Whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles.
A DIY-inclined couple turns an 800-square-foot two-bedroom bungalow into the perfect home for their young family.
Homeowner Amanda Robinson transformed the secondhand piano by covering it in grey paint, casually accessorizing it like the rest of the living room and softening its bench with a faux-sheepskin throw.
The whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles. “I brought softness into the space with the upholstered pieces, while keeping a farmhouse vibe with the antique rocking chairs,” says Amanda.
Homeowners Jason and Amanda Robinson hang out in the bright living room with their sons, Ethan (left) and Aidan.
While blue hues rock this farmhouse, Amanda also popped in some pink tones as contrast.
A fun DIY project or easily picked up at a gardening centre, terrariums are a great way to keep your home green in small ways.
Durable slate tiles define the entryway in this open-concept space. Practical items in natural tones like the bench, mirror and coat rack are artfully arranged so everything looks pulled together.
The kitchen epitomizes Amanda’s love of pale backdrops punctuated with colour and natural tones. “I made the shelves out of wooden boards from our barn and left them unpainted to contrast all the white and to complement the butcher block counters,” she says. Mismatched hardware picks up on the hits of blue throughout the home.
With their young sons and pets (Weimaraner Tessie and cat Nimble) in mind, Amanda chose tongue-and-groove pine planks for the floors, ceilings and walls. “I didn’t want new drywall with two little boys and pets running around,” she says. “It was the best design decision I ever made.”
Amanda knew she wanted a light and bright space and conceived the decor with colour in mind. “This is still a really small house, so I stuck to a neutral palette for the base: white and cream with natural wood tones throughout,” she says.
Amanda and Jason knocked down walls to create an eat-in area that features a free-standing stove surrounded by stone-veneered walls and a thrift-store dining table and chairs proudly bearing a mismatched paint job. “I painted everything grey and then decided to paint all the chairs blue but got sidetracked after one,” says Amanda. “It’s fun and quirky as is, and the boys take turns sitting in the blue chair at dinnertime.”
“The walls in Aidan’s bedroom were in good shape, so we painted them and added pine planks to the ceiling,” says Amanda. “I like the masculine look of the unpainted wood.” The new blue dressers share the space with a thrift-store wicker chair, a yellow-painted hand-me-down stool and rope-hung shelves Amanda crafted from barnboard.
“Ethan wanted everything in his room swimming pool turquoise.” They settled on a seafoam blue that’s more soothing for a bedroom and then incorporated coordinating accents in every room – even on the front door. “If you keep the big things neutral and then add accents in a single shade, it makes everything seem effortlessly connected,” says Amanda.
A bright screen door frame hints at the pops of blue to be found inside the house. Amanda refinished a hand-me-down pine table in grey paint and repurposed it as an easy-to-access storage unit for firewood. Antique Canadian Pacific Railway lanterns found in the barn and on Kijiji layer in more colour and reference the surrounding rustic landscape.
After a fresh coat of paint and some carefully placed furniture, the Robinsons are set to make this newly decorated farmhouse their home.
Homeowner Amanda Robinson used blue paint throughout her home to liven up the soothing neutral palette and provide a link from room to room. Here are her three favourite shades.
Image by: Scott Frances
Founder of DwellStudio, co-founder of Cloth & Company, author of Undecorate, former executive creative director of Wayfair and inimitable designer extraordinaire, Canadian Christiane Lemieux tells us about the two latest and greatest interior design trends and her new book, The Finer Things.
“There are two major trends I’m drawn to for 2017,” says Christiane. “One is this über-minimalism coming from Parisian designers like Pierre Yovanovitch and Joseph Dirand. The other is the exact opposite: pattern, saturated colour and statement chandeliers. Dimore Studio in Italy is doing lots of that, with plenty of Gio Ponti references. Both trends are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but they’re equally impacting interior design right now.”
Image by: Scott Frances
Of the trends designer Christiane thinks we’ll see in 2017, über-minimalism appeals to her the most. “My personal style is minimalist luxe,” says Christiane. “I like clean lines and high-quality materials. My rugs are solid, but made of silk. My upholstery is in varying shades of taupe, but I’ve used beautiful linens. All day long I look at, write about and design stuff, so I want my home to be a respite from that world.”
Image by: Scott Frances
Dark, sultry and striking, Christiane’s office is a departure from the muted, minimalist style she lives with, but it’s an excellent example of the luscious luxe trend she sees emerging.
