room into a sophisticated space boasting symmetry and style. “I wanted a modern yet classic room that balances the masculine and feminine qualities of our family,” she says, referring to her husband, Graham, and two boys (Noah, 13, and Tate, 2). Having already installed the hardwood flooring and built-in wall unit with her husband five years prior, Sarah’s next order of business was the furniture layout. “I always pictured this space having a pair of sofas facing each other,” says the designer. “I love the conversational quality the set-up brings to a room.”
So she traded in her existing brown sectional for two handsome black velvet sofas and added a geometric-print rug to further delineate the sitting area. This design choice drew her toward a timeless marble herringbone tile treatment for the fireplace, which echoes the graphic quality of the rug but on a smaller scale (with budget top of mind, Sarah and Graham even installed the tile themselves). Other subtle additions to the fireplace like the contrasting white mantel and the curved screen enhance the unit’s bold and beautiful aesthetic. Next up was deciding what to make of an empty alcove set in the wall opposite the fireplace. In an act of creative daring, the deft DIYer transformed the space into a stylish office nook. Sarah began by making an elegant-meets-edgy pin board out of embossed reptile-patterned velvet fabric and then punctuated the look with antiqued brass nails before adding a floating desk and shelf. “The pin board blends in well with the room’s ikat wallpaper but still makes a visual statement that anchors the work area,” she says. After mastering the layout, the designer reinforced the room’s romantic and rustic feel with tasteful details like luxurious sheepskin pieces and natural wooden elements, ensuring each family member feels equally at home. “We spend just as much time here as we did before,” says Sarah, “but now we enjoy it 10 times as much.” That’s all the evidence we need that this master curator has done it again.
Since this family of four has a penchant for the outdoors, the designer incorporated nature-inspired finds, such as the large print depicting a foggy forest hanging above the fireplace. “The image reminds me of being in the woods and escaping the everyday,” says Sarah. She had the piece stretched onto canvas and then resined to deliver more of an ethereal effect.
Sarah and her husband upgraded their fireplace with a striking custom herringbone tile treatment.
The custom white oak coffee table lends an organic vibe to the family room and calls attention to the tall stack of logs tucked into the wall unit. “With a wood-burning fireplace, you want the logs to be close by so you’re not dragging bark everywhere,” says designer and homeowner Sarah Walker. “The display also has visual impact and adds warmth.”
For Sarah, a beautifully styled bookshelf relies on meaning just as much as placement and scale. “It’s important to tell your story through your space,” she says, referring to objects she added that were collected over time, from a sea urchin found in a quirky San Francisco shop to a sepia sketch purchased on the streets of Paris during her first trip there with her husband.
Playing with contrasting shapes, Sarah created a chic coffee table vignette using curved accents, including a vintage silver tray and a faceted black vase, to temper the sharp edges of the surface. “Bringing in round, soft elements is really important when you’re working with a room that has a lot of hard geometry,” says the designer.
Fashioning an inspiring and orderly work area came easily to Sarah thanks in part to location. “When a communal workspace is integrated into a kitchen, it winds up becoming a clutter collector,” she says. “But in the family room, it’s a bit more removed from that initial drop of mail and keys.”