Chic dressing room.
We transform an attic space into a stylish dressing room on a ready-to-wear and an haute couture budget. Can you tell the difference?
1 Carl Robinson Edition 5 Reflect Edgware wallpaper in CB54400, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $200 per double roll, through designers. 2 Large faux shagreen box in Seal Grey, Absolutely, $429. 3 Lacquered silver-plated brass Traditional Mirrored tray, Ethan Allen, $319. 4 Bernhardt Jet Set maple-veneered MDF Door cabinet with gold-leafed MDF base, Zilli Home Interiors, $1,349. 5 Hand-knotted bamboo silk Opulence rug in Silver, 8' x 10', Imperial Carpet and Home, $3,243. 6 Track-armed winged chaise longue with polyester Venice fabric in 61 and nailhead trim in Silver, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $2,220. 7 Designers Guild lambswool-blend Zari Graphite throw in Grey, Putti Fine Furnishings, $295. 8 Bonaldo painted-steel Fortuny side table in Glossy White, Suite 22 Interiors, $500. 9 Vintage Italian ornate carved gilded-wood mirror, Carrocel, $1,850.
1 Carl Robinson Edition 9 Romantique Ida wallpaper in CB90009, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $100 per double roll, through designers. 2 Medium lacquered-wood Eggshell Inlay box with mosaic mallard eggshell pieces and crackle finish, Ethan Allen, $159. 3 Painted-aluminum tray, HomeSense, $13. 4 Particleboard Sektion wall cabinet in White, 36" x 15" x 30", IKEA, $55; fibreboard Ringhult doors in High Gloss White (customized), 18" x 30", IKEA, $84 each; birch Skäralid base (customized), 15" x 30", IKEA, $59. 5 Hand-knotted wool and bamboo silk Atrium rug in C6 Beige, 8' x 10', Imperial Carpet and Home, $1,317. 6 Stocksund chaise longue with cotton-blend Nolhaga fabric in Gray-Beige and stained-beech legs in Black, IKEA, $639. 7 Klippan lambswool Samba throw in Grey, Likely General, $175. 8 Lacquered painted-rubberwood Lamsa side table in White, Jysk, $70. 9 Gilded cast-resin Chinoiserie mirror in Gold, Ethan Allen, $1,489.
Any budget can get in some storage, especially if it's as glam as these cabinets. Keeping a small area, like this attic, clean and organized is the key to enjoying the space so make sure it's kept that way with a stylish piece for a fabulous room. High (left): Bernhardt Jet Set maple-veneered MDF Door cabinet with gold-leafed MDF base, Zilli Home Interiors, $1,349. Low (right): Particleboard Sektion wall cabinet in White, 36" x 15" x 30", IKEA, $55; fibreboard Ringhult doors in High Gloss White (customized), 18" x 30", IKEA, $84 each; birch Skäralid base (customized), 15" x 30", IKEA, $59.
This dressing room is meant to make getting ready feel like the best part of your day. But if the morning is moving slow, or you need a break to scroll through Instagram, take a quick lounge on the perfect seat to keep you feeling like a glamorous gal. High (left): Track-armed winged chaise longue with polyester Venice fabric in 61 and nailhead trim in Silver, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $2,220. Low (right): Stocksund chaise longue with cotton-blend Nolhaga fabric in Gray-Beige and stained-beech legs in Black, IKEA, $639.
Who could even imagine leaving the house without a quick look in the mirror? Whether you're feeling the sleepy Sundays or you're pumped for TGIF this mirror will reassure you that you're looking (and should be feeling) stylish. High (left): Vintage Italian ornate carved gilded-wood mirror, Carrocel, $1,850. Low (right): Gilded cast-resin Chinoiserie mirror in Gold, Ethan Allen, $1,489.
Function over style? Why not have both? This side table is the perfect addition to any room really, but we love it for displaying flowers, holding your morning coffee or keeping your favourite book close by. High (left): Bonaldo painted-steel Fortuny side table in Glossy White, Suite 22 Interiors, $500. Low (right): Lacquered painted-rubberwood Lamsa side table in White, Jysk, $70.
