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!'"
Image: Ashley Capp / Styling: Christine Dovey
Five ways to fashion a space that will easily suit your daughter as she grows into her 20s
Your girl's bedroom is her oasis — it's where she escapes, unwinds, tackles challenges, and grows. So, this should be a room that grows with her, instead of a room that has to be made over every few years to suit her changing tastes. Below, five tips on designing a space for your girl that she'll love now and then.
Pink isn’t only for youngsters and bubble gum. Designer Matthew Meisner made the “it’s a girl” hue more grown-up in his step-daughter Milena Bettencourt’s room by combining it with black and gold. He also ensured the pink items were easy to swap should the 16-year-old ever tire of them.
Custom pieces don’t have to be pricey. Matthew upgraded a big-box-store desk with funky geometric-print vinyl wallpaper for added charm.
"Persuade your kids to try looks that will mature with them," says Matthew, noting that the Rorschach-inspired wallpaper that resembles a haute French damask wasn’t an easy sell. “I don’t think Milena would have chosen this wallpaper on her own, but she loves it now.”
Establish an eclectic aesthetic that looks collected over time by grouping items that have personal significance. Take, for example, the pink-undertoned artwork on Milena’s desk: Many of the pieces reference her dad, Rick Bettencourt, from the photo of a Missoni fashion show he attended to a print of Jimmy Choo shoes that nods to his work as the vice-president of shoe empire Nine West Canada.
To help you create the perfect room, we've rounded up some cool accents that will make your daughter's space equal parts cute and chic.
#OOTD: Fashion Flat Lay colouring book by Laura Hickman, Indigo, $21.
Cotton velvet Bianca toss cushion with down alternative insert, 20", Tonic Living, $70.
Heirloom & Knot Regency wallpaper in Neapolitan, Spoonflower, from $5 US per sq. ft.
Heirloom & Knot Rorschach wallpaper in Noir, Spoonflower, from $5 US per sq. ft.
Kate Spade New York crystal Hampton Street rose bowl, Hudson’s Bay, $90.
Ceramic antique-look medium Staordshire dog figurine, Jayson Home, $95 US.
Polypropylene Sillerup rug, 7' x 10', IKEA, $159.
Take a tour of this gorgeous family cottage on Lake Simcoe.
Designer Jessica Waks gives this family's second cottage its own unique flair, creating a spot to accommodate not only guests but also generations to come.
Nudged awake by the sweet smell of fresh cinnamon buns wafting from the kitchen, sleepy family members lumber downstairs, along the way catching sweeping views of serene Lake Simcoe – calm and quiet before the afternoon action takes hold. It’s a common Sunday scene at this Innisfil, Ont., cottage, which is peaceful in the morning until everyone gets up and silence gives way to animated chit-chat and laughter. Often, it’s not just the occupants of this abode in attendance, but the next-door neighbours as well – after all, they’re family, too. The homeowners, a Toronto couple with four adult daughters and two toddler grandchildren, weren’t planning on purchasing a new place – they bought a cottage only five years ago (featured in Style at Home’s July 2013 issue) – but when this 7,000-square-foot three-storey structure directly next door to the first became available, the owners decided to take advantage of the unique opportunity to keep their rapidly expanding family together on these adjacent vacation properties. To make the cottages look cohesive, they rehired designer Jessica Waks – Style at Home’s former design editor – of Jessica Claire Interiors, who had perfectly appointed their first place. “The homeowners wanted the spaces to have their own identities but to also look unified,” says Jessica, discussing how she took the nautical tone of the first property and layered a more country feel into the second. “I used a refined rustic aesthetic to temper its grand architecture, which boasts a spacious foyer and formal principal rooms,” she says.
Jessica was thinking Nantucket rather than classic Canadiana (“it’s more in keeping with the beach locale,” she says) when she rescued the dark and dated interior from its 1980s time warp. The most notable offences? Upholstered doors, inexplicable wall cut outs, tacky floral wallpaper (even on the ceiling in some rooms), mismatched flooring (including fruit-patterned tiles and pink-stained oak), heavily swathed valances, forest green toilets and sinks and a bizarre balcony that jutted into the living room from the second floor. In other words, the cottage called for a complete overhaul. So Jessica started fresh in almost every room, smoothing out the architectural oddities and replacing the flooring with dark-stained oak hardwood, which contrasts the newly white walls throughout – a timeless and cohesive envelope for the elegant nautical look.
Creating a furniture plan for the grand living room was tricky because it has so many points of entry,” says designer Jessica Waks. “Not only did it need to seat a lot of people, but it also had to look good from all angles.” Jessica cleverly selected items like the blue swivel armchairs that can face the central sitting area, the fireplace or the view (win-win-win)!
To make a statement in the foyer, Jessica set visually interesting pieces like the vintage spool-legged console with a curvy linen-upholstered settee against a simple, traditional pedestal table. The jug of maple branches is a nod to the cottage’s sylvan surroundings.
Above the console in the great room, the designer framed and hung a simple grid of antique Simcoe county maps. Believe it or not, the stunning console was a Craigs List purchase. “I love find ing preloved pieces online, at markets and at consignment stores – there are such gems to uncover,” says Jessica, who skilfully pairs these secondhand scores with new custom items.
Meals are often served alfresco with stunning views of Lake Simcoe on the side. To visually connect the two properties, Jessica chose the same outdoor dining furniture for this space as she did for the other cottage next door. “I love how the teak’s grey stain and toss cushions match the stone work and siding of the home’s exterior,” she says.
“The windows in the dining room look out to the front and side of the property,” says Jessica, “so to make up for the lack of lake views and to add visual interest, I chose a charming paisley wallpaper.” The blue-grey tone of the print perfectly matches the original slate fireplace surround.
In the kitchen, the white beadboard cabinetry offers a light and airy country look that’s grounded by darker elements, such as the leathered black granite perimeter countertops and slate-look floor tiles. The wide butcher block-topped island provides ample space for the homeowners, who are avid cooks, to prep meals for their large family.
A pretty patterned wallpaper distracts from this powder room’s awkward angles. Using the space’s drawbacks to her advantage, Jessica leaned a vintage wooden ladder against the wall to hang towels for guests.
The third-floor “bunkie” boasts the most coveted sleeping area in the house: the queen bed in the window niche overlooking the lake. “You can see the sunrise from this spot,” says Jessica. Nautical buffalo-check drapery offers sleepers privacy from the rest of the room.
“As a decorator, I love the strong sense of symmetry that comes from a set of twin beds,” says Jessica, who had these hard-to-find spindle-framed beds for one of the rooms shipped from the US. “I like how they stand out against the wallpaper,” she says. “You can really appreciate the spool detail.”