Refined eclectic condo design
Designer Olivia Hnatyshin has a case of the blues... but in the best way possible.
The living room's custom sofa was one of Olivia's first investment pieces. “It fits four or five people comfortably,” she says, “so it’s perfect on movie nights.” Whether it’s a cocktail party or a casual get-together, the young designer loves to host.
Another enterprising effort was accommodating her childhood piano – which Olivia’s parents threatened to give away if she didn’t take. “It’s just one big, non-functional piece of furniture,” she says. “Creating a vignette around it with a tufted bench and pretty artwork helped distract from the fact that I have a huge, clunky black piano in my hall.” And she’s glad it’s there: The stylish setting encourages her to play it whenever there’s a spare moment in her busy life.
“Sometimes if you go literal with a certain theme, it works,” says Olivia, who typically mixes styles and eras, but in her entryway stuck to a strong Chinese influence, from the Foo dogs to the faux bamboo mirror and console. The leopard-print stool is actually Olivia’s old piano bench updated with fresh fabric.
The pagoda chair Olivia’s sitting in is one of her favourite pieces in the home. “It’s like my spirit animal,” she says. It was a steal at $90 and already upholstered in a fabric she loves.
Olivia didn’t change much about the builder-grade white kitchen, apart from adding a portable island as extra counter space for cooking and entertaining. “Where do I draw the line when I know this isn’t my forever space?” Olivia asked herself. For her, it proved to be the kitchen.
“Turquoise has been my favourite colour since I was little,” says Olivia. “I’m always drawn to it.” This is evidenced in the array of toss cushions on display on the living room sofa.
“Bedrooms should be a little more moody,” says Olivia of the reason hers is imbued with deeper blues than the rest of the condo. The room’s starting point was the Schumacher fabric on the lumbar cushion – the wallpaper and bedding fell easily into place after that. Above the bed, the gallery of small plates provides an unexpected spin on the traditional. Some are extras from Olivia’s own dish set, others are from her mom and the light blue one in the centre is a hand-me-down from Olivia’s paternal grandmother.
The armoire in the living room was a $300 antiques store score and acts as Olivia's media unit, where she tucks the TV out of sight when not in use. The artwork flanking it is also a creative moneysaver: framed coaster souvenirs from a trip to New York City. She also incorporated refinished vintage furniture, such as the sidechairs flanking the living room armoire.
The living room is awash in watery blues that are amplified in glass details for an airy, ethereal effect.
Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle Print, Purposeful Printables on Etsy.
Boost your productivity while working from home with these inspiring office essentials.If you work from home, carving out a quiet space to concentrate is important. But this space doesn’t need to simply be functional. It should also be inspiring and motivating. It should encourage you to do your best work. How? We’ve rounded up a selection of home office essentials that will help to spark your creativity!
Need a few words of encouragement to get you through the work day? When you’re running low on motivation, simply remind yourself that ‘Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle’. This charming print will not only look great hanging on the wall of your home office but it’ll give you that extra incentive to get stuff done. Best of all, this print is an instant download so why not download and print it right now? Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle Print, Purposeful Printables on Etsy, $2.59.
Add a burst of colour and whimsy to your home office by wallpapering a feature wall using Schumacher’s ‘Birds and Butterflies’ wallpaper. This popular pattern is a revival from a 1960s pattern in the company’s archives. Brought back to life for a modern era, this wallpaper will inspire your own flights of fancy as you work. Schumacher Birds and Butterflies Wallpaper, Schumacher, see website for details.
If wallpaper is too permanent a choice, opt for something temporary like a wall decal. This motivational wall decal is just the thing to inspire you in your creative pursuits. Easy to apply and easy to remove without leaving damage to your walls, this wall decal comes in 40 different colour options. Motivational Wall Decal, TweetHeart Wall Art on Etsy, $18.21.
Bring your Pinterest boards to life with this metal photo clip string set. Featuring 12 photo clips on a five-foot string, this set will help you keep all those tear sheets and inspired ideas front and centre in your home office, instead of buried under a pile on your desk! Metal Photo Clip String Set, Urban Outfitters, $14.
It’s not uncommon to hit a wall during a long work day. When you need a break to get your creative juices flowing, try colouring! Adult colouring books are all the rage these days and when you sit down with one, you’ll understand why. More than just a throwback to your childhood, this beautifully illustrated book is bound to unleash your own creativity. Animal Kingdom Colouring Book and Coloured Pencils, Indigo, $25.34.
Hang sturdy shelves on your home office walls to display favourite items. Not only will they add visual interest to your space but they’ll provide room for photographs, books and other odds and ends that you draw inspiration from. These shelves, made from reclaimed pine, will look right at home in almost any space! Reclaimed Wood Shelving + Brackets, West Elm, starting at $69.99.
Research indicates that fresh plants and flowers aren’t just pretty additions to your home. They are said to boost your mood, spark creativity, reduce stress and promote concentration. And on top of all that, they’ll add a beautiful touch to your workspace. Seems like there are plenty of reasons to add a vase of fresh blooms to your desk!
An oversized chalkboard is perfect for jotting down notes, to-do lists and ideas that come to you throughout the day. Even use it as a jumbo doodle pad! Just don’t ever let your best ideas slip away because you didn’t record them. Framed Chalkboard, Pottery Barn, $99.
Take your bathroom from drab to fab with these easy decorating ideas!