Every house (and nearly every room) needs a vanity tray to keep things looking tidy, organized and trendy. Staying organized is the easiest way to impress so toss perfume bottles, jewellery and little trinkets to keep track of your every day essentials. High (left): Lacquered silver-plated brass Traditional Mirrored tray, Ethan Allen, $319. Low (right): Painted-aluminum tray, HomeSense, $13.
If you know what you want to make your room just right, do it! Furniture, like cabinets, may come with hardware and extra accessories, but that's merely a suggestion. Head out and find the perfect accessories to complete the look and the room. High (left): Bernhardt Jet Set maple-veneered MDF Door cabinet with gold-leafed MDF base, Zilli Home Interiors, $1,349. Low (right): Rings, screw eyes, washers and grommets, The Home Depot, $15. See how to make this cabinet and customize it yourself here.
Our dressing room get its punch from the sloped ceiling's bold floral wallpaper. You can mimic this feature, whether you're looking to splurge or save. High Carl Robinson Edition 5 Reflect Edgware in CB54400, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $200 per double roll, through designers. Medium Anna French Wild Flora Bouquet in Gold, Thibaut, $163 per double roll, through designers. Low Carl Robinson Edition 9 Romantique Ida in CB90009, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $100 per double roll, through designers.
Skip art in your dressing room – use your best-loved shoes instead, employing floating shelves and picture ledges as display spaces. The pieces come in different sizes, which makes them ideal for an irregular-shaped wall like this one. Particleboard Lack SHELVES, 75", IKEA, $30 each. Fibreboard Mosslanda picture ledges, IKEA, from $13. Mirrored box, HomeSense, $25. Laquered-wood Mid-Century jewellery box in White Lacquer, 15" x 11" x 8", West Elm, $239.
Blending pretty and practical style
Vancouver designer Chrissy Cottrell shares her tips to creating a home that's both fabulous and functional.
Follow designer Chrissy Cottrell's 10 tips to creating a home that appeals to both genders.
A whimsical print by Paule Marrot adds a pretty touch to the dining room and balances out the handsome dark accents. “My husband, Corey, and I wanted to honour both the masculine and feminine in our home,” says homeowner and designer Chrissy Cottrell of Chrissy & Co. Design Savvy.
Minimalist furnishings ensure this small dining area doesn’t feel cramped. A sleek oval Saarinen-style dining table, paired with iconic Eames chairs, seats six without taking up too much visual space. Stemware and bottles stay neatly tucked away in the narrow built-in bar but can be put on display when the couple entertains.
The built-in stainless steel peninsula gives guests a great view of what’s cooking in the galley kitchen. Tucked into the cabinetry, the dishwasher drawer – perfect for a household of two – can handle a lot of dishes while taking up minimal space.
The cognac stain of the vintage-look schoolhouse stools contrasts with the contemporary kitchen’s stainless steel peninsula. The stools also complement the warm-toned hardwood floors and rich colours found in the artwork (a wall-mounted glass platter), pulling the whole space together.
The regal bust adds sophistication on the living room window ledge. “There’s so much natural light by the window, and it’s always changing, so I keep it simple with pieces that won’t detract from the view,” says Chrissy. “It’s more about the silhouette and texture.”
A living room corner gets the full decorative treament with a mix of pieces that have a Neo-Victorian vibe. The art wall – a standout feature – includes a vintage mirror, golden buffalo head and playful painted portrait of the couple’s toy poodle, Buttons.
The white Italian leather sofa provides negative space underneath the artwork, allowing it to shine. The large-scale piece by David Burdeny makes the narrow living room seem bigger than it actually is. “I really love art that pulls you into it,” says Chrissy. “It’s like a window into another room.”
When it comes to artwork and interesting accessories, people often neglect the bathroom, says Chrissy, who hung some of her favourite pieces on the charcoal wall. “Let’s face it: you spend several minutes in there, so it’s nice to have something interesting to look at.”
Upholstered in grey linen with brushed-brass nailhead trim, the tufted headboard takes centre stage in the otherwise sedate master bedroom. A sleek black and gold pendant light adds drama and helps draw the eye upward.
