It’s no secret that designers love white. Whether crisp and bright or rich and creamy, white, in any shade, is the ultimate blank canvas. But as Toronto decorator Jennifer Reid of Barlow Reid Design will tell you, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
Back in 2010, Jennifer’s soon-to-be clients, Trisha and Dino Verbrugge, fell in love with a new build in Toronto. At 4,500 square feet, the home offered plenty of space to spread out, thanks to its open-concept floor plan. But it was the high-end traditional kitchen – with its substantial mouldings, panelled cabinets and to-die-for slabs of marble – that had Trisha and Dino hooked.
Trisha had always wanted a white house, so she had all the walls painted in the shade, then added all-white built-ins, furniture, rugs and drapery. But the effect wasn’t quite what she’d dreamed of: It was a whiteout, with no depth or warmth. “I soon realized we needed to introduce some colour to make it more homey,” she says.
Traditional white kitchen
When they bought the house, homeowners Trisha and Dino Verbrugge were drawn to its traditional kitchen, which features detailed panelling, leaded-glass cabinet fronts and slabs of polished Calacatta marble. The large kitchen island is a gathering spot for the family. "The kids can hang out while I make dinner," says Trisha.
In the family room of this Toronto home, decorator Jennifer Reid varied small- and large-scale prints with solid ones to keep the mix feeling fresh for the young family.
Mauve living room
The rug in the family room was the starting point for the home’s subtle, pretty colour palette. Although the scheme is decidedly feminine, Jennifer balanced it with masculine clean-lined furnishings like the sofa, armchairs and bench. A wall of built-ins filled with coffee table books and decorative pieces is the focal point in the open-concept space.
Pastel blue master bedroom
In the spacious master bedroom, Jennifer used a limited palette and tone-on-tone pattern to create a restful retreat. The same nod to couture detailing is also eviden. The blue damask wallpaper creates a soft backdrop for the button-tufted headboard and the mirrored nightstand adds a hint of glamour.
Master bedroom seating area
Jennifer wanted the bedroom seating area to be more casual, so she placed two grey armchairs with a masculine finish silhouette atop a playful silk shag rug.
An inset stone-tile border breaks up all the white in the master bath and contrasts with the formal millwork.