Video: Colin Cowie's tips for the perfect summer party decorations
Video: Colin Cowie's tips for the perfect summer party decorations
Image by: Virginia MacDonald | Styling: Christine Hanlon
Designer Tara Fingold artfully mixes an array of lush textures and soft mauves and pinks to create a soothing master bedroom and bathroom for a busy couple.
More often than not, it’s a designer’s role to gently nudge a homeowner out of his or her comfort zone. But in the case of the owner of this distinctive master suite, no prodding was necessary. “The client embraces colour , texture and non-conventional pieces,” says designer Tara Fingold. “It was amazing how open she was, and how she kept pushing for something interesting.”
It was about a year ago when the homeowner and her husband purchased this 1920s Georgian abode in a well-established Toronto neighbourhood and collaborated with Tara on a top-to-bottom home renovation. “With very precise planning at the beginning, we were able to finish in six months,” says Tara. “The house has beautiful bones, so we just needed to give it an update.”
Soothing mauves and pinks, and a layering of textures (the grasscloth wallpaper, chevron-patterned silk drapery, inlaid nightstand and strie wool rug) create a sumptuous, inviting look in the master bedroom. The strie velvet channel-tufted headboard turns the bed into a show-stopping focal point.
Clean-lined shapes temper the space’s femininity – the look is sophisticated, not girlie or frou-frou – and a layered effect enhances the warm and inviting feel. The master bedroom, with its combination of textures that includes the grasscloth wallpaper, velvet headboard, wool rug and silk drapery, is especially lush. “I wanted to create a delicious mood when you walk into the room,” says Tara.
The dressing room boasts a built-in makeup desk and a bank of drawers, which serves as both a dresser for extra storage and a window seat.
For the busy homeowners (a professional couple with three small children), the overhaul included creating a 600-square-foot restful retreat that now comprises the master bedroom, ensuite bathroom, a dressing room for her and a walk-in closet for him.
These flowers goes well with the colour scheme of the suite.
The bathroom’s high-gloss lavender vanity is outfitted with a marble countertop and brass faucets and pulls. The vintage resin-framed mirrors and crystal and brass sconces lend a dose of character and balance out the vanity’s contemporary straight lines.
Gold handles go great with purple drawers.
The glass panelling and calacatta marble tiling in the shower are light and airy elements that enhance the bathroom’s serene vibe. “I like marble’s natural characteristics,” says Tara. “I could not get that random pattern and elegance without using marble.”
A mix of calacatta and thassos marble forms the herringbone pattern on the floor, which continues into the dressing room. “That’s where the homeowner gets dressed and puts on her makeup, so it’s much more durable than carpet,” says Tara. “But it’s heated, so it’s just as cozy.”
Tara used a pale lilac quilted fabric to upholster the dressing room closet doors, adding a bit of softness and texture to the space. Lucite pulls are quiet yet sophisticated.
The dressing room’s beautiful brass chandelier, adorned with crystal doves, is a whimsical touch. “The doves look like they’re dancing around the perimeter,” says designer Tara Fingold.
Toronto-based designer Tara Fingold.
Tour this soothing and sophisticated retreat.
Homeowners Monika and Troy Hibbs dream up a soothing and sophisticated retreat for their handsome little one.
When Monika Hibbs and her husband, Troy, were expecting their first child, they were told early on they were having a girl. So the Langley, B.C., blogger and jewellery designer set about planning a sweet nursery with plenty of pink touches, including feminine floral wallpaper. Fast-forward a few months, and the couple was in for a shock - though, thankfully, a happy one. Turns out the first ultrasound was quite wrong, and their little princess-to-be was in fact a prince. "It was a surprise!" says Monika. "I quickly had to adjust my mindset from powder pinks to handsome greys."
The scheme abruptly changed to a soft muted one with more masculine, but still sweet, touches. (The newly neutral nursery is in keeping with the Hibbses' predominantly white house, featured in Style at Home's April 2014 issue.) For baby furnishings, Monika chose a classic iron crib with brass accents, an heirloom-quality piece that will surely be handed down to any future siblings. And a modern rocking chair is comfortable enough for long nights with babe in arms. "I'm attracted to timeless items for baby rooms," says Monika. "It's easy to invest in something you know you'll love forever, and if it's gender-neutral, it'll work for subsequent children, too."