The master bedroom gallery wall showcases the couple’s history, with sentimental pieces that reflect their time and travels together. “I’m a big believer in buying what you love and then making it work,” says Chrissy, who splurged on custom framing in a mix of complementary shades and sizes.
Pretty powder room.
We designed a Deco-inspired powder room on both a Gatsby and a Carraway budget. Can you tell the difference?
1 Laundry Studio Diamante wallpaper in Turquoise, Hygge & West, $140 US per double roll. 2 UberHaus metal Naples sconces with fabric shade and faux crystals (removed), RONA, $32 each. 3 Aluminum-bordered Ronglan mirror, 32", IKEA, $119. 4 Town Square widespread cast-brass faucet in Polished Chrome, American Standard, $460. 5 Fitzgerald 3-hole fireclay pedestal sink in Canvas White, 24", DXV, $520. 6 Ceramic Hexagon floor tiles in White and Black, 1", Saltillo Imports, $5 per sq. ft. each. 7 Cotton terry cloth Linen-edged bath towel in White,Anthropologie, $48 US. 8 Vintage monogrammed linen hand towel, Putti Fine Furnishings, $25. 9 Moen Iso steel towel bar, 18", RONA, $43. 10 Illume poured candle in glass vessel, Indigo, $18.
1 Paper & Ink Coastal Chic Lace Doily wallpaper in CO10412, through designers, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $159 per double roll. 2 Hudson Valley Lighting 1-light brass Sanford sconces in Polished Nickel with silk shade, Sescolite, $551 each. 3 Mother of Pearl mirror, 30", Cocoon Furnishings, $1,046. 4 Keefe widespread cast-brass faucet in Polished Chrome, DXV, $680. 5 Town Square 3-hole fireclay pedetsal sink, 24", American Standard, $705. 6 Enamelled-glass mosaic Hexagon floor tiles in White, Cobalt Blue and Light Blue, 2", Saltillo Imports, $19 per sq. ft. each. 7 Cotton terry cloth bath towel in Off-white with linen border in Natural, per pair, Zara Home, $50. 8 Embroidered-linen Honeycomb hand towel in White & Silver, Au Lit Fine Linens, $48. 9 Valsan brass Porto towel bar in Chrome, 20", Upper Canada Specialty Hardware, $129. 10 Tom Dixon poured Eclectic candle in brass vessel with marble lid, Medulla & Co., $95.
Simple sconces against patterned wallpaper will brighten up any powder room, especially when framing the mirror over the sink. Low (left): UberHaus metal Naples sconces with fabric shade and faux crystals (removed), RONA, $32 each. High (right): Hudson Valley Lighting 1-light brass Sanford sconces in Polished Nickel with silk shade, Sescolite, $551 each.
The stars of our high and low powder rooms are the statuesque art deco-inspired pedestal sinks (these gals have got some gams!). Though their silhouettes are quite different, each embodies the celebrated glamour of old Hollywood and makes for one lavish lavatory. Low (left): Fitzgerald 3-hole fireclay pedestal sink in Canvas White, 24", DXV, $520. High (right): Town Square 3-hole fireclay pedestal sink, 24", American Standard, $705.
Racks and hooks are great hanging options, but consider a towel bar, whatever your price point. It allows plenty of ventilation for speedy drying, so your towels stay fresh. Low (left): Moen Iso steel towel bar, 18", RONA, $43. High (right): Valsan brass Porto towel bar in Chrome, 20", Upper Canada Specialty Hardware, $129.
When the first residential bathrooms began appearing around the turn of the last century, the floor covering of choice was mosaic tile. The diminutive size of the tiles – an inch or so wide – suited the scale of the generally cramped spaces and allowed for a wide variety of patterns, which ranged from simple to intricate. To lend our powder rooms that signature old-world charm, we recreated the look by installing hexagonal tiles in a scattered flower motif. The Low features basic one-inch black and white tiles, while the High comprises bolder two-inch white, navy and powder blue ones. We combined segments from single-colour mesh sheets, but you can buy a sheet with a preset pattern for easy installation. The options are as pleasantly plentiful as ever. Low (left): Ceramic Hexagon floor tiles in White and Black, 1", Saltillo Imports, $5 per sq. ft. each. High (right): Enamelled-glass mosaic Hexagon floor tiles in White, Cobalt Blue and Light Blue, 2", Saltillo Imports, $19 per sq. ft. each.
