Can you tell which is the high and which is the low?
Can you tell which is the high and which is the low?
We designed a casual-chic dining area on two different budgets. Can you tell the rooms apart?
We designed a casual-chic dining room on budgets befitting a diner and a five-star restaurant. Can you tell the difference?
1 Canvas brushed brass 5-light Harlowe chandelier, Canadian Tire, $220.
2 Round mirror with gold-painted metal frame, HomeSense, $70.
3 Antique painted pine Windsor-style dining chair, Elle & Eve, $125.
4 Square lacquered plastic tray in Aqua, Bouclair, $20.
5 Vintage hickory dresser with cultured marble top, Carrocel, $2,195.
6 Polyamide Docksta dining table with painted fibreboard top, 41", IKEA, $269.
7 Lacquered rubberwood Lyla dining chair in Black, EQ3, $249.
8 Seagrass and polyester Sinnerlig rug with jute edging, 7' x 10', IKEA, $89.
9 Lacquered stained beech Norraryd dining chair, IKEA, $99.
10 Blown glass Monroe vases in White, Pottery Barn, $70 US ($40 US extra large, and $30 US medium).
1 Brass 6-light geometric frame chandelier with tapered arms, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $2,670.
2 Round mirror with picture-style polished stainless steel frame in Gold, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $1,650.
3 Black-painted pine and ash Windsor-style dining chair, Sharon O'Dowd, $545.
4 Square painted pine Zuma tray in Aqua Sky, Crate and Barrel, $47.
5 Antique walnut dresser with Carrara marble top, Carrocel, $4,500.
6 Round powder-coated aluminum Beauty dining table with marble top 48", Casalife, $2,198.
7 Oil-finished white oak Edwin dining chair in Black, Coolican & Company, $845.
8 Hand-woven jute Popcorn rug in Natural, 6' x 9', Pier 1 Imports, $260.
9 Stained beech Ironica dining chair in Black, Ton, $167.
10 Milk glass vases, Peaks & Rafters, $75 (large) and $50 (medium)
BOTH HIGH & LOW: Behr Marquee Quiet on the Set MQ3-04 wall paint, and Gulf Waters MQ4-52 accent wall & door paint, The Home Depot; Black bentwood dining chair, Design Within Reach; Plates (on dresser), Speck and Stone.
Our High and Low room sets have a uniform yet collected feel thanks to the mismatched monochromatic dining chairs. The true hero, however, is the table, a timeless Saarinen-inspired piece in unassuming white, which makes it easy to play with the seating combinations to create your preferred aesthetic. For instance, using a single style of chair in contrasting hues imparts a playful vibe, repeating one shape in one colour results in a formal look and picking diverse silhouettes in varied finishes lends an eclectic feel. The possibilities are endless!
Playful: Era armed bentwood beech in White, Red and Turquoise, Design Within Reach, $363 each.
Formal: Black-painted pine and ash Windsor-style, Sharon O’Dowd, $545 each.
Looking to beef up your dining room’s storage capacity? Forgo the typical hutch or sideboard and opt for a show-stopping antique dresser. Built in the louis XVI style, our high option, made of solid walnut, features a marble top and brass hardware. more than just a looker, the practical piece boasts deep wide drawers ideal for storing everything from platters and flatware to placemats and napkins.
Even the most casual dining space can use a little bit of sparkle, and our high and low brass-finished chandeliers deliver just that. Their linear silhouettes are quite popular, so the look is easy to achieve on any budget.
1 Brass 6-light geometric frame with tapered arms, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $2,670.
2 Kichler brass 8-light Erzo in Natural Brass, Wayfair.ca, $1,008.
3 Robert Abbey steel 8-light Delany in Antique Brass Finish, Universal Lamp, $965.
4 Canvas brushed brass 5-light Harlowe, Canadian Tire, $220.
For a graphic element, we colour-blocked the door by painting its trim and the wall directly above it teal, but just about any blue will suit this laid-back neutral space – so go ahead and experiment!
1 Bluenose P2116-03, Para Paints.
2 Baffin Island Grey 6161-52, Sico Paint.
3 Olympic Paints Crescendo D54-3, Lowe's.
How to create an haute Hallows Eve
Less is more when setting a frightilicious scene for guests. Just pick a theme (here, it’s ravens) and avoid the usual (namely orange!). Chartreuse velvet fabric inspired the colour palette, while the outdoors was tied in with decorative elements like ornamental grasses and black feathers.
Don’t hesitate to embellish the place settings – it’s Halloween, after all – but just stick with the colour palette and keep it simple. Here, a ribbon of textured black raffia makes an effortless napkin ring.
Silver accents provide just the right amount of glam. The chargers, which are used with the dinner plates, double as trays to hold the jars of candy.
Create a beautiful dried seasonal arrangement that you can use anywhere. A wooden bowl and trug hold a selection of gourds, moss balls and dried white button mums. Vintage leather-bound books set atop a black cobweb (which pops against a mauve swath of fabric) promise to hold a magic spell or two within!
Cupcakes (dark chocolate, of course) are iced in a witchy green and topped with towering purple candles.
Real gourds (artificial will work too) coated with black paint pop against the chartreuse tablecloth. Spanish moss (available at craft stores) scattered about is a refreshing organic touch compared to the season’s traditional hay.
Commercial Halloween decorations are more stylish when used sparingly. A skeleton makes an upscale spooky impression against a natural raffia wreath. A few simple flourishes – black and amethyst ribbons, and ravens – offer guests a hint of what they’ll experience.
Make your own favours – homemade is always original! In a nod to the fall season, we filled fibre pots with mini pine cones, but you could use something more festive like black jelly beans. Insert an enchanting black feather and hold it upright with a clothespin painted green.
A Halloween spread is not complete without a candy buffet. A collection of grown-up candy in shades from the colour palette is displayed in clear Mason jars: black licorice and jelly beans, purple lollipops, and green chocolate mint balls, which mimic eyeballs.
Expert fall home organizing tips
Professional organizer Estelle Gee gives her best home organizing tips for fall.
Blending style with practicality, Estelle Gee, director of Orderly Lives, has made a career out of helping others get organized. Here she shares some of her best home organizing tips and tricks to help you get your house ready for fall.
Simple home organizing solutions
Back-to-school home organizing
If you have children, then fall is extra busy -- not only do you have to get yourself organized and your home prepared for the oncoming cold, but you also have to get ready for back-to-school. Here are Estelle Gee's best home organizing tips to help get you and your family ready for school.
Outdoor fall home organizing ideas
With the lazy days of summer coming to a close, it's time to concentrate on organizing the outdoor living space and exterior of your home. Get your house winter ready before the cold rolls in with these simple outdoor organizing ideas.
Fall home organizing accessories
A few of Estelle Gee's favourite home organizing accessories:
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.