Image by: Tracey Ayton / Design: Kerrisdale Design
Get the inside scoop on the year's most popular design trends.
Every year brings with it hot new trends and this year’s design trends are sure to get you excited about making some changes at home. Whether you’re thinking about something small scale like painting your powder room in one of the year’s hottest shades or going bigger with beautiful architectural features, these ideas from designers are sure to inspire!
Credit: Amber Interiors
1 "I think that a top design trend will be spaces that are more relaxed and casual with nothing too fussy or sparkly. Call it a restrained and tailored boho aesthetic; think Amber Interiors. Linen or velvet seating (in performance fabrics, of course), a mixture of woods and textures and nothing matching or contrived. Worn, antique area rugs, handmade block print fabrics and a real plant or two add to the layered yet edited feel and give a home soul." - Interior Designer, Vanessa Francis.
Photography: Tracey Ayton / Design: Kerrisdale Design
2 "Look for interior finishings to take centre stage in 2017. While decorative elements like furniture and wallpaper have traditionally set the trends, increasing attention is being paid to the bones of a house. Applied mouldings, interior doors, archways and window casings are becoming more elaborate as homeowners discover that architectural features can make bold statements too." - Blogger and Designer, Jennifer Flores.
3 "Today, forest green has made a comeback and is seen mixed with deep woods and black hardware and punches of brass to make it pop. Go bold and paint a powder room green. Pair with an antique chest turned-vanity and some brass pulls and brass faucet." - Interior Designer, Tara Fingold.
Photography: Stacey Brandford / Design: Jessica Claire Interiors
4 "My favourite design for 2017 is wallpaper that mimics a wall mural. There are some incredible designs on the market where wallcoverings depict designs like large scale florals or hand painted landscapes. The dramatic impact is pretty incredible, and I love how it adds a bit of a handmade influence to any room." - Designer, Lisa Canning.
Credit: Colette Grand Cafe
5 "One top design trend is to introduce unconventional design elements into our homes. Whether your inspiration is a sensational bar shelf suspended from the ceiling at Colette, the stunning floor to ceiling glass walls at The Chase Toronto, or the metal trim detail between floor tiles at most commercial spaces, 2017 is the year for innovative ideas so why not be inspired by our favourite restaurants or the beautifully designed stores as we shop for the holidays?" - Blogger and Decorator, Tim Lam.
6 "Loft-inspired design has been around for few decades but we're seeing a resurgence of this trend with the black steel factory door. The large black grid of these elegant beauties are not only attractive but they provide great sight lines to the outdoors, further forging the relationship between indoor and outdoor living. They can easily elevate any modern or traditional home whether as a patio door, room divider or shower door. With this much versatility, it's easy to see why the black steel factory door is expected to be a big winner in 2017!" - Designer, Andrea Haraldsen.
Photography: Michael Graydon / Design: Sam Sacks Design
7 "Give way to lighter woods! We’re seeing a move towards a blonder, natural looking wood from floor to ceiling. Wider plank hardwood with an oiled/ matte finish is a great choice in creating visual interest and providing a neutral backdrop for furniture and other interior elements. Natural, rift cut oak is a great option for cabinetry, pairing well with walnut and darker woods and even painted finishes. Light wood is extremely versatile and a great way to add warmth and texture throughout a home without it feeling overpowering or heavy." - Interior Designer, Nyla Free.
Balancing modern and traditional aesthetics in a stylish family home
A Toronto couple proves that a mostly white interior can be both stylish and family friendly, while also suiting modern and traditional aesthetics.
For a busy family with three young children, living in a mostly white interior may seem more like a pipe dream than a practical reality. But not for this Toronto couple. When the homeowners built their 2,400-square-foot Georgian-style house two years ago, creating something kid-friendly was a huge priority. And, for the wife, that never meant compromising her love of white. “White makes me feel good. Everything’s so bright; everything’s vibrant,” she says.
Five years ago, when the couple had their second child, they figured it was time to move somewhere that better accommodated their growing family. “We were specifically looking for something we could tear down,” says one of the homeowners. What they found was a bungalow with a private drive and a good-sized lot in a historic east-end Toronto neighbourhood.
2,400-square-foot Georgian-style house.
Built-in cabinets and shelving in the family room offer a spot to tuck away toys, electronics and firewood, and display artwork and accessories. A collection of Andy Warhol-inspired Campbell’s soup cans and a beach photograph provide pops of colour.
In the family room, elements like the hide sling chair, patterned toss cushions and sculptural coffee table lend interest and warmth. The couple created a large kid-friendly (not to mention durable and easy to clean) rug out of carpet tiles.
The interior’s sophisticated look – modern furnishings, contrasting black elements, playful accessories and hits of colour all set against a white background – was partly inspired by the Paris apartments of today.
Open to the kitchen, the family room leads to an outdoor deck through stunning black-framed glass doors. “I think those are the showstoppers,” says one of the homeowners. “From the beginning, we had that vision, and we wanted the black to really play off the white walls.”
In the dining room, wainscotting and herringbone floors are juxtaposed with a clean-lined marble and clear-lacquered raw steel table surrounded by iconic Mid-Century Modern Eames chairs. The white linen drum pendant lights, lined in a brass colour, add drama.
The all-white kitchen features Shaker-style cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, ceramic subway tiles, a custom range hood and brass touches. The couple loves the look of marble, but chose low-maintenance engineered quartz countertops instead.