The beautiful grey iron crib with brass accents is dressed with simple natural linen bedding. The collection of animal heads is as fun as it is faux.
The arrival of baby Liam brought on the inevitable outpouring of love and gifts, including a lifelike deer plush toy and a black and white rocking horse to go with the animal theme of the nursery decor.
The comfortable tufted rocking chair is upholstered in a velvety fabric that cleans up easily. A sentiment from a classic children’s book is the perfect accessory in Monika’s favourite spot to read to Liam.
A pale grey palette punctuated with black accents makes for a calming yet on-trend nursery design for baby Liam. “Nurseries can be challenging to decorate when the crib is against the wall and there’s a lot of floor space,” Monika says of her decision to place the crib in the middle of the room. “Here, it’s the focal point.”
The nursery’spanelled wainscotting was already in place, and homeowner Monika Hibbs used star decals as an affordable (and easy-to-remove) alternative to wallpaper.
Monika, the blogger behind The Doctor's Closet, shares a sweet moment with Liam in his nursery.
A vibrant and elegant master bedroom. Image by: Donna Griffith
This blissful bedroom by Toronto designers Erin Feasby and Cindy Bleeks has us dreaming of restful slumbers. Here’s how to bring the look home.
1 Embrace a light fixture with personality. This chic chandelier, featuring leaf-shaped adornments, lends drama and illuminates the space’s most coveted element: the bed.
2 An upholstered bed frame provides not only an extra layer of comfort and warmth but also texture and interest. For added glamour, choose a style with tasteful details like deep button tufts and wooden legs.
3 A soothing neutral backdrop is always welcome in serene sleeping quarters, but introducing unexpected hits of colour wakes up the space in all the right ways. Here, lively floral fabric with shades of pink imparts a fresh and feminine feel.
4 Create the ultimate sanctuary by carving out space for a small sitting area complete with a cushy armchair and ottoman. Whether sipping a hot bevvie or cozying up with a good read, you’ll be tempted to stay all day.
5 Convert a corner of your room into a chic primping station. A slender mirrored vanity set beneath a wall mirror reflects colour and light and provides depth. For a dose of old-world charm, seek out a piece with a graceful patina and pair it with an antique chair.
6 The most inspiring spaces tend to focus on the finer things. Brighten up your bedroom with a fabulous floral arrangement and treat yourself in the process.
Glass Carat table lamp with cotton shade, CB2, $269.
Cotton Jellybean fabric in Beige & Pink, through designers, Kravet Canada, $109 per yard.
King linen Chamber bed frame with wood base, Elte, $9,845.
Polyester Polo armchair in Beige with ash legs, Structube, $549.
Lacquered wood Mason nightstand, Crate and Barrel, $479.
Cotton and wool Diamond rug, 8' x 10', Pottery Barn, $499 US.
Add or expand your closet space with helpful tips and tricks from Scott McGillivray
If you live in a condo or an older house, you know that closet space is at a premium. Adding a closet or expanding an existing one will help to increase the functionality and value of your home. Or, if it’s a low-cost, flexible solution you’re after, stand-alone wardrobes are always an option.
Photography courtesy of istockphoto.com
Adding and increasing
You’d be surprised where you can squeeze in closet space. Consider, for instance, the often overlooked area underneath your staircase. With a little ingenuity, you can really gain some valuable extra storage. If it’s your bedroom closet that’s lacking, you may be able to get away with widening or deepening it – or even building a new one – by expanding into an adjacent room. Just be sure the other space is large enough to give up that square footage without losing its functionality.
Photography courtesy of Stacey Van Berkel
The easiest and most affordable way to increase closet space is by adding stand-alone wardrobes along a wall. What’s great about this solution is that they’re a non-permanent addition, so when it comes time to sell, buyers will be able to visualize the space as either having the extra storage or not.
A lot of people ask me if converting a small bedroom into a walk-in closet is worth it. It’s the simplest and most obvious solution to a lack of closet space in a house, but before you commit to this type of reno, there’s something to consider first. Does your home have four (or more) bedrooms? The most appealing type of property to the majority of prospective buyers is a detached house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Bringing your home down to two bedrooms eliminates a large portion of the home-buying population, so any value you gain by adding the big closet is erased. However, if you plan on staying in your home for the next 20 years and this is a “just for you” renovation, go for it.