House Tours
Apr 3, 2013

Interior: Light and lively family home

By: Kathleen Dore
Interior: Light and lively family home

Soft, calming neutrals were the foundation for this renovation.

Author: Donna Griffith

House Tours
Apr 3, 2013

Interior: Light and lively family home

By: Kathleen Dore

Soft, calming neutrals were the foundation for a renovation with a judicious use of bright colour. The result is a playful interior in a Toronto home suited to a young family of four.

 

Do your homework. Admittedly, those three little words don’t sound like fun when what you really want to do is take a sledgehammer to your kitchen, but you have to admit, planning and patience pay off when renovating.

The owners of this Toronto house did their homework for seven years before hiring designer Karen Sealy of Sealy Design to transform the first two floors of their 2,200-square-foot home in the Beach neighbourhood. That meant seven years of tolerating a dysfunctional kitchen, rooms closed off from each other and a dated palette of gold and honey colours. “We didn’t even paint,” says one homeowner. They wanted to do it right – once – instead of making do with lots of little projects.

“The house really didn’t represent the homeowners – it wasn’t very family-friendly,” says Karen, who describes the couple and their two young children as fun-loving and laid-back. And it looked nothing like the seven years worth of magazine clippings the homeowner presented to Karen and her colleague Renee Gammon at the outset. “Every room I liked was bright and light, with hits of saturated colour, and every kitchen was white,” says one homeowner. While the former dark rooms were the antithesis of her vision, even worse was the kitchen’s lack of functionality. Lower cabinets had no shelves or organizers, and a peninsula of cabinetry chopped the workspace and breakfast area into two claustrophobic spaces.

 

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Light and lively vibe
Boldly striped drapes frame the stained-glass window with colour and modern flair. Glamorous upholstered chairs in soft grey and blue surround a dark wooden table that gives the dining room a formal vibe that’s still light and lively.

 

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Bar stools

Counter-height bar stools offer a spot for guests to perch at the new opening between the kitchen and dining room.

 

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New corner banquette
One of the homeowners asked her artist friend to create a custom piece based on the home’s palette. The new corner banquette is a busy hangout spot for doing homework and building Lego – and eating, too.

 

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Woven wallpaper
Dining room built-ins keep serving pieces close at hand but away from prime real estate in the small adjoining kitchen. Woven wallpaper adds textural contrast against smooth wood and glass surfaces.

 

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Kitchen focal point
A stunning marble kitchen backsplash with grey veining is a dramatic focal point in the neutral kitchen.

 

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Newel post
The antique newel post was found at a salvage shop and restored by designers Karen Sealy and Renee Gammon. Its engravings echo the curvaceous design of the stunning stained glass.

 

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Homework and crafts desk
Karen and Renee included a desk on the secondfloor landing, which can be used for homework and crafts.

 

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A space for family reading
To bring new life to the landing, striped seafoam wallpaper plays on the blues introduced downstairs. New built-ins for books, as well as a pair of cozy chairs, have transformed the space into a destination for family reading.

 

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“To have fun with colour, you don’t have to commit to a lifetime of pink” - Karen Sealy, designer.

Living room longevity
Toss cushions on neutral big-investment upholstered pieces give the living room longevity. “I appreciate the neutrals that I have. The wall colour is so soft and calming,” says one homeowner.

Find more great family-inspired home decor with this Family-friendly home interior.

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Interior: Light and lively family home