Image by: Marc and Sunna Von Pragg | Design: Kelly Wearstler
The "luscious luxe" trend can easily be achieved with the right mix of bold prints, colours, silhouettes and a gallery wall—which, in the early 20th century, was known as a salon wall. Interesting side note: When conducting research for her book, The Finer Things, Christiane made a discovery: "The mother of the modern salon wall was Gertrude Stein, a writer! She had a salon in her house in Paris, which was visited by the likes of Picasso and Cézanne, who would thank her for hosting by giving her their works, which she displayed on a wall," says Christiane. "We think of the salon wall as a decorating trick, but it's really a moment in history."
When we asked Christiane what inspired her latest book, The Finer Things, her answer was simple, but the work she put into it was not. "I wanted to explore quality — what makes something good and beautiful — so I started talking to experts, people who've put 10,000 hours into their craft, such as professional wallpaper hangers. It was so fascinating that I went down all these rabbit holes of investigation," she says. "It started as a coffee table book, but eventually my editor said, 'Let's just make this an encyclopedia!'"
A farmhouse kitchen designed by Carol Reed Interior Design
Executive editor Suzanne Moutis loves great organizing ideas. Here, she shares innovative solutions for storing your stuff.
1 Glass-fronted cabinetry gives a sneak peek at the delicate glassware inside while keeping it safe from breakage and dust.
2 Open shelving smartly fills in the empty space on each side of the range hood, and offers access to everyday crockery and oft-used serving pieces.
3 Designating a spot beside the range for essential cooks’ tools means they’re always within reach. A ladle here, a sprig of parsley there and just the right amount of flour or salt equals perfect meals every time.
4 An out-of-the-way corner in the kitchen island could have become simply dead space, but in this kitchen it’s turned into a cubby with shelves to hold both prized cookbooks and other essentials.
5 Pot drawers are a must in today’s kitchens, no matter what the style. Their deep configuration makes them ideal for storing everything from the aforementioned pots and pans to large bags of flour, mixing bowls, oversized serveware and more.
TIP: When you’ve got the luxury of having as much space as this kitchen, it’s great to take advantage and design an island that accommodates stools so you can be connected to the kids or company while you’re cooking.
A kitchen boasting restaurant-design pedigree
Trendy meets traditional in this family home built from scratch.
Homeowner Tanya Krpan (pictured here) saved on accessories by loading the family room sectional with an assortment of ready-made toss cushions.
Tanya isn’t afraid to play with negative space, as seen in the home’s grand entryway. “Normally, you’d expect a mirror or big piece of art hanging above the wainscotting,” she says. Leaving the wall blank and layering small pieces on the console allows the millwork to shine.
Black casement windows and decorative accents create contrast in the neutral space. Tanya scored the vintage coffee table when her office was being redecorated.
The family room’s classic-cool mix feels right for a young family.
The kitchen, of course, is the true star of the show. Tanya’s restaurant-design pedigree shines through in the room’s floor-to-ceiling tiles, mix of open and closed storage and high-end appliances. She opted for white Shaker-style cabinetry and warmed up the space with a walnut island and brass hardware statement lighting and fixtures.
Another bistro-inspired touch was her choice of dark honed-limestone tiles for most of the main floor. “The tile grounds the space since there’s an abundance of white everywhere,” Tanya explains. “And it’s proven great for hiding dirt.”
Everything in the Krpans’ home is designed for everyday life and entertaining, from the large sectional in the family room to the round tables in the dining room and the kitchen’s eat-in area. “It’s more social to sit at a round table,” says Tanya. “You see everyone’s faces.”
Cabinets with glass doors allow Tanya to display her favourite serving pieces and special glassware. She had the back of the kitchen cabinets tiled to highlight this focal point of the kitchen.
Tanya and Jure – with their sons, Ivan, 3, and Cruz, 2 – have recently welcomed a baby girl named Belle.
The living room’s crisp white, grey and black scheme gets an energy boost from fresh greenery, pops of pink and plenty of pattern – check out the Moroccan-style rug, the ikat-print and chevron-patterned toss cushions and the graphic stool fabric.
To offset the costs of the more expensive permanent elements, Tanya was meticulous with her decorating budget. She incorporated secondhand pieces, such as the family room coffee table, and sourced inexpensive art for the living room mantel. Affordable colourful accessories add youthful edginess to the living spaces. “I love the femininity that the splashes of pink add to the living room and family room,” she says. “Plus, by the time I got to the decorating, I was living with three boys!”
In the dining room, Tanya likes the juxtaposition of the modern Sputnik-inspired chandelier with the traditional coffered ceiling. The artwork was a DIY project Tanya and Jure painted together on her 30th birthday.
Though this house has been well loved for years, there’s a sequel in the works: Tanya and Jure are in the process of building a new home. “We’ll keep some of the same elements but go a little more modern in the kitchen,” says Tanya. We’ll definitely stay tuned.