Interior: Colourful summer decorating
Take one look at the citrusy splashes of orange, hits of leafy green and pops of hot pink in designer Eileen Marshall's home, and you know she isn't colour shy. "Colour is one of my main inspirations," she says. With that bold sense of freedom, Eileen has become an expert at uniting divergent elements into an organic whole. Traditional and modern; chic and family friendly; indoors with outdoors; brilliant colours with soft neutrals – all blend seamlessly in the almost-two-year-old house in Oakville, Ont., that she shares with her husband, Kelly, and their two children, Emily and Harry. The best part? She’s happy to share her secrets. Get ready to be inspired!
The great room's bergere chairs and the hallway's panelling and ornate chandelier give a sense of traditional timelessness to contemporary touches like the fresh palette, modern artwork and clean-lined coffee table. "I love both styles and couldn’t choose," says Eileen. "I was being greedy!" Her flair for mixing styles is also evident in the colour scheme – she applied a warm neutral wheat to the walls, allowing pops of colour to come from artwork, like Marie-Catherine Peloquin's Poesie en Lumiere, and other accents. The space, which is used for guests and family, features materials that reinforce the room’s dual purpose. "We have two children, two dogs and a cat, so all the materials had to be heavy-duty, like the chenille used on the sofa," says Eileen. The result? Livable luxury.The conservatory was initially slated to be an outdoor room, but the addition of wall-to-wall French doors, a fireplace and heated porcelain tile flooring transformed it into the ultimate indoor-outdoor space. Screened doors open to the back porch, garden and pool area just beyond, where the family entertains all summer long. It's a popular spot no matter what the season, though. "Throughout the year, we entertain by serving drinks in the conservatory, or if I have a girlfriend over for coffee, that’s where we sit," says Eileen. Glass doors also open to the formal dining room, where the crystal chandelier and silk drapery lend a luxe touch. "There are a lot of windows throughout the house, so the view of the outdoors is visible from front to back," says Eileen. This generous bow window creates an intimate breakfast nook and offers a view of the backyard pool and garden. Trees, shrubs and flowers beyond the pool provide privacy and complement the interior palette. "My husband and I wanted a no-fuss kitchen," says Eileen. Unabashedly modern walnut cabinetry gives the room a sleek but warm and welcoming vibe, while the chrome detailing of the bar stools adds sparkle to the space. Iridescent glass mosaic tiles form the backsplash, bringing in orange and green and uniting the kitchen palette with the rest of the house. The master bedroom is an energizing burst of colour, and another example of Eileen's love for mixing modern with traditional. The bed and night tables exude contemporary style, while the antique chair and toile pattern are timeless. Various shades of orange add a bold intensity and warmth.
The ultimate four-season room
Love designer Eileen Marshall's conservatory? So do we! We’ve compiled this list of tips for creating an ideal indoor-outdoor room.
- Lay down stone flooring. Who doesn’t love a flagstone patio? Create the look inside, but add under-floor heating, as Eileen did with her porcelain tile flooring, for four-season comfort.
- Install a fireplace to up the cosy factor in a sunroom or conservatory throughout late summer, fall and winter.
- Think wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling doors and windows. Add screens to catch outdoor breezes (while keeping the bugs away!) and bring the scent of summer indoors.
- Gather inspiration from your favourite gardens.Do you linger over Monet’s Poppy Field or find peace in a pared-back Prairie palette? Choose paint and fabric to capture that feel.
- Add plants and fresh flowers to the room for the easiest, least expensive way to create a visual link with the outdoors.