Bathroom and kitchen renovations are known to give homeowners the biggest returns on their investment when they sell. But whether you’re doing a big renovation or just looking for ways to update your current bathroom and whether you intend to sell or not, these ideas for beautifying your bathroom will pay big returns in your overall satisfaction with your home. And you don’t have to have a $50,000 budget to do it. These affordable upgrades will add some serious style to your home without breaking the bank!
Renewal Divinity Small Mirror
What a difference something as simple as a mirror can make. The right one can transform the look of your bathroom and give it an updated, more stylish feel in an instant. The frame is made from hammered aluminum combined with beveled glass and can be hung vertically or horizontally, depending on your preference and the shape of the space you’re working in. Renewal Divinity Small Mirror, Wayfair, $380.46.
Flush Mount Bathroom Lighting Fixture
When renovating, it’s important to consider your lighting options for the type of space you have. So before you head to the lighting store, figure out whether it’d be best to go with flush mount, track lighting or sconces. No matter what you choose, illuminate your bathroom with a stunning light fixture that ties your bathroom’s whole look together and adds an appealing amount of sparkle and shine! Boasting a shiny chrome finish and a laser-cut inspired design on the lamp shade, this flush mounted lighting fixture will bring effortless elegance to your bathroom and is a simple way to take the look of the entire space from drab to fab! Flush Mount Bathroom Lighting Fixture, Multi Luminaire, $349.
Aroura Tile White and Gold Wallpaper
If you’ve always loved the look of wallpaper but have shied away from using it in the bathroom, it’s time to reconsider. Wallpaper has come a long way and today, there are lots of options on the market, many of which are suitable for moisture-rich environments. This gorgeous wallpaper has a mosaic pattern that mimics the look of tile and has a washable finish for easy clean-up. Aroura Tile White and Gold Wallpaper, Graham & Brown, $50/roll.
Metro Basket Weave White and Cobalt Porcelain Mosaic Tile
Flip through the pages of your favourite design magazine and you’re sure to see plenty of bathrooms boasting this contrasting basket weave tile to dramatic effect. Get the look for yourself with these tiles – but may we suggest opting for the white and cobalt colour combo as a subtle alternative to black and white? The rich cobalt will add a decidedly chic and unexpected look to your bathroom. Metro Basket Weave White and Cobalt Porcelain Mosaic Tile, Home Depot, $7.98 each.
Gleaming Brass Bath Collection
Upping the style quotient in your bathroom doesn’t get any easier than this! Swap out your existing vanity vessels for these truly chic options. The full set includes a soap dispenser, tumbler and tray, all in a beautiful brass finish. Gleaming Brass Bath Collection, Anthropologie, $22-$36.
Dot Medallion Shower Curtain
Looking for a quick and easy bathroom update that won’t break the bank? How about a new shower curtain? This 100% cotton curtain is made in India and features a modern medallion motif in a soothing colour palette of watercolour inspired shades of blue and grey. With this one simple addition to your bathroom, you’ll add an air of tranquility that will turn your bathroom into the oasis you always dreamed of. Dot Medallion Shower Curtain, West Elm, $29.99.
Colourful cottage living room with eclectic gallery wall.
Bright colours, eclectic furniture and treasured collections transform an old cottage into a cozy family retreat.When it comes to cottages boasting all the modern conveniences and square footage to spare, Toronto-based couple Mandi and Kevin Kimsa have one thing to say: No, thank you. “Our previous cottage in Muskoka was 6,000 square feet and more of a second home,” says Mandi. “We wanted to get away from that with something smaller that offered a more rustic experience for our family.”
“When you look at the living room’s gallery wall, it’s very much the Kimsas,” says Stephan. Featuring the kids’ artwork and family photos that were resined or framed, it’s a resolutely personal display. Stephan also added some interesting bird images that are echoed in the collection of owl sculptures and the blue jay toss cushion.
The deft balance of past and present is not the only trait all the rooms share. "Colour is very important here," says Stephen. "A cottage allows us to explore some interesting shades." The chosen colour palette exudes vibrancy, from turquoise to yellow to kelly green.
In the dining area, wooden beams mimic the original kitchen ceiling. Intentionally mismatched furniture feels like it was collected over time.
Steeped in history, the wooden kitchen cabinetry and island originates from the outbuilding of the Laura Secord homestead in Ontario’s Niagara region. The island encapsulates designer Stephan Howard’s old-meets-new approach with a front that features an 1880s painted door and a top that’s surfaced with durable Caesarstone.
A collection of jadeite dishes sourced by Stephan was the jumping-off point for the kitchen’s mint-hued appliances. “They were custom-made to match the dishes’ signature colour and have a retro look that’s perfect for a cottage,” he says.
The free-standing wood kitchen cabinet, a reproduction of an old general store display unit, cozies up the space.
Reclaimed wood panels (also from the Laura secord homestead) in the master bedroom provide a rustic backdrop for the beautifully dressed bed.
In the master bedroom, Stephan used a mix of styles and a dash of bold colour. The refined sensibility of the zinc-framed mirror and marble-topped dresser are offset by a circa-1900 door he sourced in Eastern Ontario. Clad in its original turquoise paint, which is now wonderfully distressed, it gives a rustic style to the room.
On the screened-in porch, a grouping of diverse furniture types, from woven to wooden to upholstered, offers a welcoming comfy vibe.
Designer Stephan Howard relaxes on the Kimsas’ screened-in porch.
"The porch overlooks the lake,” says homeowner Mandi Kimsa. “We have coffee here in the morning, relax after dinner and congregate to play cards and board games throughout the day.”
Stephan likes that the green cottage adds another dimension to the surrounding forest.