When the homeowners built their 2,400-square-foot Georgian-style house two years ago, creating something kid-friendly was a huge priority. And, for the wife, that never meant compromising her love of white. “White makes me feel good. Everything’s so bright; everything’s vibrant,” she says.
Overall style: White + more white = casual sophistication. Favourite feature: The custom-made range hood. After a tedious search for a white model, the couple asked the cabinetmaker to craft one to match the cabinetry. Biggest challenge: Fitting everything they wanted into the maximum square footage they could build. Most budget-friendly purchase: The brass knobs that needed to match the more expensive pulls. "A colleague helped me find them, and they wer only $7 a pop," says one of the homeowners. 1 Remy bar stool in Matte White, Restoration Hardware, $199. 2 Oxford White CC-30 paint, Benjamin Moore.
Coastal-style cottage kitchen
We look back at a stunning year in design and decor with the top 10 homes you loved most.
We've toured. We've gawked. We've marveled. We've ogled. And it's come to this - the most popular homes of 2015 as decided by you, the Style at Home readers.
This year's list boasts eclectic family homes, Scandinavian style, neutral palettes, and Canadian celebrity abodes. Each distinctive in their own design and undeniably beautiful.
Did your favourite make the list?
This Vancouver home's modern eclectic look is a testament to the power of a sister act. Tour this home here.
A brand new all-season dream getaway dressed in classic coastal style captures the nostalgia of cottage living. Tour this home here.
The art of mixing - styles as well as indoor and outdoor elements - is masterfully demonstrated in this Oakville, Ont. home. Tour this home here.
Canadian television personality Jillian Harris shares her experience of renovating her dream home in Kelowna, B.C., and falling in love with it all over again. Tour this home here.
A plain beige apartment gets a creative makeover that dodges the rental rules and pops with pattern and just the right amount of pretty. Tour this home here.
Furniture and textile designer Lori Harrison is a neat freak living and working in a small space. Here’s how she keeps her home looking stylish. Tour this home here.
Beloved for his annual Christmas specials and his swoon-worthy song “Home” (plus so many others), Canadian icon Michael Buble? invites us into his Vancouver home as he gets ready to celebrate the season in style. Tour this home here.
Designer Sydney Carlaw plays with tension to make her neutral family retreat both interesting and relaxing. Tour this home here.
Ornaments in quiet hues with touches of blue, grey and snowy white create a sense of magic and wonder in this Scandinavian-style home. Tour this home here.
An eclectic design sensibility tempered by an outdoorsy palette shows that, as always, Mother Nature knows best. Tour this home here.
Real estate: 5 things to know before you attend an open house
Five critical pieces of advice homebuyers should know before visiting an open house.
House hunting can be a daunting task, whether it's your first time buying a home or your fifth move in a year. But after scanning your local real estate listings and investigating every ‘For Sale’ sign in your favourite neighbourhood, you may have finally found your dream home. If you’re planning to attend an open house to give it a thorough inspection, don’t go in blind.
What am I actually looking for when I visit an open house? How do I know what's staged and what's authentic? What should I ask my real estate agent before making an offer? These are all burning questions on a homebuyer's mind before a showing. To ease your angst, here are five essential things to have on your radar the next time you attend an open house.
1 Systematically explore the entire home
Occasionally, attending an open house can be a bit awkward (after all, you are walking through someone else's home). The key is to be polite but thorough with your tour of the house. "Don’t be afraid to open doors. Often powder rooms, wine cellars, pantries, laundry rooms and secret hideaways get missed, particularly if it is a crowded open house," says Kara Reed, a Toronto Real Estate professional. "Come prepared and bring your tape measure, notepad, camera and questions for your real estate agent."
2 Overlook elaborate staging
When you participate in an open house, the interior (and exterior) will most likely be dressed to the nines while the current owner is attempting to sell. The trick is to ignore simulation furniture, beautiful bathrooms and organized basements and inspect the home as it really is—pure real estate. "Many people forget to look past the staging at an open house," says Kara. "You may be so wowed by the perfect decor that you overlook other more important aspects of the home." For example, be sure to examine the parking scheme, look for broken appliances, damages the house has suffered and reasons why the seller has decided to move.
3 Have your eyes and ears peeled
It's one thing to be on the lookout for black mold, cracked drywall and rusty fixtures in a potential home, but an open house is much more than meets the eye. "Listen to what other people are saying and pay attention to their comments as you walk through," Kara recommends. "Although they may be your competition in the bidding, they may also notice things that you didn't catch," she says. In addition, you should be listening for squeaky floors, breezy windows and leaky taps—these can all lead to major issues in the future if you decide to purchase.
4 Discover the surrounding neighbourhood
The advantage of attending an open house is the ability to see a prime piece of real estate in its natural habitat (it's no longer just a picture in a newspaper or on a website). This means having a critical eye for nearby homes and the location the house resides in. "Take some time to explore the neighbourhood and surrounding streets. Drive around and check out proximity to amenities, schools and coffee shops," Kara advises. "Don't forget to look at the adjacent properties. If there are four doorbells, two fire escapes and a junky backyard, you may be living next to a tenanted property or a frat house!"
5 Go with your instincts
If a house looks too good to be true—it probably is. "Trust your gut and sense of smell, especially when heading to the basement. If something feels wonky, damaged, warped, whitewashed, water stained or smells musty—it might not be the place for you," says Kara. "Chances are there may be a home inspection available to view, so don’t be afraid to ask to see it or have it emailed to you." Last but not least, feel free to request more data on a listing from your real estate agent so you can make the most informed decision upon walking out the door of an open house.