Interiors

Wonderful whites

Wonderful whites Author: Style At Home

Interiors

Wonderful whites

With its high-ceilinged rooms, handsome French doors and elegant woodwork, the McLean family's rambling country house in the hills of Caledon, Ont., could have been built a hundred years ago. But although its design was inspired by the family's previous weekend retreat – a nearby century-old farmhouse – the new year-round home is only a few years old. The secret of its timeless, dreamy mood – old-fashioned and romantic, yes, but also pulled together and breezily up-to-date – is in the liberal use of white by homeowner Linda McLean and architect-designer Dee Dee Taylor Hannah.

One thing that Linda, her husband, Jim, and their daughters, Stephanie, Jennifer and Krista, loved about their old house was its orderly progression of rooms, and in particular the two fireplaces directly facing one another in the rooms to the left and right of the front hall. “As you entered, there was a wonderful feeling of welcome when both the fireplaces were lit,” says Dee Dee. So in the new house, they began with the same main-floor layout and embellished it by widening the entry hall and doorways, enlarging rooms and adding a spacious main-floor bedroom suite for Stephanie, who uses a wheelchair.

Welcome in the sunshine
To flood the interior with light and open it up to stunning views, regular windows were replaced with either French windows or French doors. The end result is a spacious, airy scheme where both the interior and exterior landscapes are visible all around.

For the decor, Linda wanted a monochromatic palette based on white – a smart choice since a unified scheme created a visual link among the main rooms, most of which are visible from each other. The decision was also surprisingly liberating, says Dee Dee: varying tints, textures, sheen levels and materials kept things interesting without destroying the overall harmony. Hints of blue and pink soften some of the ceilings and walls, and upholstered furniture is covered in light-colour fabrics. Some wood pieces are painted white, and throughout the space, the same dark-stained hardwood floors unify and ground the lighter-than-air look.


Photography by Ted Yarwood

 

With the sunlight pouring in, the rolling Ontario landscape outside the windows and the airy decor, there truly is a friendly, old-house feel to the home. “There's a certain fluidity, a soothing continuity among rooms,” says Linda, “a sense that it all connects.”







Photography by Ted Yarwood
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Interiors

Wonderful whites