Modern rustic townhouse
With a limited budget, a lot of creativity and loads of white paint, Toronto designer Jo Alcorn puts a stylish stamp on her sunny townhouse.
If her signature platinum blond hair and the moniker of her design firm – Whitewash & Co. – aren’t proof of her affinity for a certain shade, then a tour of Jo Alcorn’s west-end Toronto townhouse certainly is. White permeates the light-filled interior, from the furniture and accessories right down to the paint, which isn’t just any colour, but Jo Jo Whitewash, the namesake blend she custom designed for Para Paints. It was also the catalyst for her choice to infuse the 1,900-square-foot three-storey home with a fresh and crisp brio.
While the listing for the townhouse piqued her interest two years ago, tempting her with more space in her preferred neighbourhood, the viewing didn’t. “I actually wasn’t going to take it,” she says. “All the walls were painted yellow, and there were heavy old drapes, maple cabinetry and a sad-looking patio.” Before she shut the door on the property forever, her aesthetic instincts kicked in and she knew she could run with it. “I realized underneath it all, the house had good bones: 12-foot-high ceilings, detailed crown mouldings, clean lines and tons of natural light. I signed on the dotted line.”
“My dining room is just 10 feet wide, so it was tricky to figure out the scale of the furniture,” says homeowner and designer Jo Alcorn. To remedy this, she enlisted her father to craft a narrow dining table with benches that tuck underneath. “He used pine planks, and it cost a fraction of the price of a similar-looking table I had my eye on.” A modern white end chair plays off the rustic style of the table.
The galley kitchen’s maple cabinetry was punched up with paint and vintage brass hardware. “The upper cabinets are the same colour as the walls,” says Jo. “and I used a charcoal shade on the lowers to blend in with the black appliances and anchor the room.” A runner helps disguise the original floor tiles until Jo replaces them.
Myriad combinations of Jo’s signature look – an abundance of white, graphic black accents and soft touches like comfy furniture, throws and toss cushions – define the living room as both stylish and approachable.
“This is where my dogs, Lucy and Ricky, and I spend a lot of time,” she says. “White furniture is actually a cleaning lifesaver with white shedding dogs!”
Inspired by the conviviality of country kitchens with designated seating areas, Jo nixed an eat-in area in favour of a cozy sitting nook that’s perfect for morning coffee and evening cocktails.
Wallet-friendly black accents, whether in the form of paint, toss cushions, rugs or artwork, were used generously throughout to animate the pale backdrop and prevent the house from feeling stark.
Since every wall in the master bedroom features a window or a door, Jo had no choice but to position the bed in front of a small window. She found a headboard tall enough to hide its awkward placement, but the colour was wrong. Jo reupholstered it using a patterned fabric shower curtain and a staple gun. the result is a showpiece crafted on a shoestring budget.
The nightstand introduces a warm element (as well as handy storage) to the bedroom. The mirror reflects natural light and provides a feeling of spaciousness, while the dramatic horn lamp offers a sculptural balance to the large-scale headboard.
1 1006-02 loveseat, Cocoon Furnishings, from $2,280. 2 Dakota dining table, 77", Crate and Barrel, $1,699. 3 Triangular bevel rectangular framed mirror, Lowe’s, $80. 4 Scroll Tile rug in mocha, Pottery Barn, from $281. 5 Maison 4-drawer dresser in antiqued white, Restoration Hardware, $1,595 US. 6 Source kudu table lamp, West Elm, $219.
A bright white office gets a hint of glam
A talented design team creates a glam home office.
The Kelly Deck Design team adorns a bright white office with all things glam. Here’s how to achieve a similarly chic look.
Cheer up a plain ceiling by applying a graphic geometric wallpaper. it’s a fashion-forward look that instantly draws the eye upward.
Maximize every square inch of a small space with custom millwork. For this office, the designers added two workstations, closed cabinetry and open shelving.
Since every creative genius requires a whimsical workspace, try something unexpected and lean lively prints atop your desk.
