Botanically inspired sunroom.
We designed a botanically inspired sunroom on budgets befitting a seedling and a mature plant. Can you tell the difference?
1 Frayed cotton canvas botanical No.81 and No.33 PRINTS (mounted on wooden dowels), Pottery Barn, $119 US each. 2 Hand-blown glass TERRARIUM, Crown Flora Studio, $55. 3 Steel Dark Leaf CONSOLE with reclaimed barnwood top, Urban Barn, $649. 4 Bar-height powder-coated iron Burke STOOLS with adjustable swivel elm seats in Grey, Structube, $159 each. 5 Woven BASKETS, HomeSense, $25 each. 6 Sugar Hill laminate FLOORING in Smoke Plank, Torlys, $3.70 per sq. ft. 7 Viscose blend Bohemian RUG, 5' x 8', Urban Barn, $329. 8 Gus Modern ash Truss ARMCHAIR with polyester Leaside cushions in Driftwood, Style-garage, $950. 9 Cotton TOSS CUSHION COVER, 20" x 20", H&M Home, $15; duck feather INSERT, H&M Home, $13.
1 Botanical linen canvas Cherry and Sunflower PRINTS (mounted on wooden dowels), The Evolution Store, $219 US each. 2 Handmade faceted soldered glass TERRARIUM, Crown Flora Studio, $165. 3 Custom handmade polished steel CONSOLE with reclaimed wood top, Junction Wood + Metal Co., $1,200. 4 Turner bar-height black-finished metal STOOLS with adjustable swivel seats, Crate and Barrel, $299. 5 Beachcomber extra-large round hand-woven seagrass BASKETS, Pottery Barn, $129 US each. 6 Artisan Elite maple engineered hardwood FLOORING in Bracken Hill, Torlys, $7.90 per sq. ft. 7 Hand-knotted wool and bamboo silk Bal Harbour RUG in Antique White & Ocean, 6' x 8', Weavers Art, $3,950. 8 Huppe beech Citta ARMCHAIR with leather cushions in Boston White, Shelter, $1,999. 9 Polyester Swaying Palms TOSS CUSHION with down alternative insert, 20" x 20", Tonic Living, $54.
Be inspired by spring in the sunroom. With the perfect chair the room will be nothing short of the ideal spot to grab a book, make a lemonade and check out your budding love for nature. LOW: Gus Modern ash Truss ARMCHAIR with polyester Leaside cushions in Driftwood, Style-garage, $950. HIGH: Huppe beech Citta ARMCHAIR with leather cushions in Boston White, Shelter, $1,999.
Some like to decorate with piles of books, others with an array of candles. But if you ask us, nothing beats the impact of plants, and this less-is-more tableau is a case in point. The key to this look is the negative space, created by loosely arranged unobtrusive glass vessels. The plantings are few but carefully chosen, varying in height, colour and texture. And don’t forget an element of surprise – did you notice the animal figurines in the terrariums? LOW: Hand-blown glass TERRARIUM, Crown Flora Studio, $55. HIGH: Handmade faceted soldered glass TERRARIUM, Crown Flora Studio, $165.
A long day doesn’t seem so daunting when you come home to stylish decor. That’s why we love these slender minimalistic consoles. Whether your place is ultra-modern or a bit rustic (and whatever your budget), there’s a choice for you. LOW: Steel Dark Leaf CONSOLE with reclaimed barnwood top, Urban Barn, $649. HIGH: Custom handmade polished steel CONSOLE with reclaimed wood top, Junction Wood + Metal Co., $1,200.
Introduced in the early 19th century, oversized botanical charts were a staple in classrooms throughout Europe, used to educate youth about the anatomy of various flora (such as the sunflower) and fauna. As close to the real deal as you can get, our High prints are exact copies of German charts from the 1950s and ’60s. In fact, they’re produced by the original internationally recognized manufacturer using the same film and methods. LOW: Frayed cotton canvas botanical No.81 and No.33 PRINTS (mounted on wooden dowels), Pottery Barn, $119 US each. HIGH: Botanical linen canvas Cherry and Sunflower PRINTS (mounted on wooden dowels), The Evolution Store, $219 US each.
Host a "welcome spring" party with a new smoothie recipe or take a seat while you care for your plants. Whatever the occassion, keep around some stylish seating to blend into the natural ambience of the space. LOW: Bar-height powder-coated iron Burke STOOLS with adjustable swivel elm seats in Grey, Structube, $159 each. HIGH: Turner bar-height black-finished metal STOOLS with adjustable swivel seats, Crate and Barrel, $299.
Greenery has a way of livening up any room, and when that verdant touch doesn’t require any maintenance and remains bright year-round, it’s a clear winner. From banana to palm leaves, the motifs of these printed toss cushions have a moving quality that calls to mind a tropical beach – a sunny ambience every Canadian household can use. LOW: Cotton TOSS CUSHION COVER, 20" x 20", H&M Home, $15; duck feather INSERT, H&M Home, $13. HIGH: Polyester Swaying Palms TOSS CUSHION with down alternative insert, 20" x 20", Tonic Living, $54.
In a room like this the only burst of colour should be coming from the plants. Keep your flooring and rugs low-key with a simple pattern that blends the flooring together to create a faux grass or dirt area. LOW: Sugar Hill laminate FLOORING in Smoke Plank, Torlys, $3.70 per sq. ft.; Viscose blend Bohemian RUG, 5' x 8', Urban Barn, $329. HIGH: Artisan Elite maple engineered hardwood FLOORING in Bracken Hill, Torlys, $7.90 per sq. ft.; Hand-knotted wool and bamboo silk Bal Harbour RUG in Antique White & Ocean, 6' x 8', Weavers Art, $3,950.
Nothing makes a space like this just a bit more unique like putting your own taste into the planters. Decorate your own pots or go for something more special, like these teacups for smaller plants. It doesn't really matter what you plant them in, just make sure it reflects you and the room you want to create. HIGH AND LOW: Teacup (used as pot), Crown Flora Studio, prices vary.
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.”
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.
Pinnacle Survival Kit Contest
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