Bring shimmer and shine to your study with warm metal elements. Here, gold accents like this peace sign sculpture draw attention to the room’s stunning showpiece: The modern brass light fixture.
Get the look
A kitchen boasting restaurant-design pedigree
Trendy meets traditional in this family home built from scratch.
Homeowner Tanya Krpan (pictured here) saved on accessories by loading the family room sectional with an assortment of ready-made toss cushions.
Tanya isn’t afraid to play with negative space, as seen in the home’s grand entryway. “Normally, you’d expect a mirror or big piece of art hanging above the wainscotting,” she says. Leaving the wall blank and layering small pieces on the console allows the millwork to shine.
Black casement windows and decorative accents create contrast in the neutral space. Tanya scored the vintage coffee table when her office was being redecorated.
The family room’s classic-cool mix feels right for a young family.
The kitchen, of course, is the true star of the show. Tanya’s restaurant-design pedigree shines through in the room’s floor-to-ceiling tiles, mix of open and closed storage and high-end appliances. She opted for white Shaker-style cabinetry and warmed up the space with a walnut island and brass hardware statement lighting and fixtures.
Another bistro-inspired touch was her choice of dark honed-limestone tiles for most of the main floor. “The tile grounds the space since there’s an abundance of white everywhere,” Tanya explains. “And it’s proven great for hiding dirt.”
Everything in the Krpans’ home is designed for everyday life and entertaining, from the large sectional in the family room to the round tables in the dining room and the kitchen’s eat-in area. “It’s more social to sit at a round table,” says Tanya. “You see everyone’s faces.”
Cabinets with glass doors allow Tanya to display her favourite serving pieces and special glassware. She had the back of the kitchen cabinets tiled to highlight this focal point of the kitchen.
Tanya and Jure – with their sons, Ivan, 3, and Cruz, 2 – have recently welcomed a baby girl named Belle.
The living room’s crisp white, grey and black scheme gets an energy boost from fresh greenery, pops of pink and plenty of pattern – check out the Moroccan-style rug, the ikat-print and chevron-patterned toss cushions and the graphic stool fabric.
To offset the costs of the more expensive permanent elements, Tanya was meticulous with her decorating budget. She incorporated secondhand pieces, such as the family room coffee table, and sourced inexpensive art for the living room mantel. Affordable colourful accessories add youthful edginess to the living spaces. “I love the femininity that the splashes of pink add to the living room and family room,” she says. “Plus, by the time I got to the decorating, I was living with three boys!”
In the dining room, Tanya likes the juxtaposition of the modern Sputnik-inspired chandelier with the traditional coffered ceiling. The artwork was a DIY project Tanya and Jure painted together on her 30th birthday.
Though this house has been well loved for years, there’s a sequel in the works: Tanya and Jure are in the process of building a new home. “We’ll keep some of the same elements but go a little more modern in the kitchen,” says Tanya. We’ll definitely stay tuned.
Refresh your living quarters by incorporating 2017's hottest colours into any room in your home.
This year’s interior design trends are fun and edgy — and that includes 2017's most covetable hues. The four colours topping the charts? An enchanting purple, a lush green, a smooth caramel and a lavish navy. These fantastic four possess a cocooning quality, whether you opt to paint a whole room or accent it with a piece of furniture or an accessory. Seek decor inspiration from 2017's top colours below.
Editor's Note: A saturated purple makes a bewitching backdrop.
Image by: Benjamin Moore
Our favourite purple paints:
Shadow 2117-30, Benjamin Moore.
Starry Sky 70BB 21/147, Dulux Paints.
Premier Infinity Lilac Feather PR16T38, Canadian Tire.
Beauti-Tone You Look Mauve-lous SC169-0, Home Hardware.
Editor's Note: Call it forest or hunter, this green packs a punch.
Image by: Farrow & Ball
Editor's Note: This soothing tan is a balm for sore eyes.
Image by: Canadian Tire
Editor's Note: A perfectly inky blue is sure to bring the drama.
Image by: The Home Depot