If you're going to add a softly-scented candle into your powder room, you might as well make sure it stays with the glam look of the room by placing it in a gold candle holder. Low (left): Illume poured candle in glass vessel, Indigo, $18. High (right): Tom Dixon poured Eclectic candle in brass vessel with marble lid, Medulla & Co., $95.
Faucets are never a bathroom item to overlook. They are the element of the powder room that will pull the sink, mirror, sconces and added accessories together so choose wisely. Low (left): Town Square widespread cast-brass faucet in Polished Chrome, American Standard, $460. High (right): Keefe widespread cast-brass faucet in Polished Chrome, DXV, $680.
Anticipate your guests’ needs with a toiletry essentials kit. Stock basic hair, nail and dental care products, as well as common medicines. Toss large items, such as dry shampoo, right in, but corral small bits like bobby pins in mini envelopes. Brass and glass Callie box, Pottery Barn, $104. Large cotton Fouta bath towel, Au Lit Fine Linens, $98.
For a special touch, layer hand towels in various materials and textures with unique details, such as pleats, fringes or embroidery. Stick to a single palette for uniformity. 1 Cotton terry cloth Heather Fringed in Oatmeal, Pottery Barn, $24. 2 Cotton terry cloth in Off-white with linen border in Natural, Zara Home, $20 per pair. 3 Cotton terry cloth Linen- edged in White, Anthropologie, $28 US. 4 Fringed-cotton honeycomb-woven Fouta in Powder Blue, Putti Fine Furnishings, $22. 5 Vintage linen with crocheted edge, Putti Fine Furnishings, $295. 6 Antique-French-linen with vintage-linen pleated edge, Putti Fine Furnishings, $80. 7 Vintage monogrammed linen, Putti Fine Furnishings, $30. 8 Embroidered-linen Tangier in Oat & White, Au Lit Fine Linens, $48. 9 Cotton terry cloth jacquard Isaac Floral Sculpted in White, Pottery Barn, $30. 10 Cotton terry cloth jacquard, Zara Home, $14 per pair.
Buying guide: The truth about thread count
Is there anything better than sliding into a bed laden with good quality sheets? At the end of the day, I can't wait to stretch out under my fresh, soft covers and nestle my face into a good cotton-covered pillow. We spend a third of our lives in bed so quality sheets are key, but how do you get quality for your money? There's no doubt that most consumers believe the higher the thread count, the better the quality, but this isn't entirely true. With the help and expertise of Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens, we expose the truth about thread count and what it takes to find quality bed sheets.
What is thread count, really?
Simply put, thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. This number is based on the threads woven horizontally ("weft") and vertically ("warp"). Extra threads can also be woven into the weft threads to increase the thread count. These added threads are called "picks" and are added in the overall count, which is how some sheets end up having thread counts in the thousands. This is why the idea that high counts equal better quality isn't really accurate. Consider this: Joanna says most weavers will say the maximum number of threads that can be woven into one square inch of fabric is 500 to 600. Though the number is arguable and, according to Joanna, "depends on the mill you deal with," it gives you an idea of where the line is between single-ply, unpicked weaves and ones that add threads here and there to bump up the count.
What to look for when buying sheets
Joanna lists three things to look for on the label: if it's Egyptian cotton, where it's woven and, lastly, the thread count. While thread count is a bit misunderstood, the buzz around Egyptian cotton is true. "The very best cotton in the world is grown in Egypt. So Egyptian cotton will be of a better quality," Joanna says. She also recommends pima cotton, which is grown in America, "though not quite as exceptional as Egyptian." When it comes to weaving, however, she swears by the Italians as being the "master weavers of the world" due to their "long tradition of weaving" and use of the best Egyptian cotton. Be sure the label says 100% or pure Egyptian cotton though, otherwise it may only contain a small percentage of the good stuff. As for the thread count, look for a minimum of 200. From there, it's all about preference!
What to avoid when buying sheets
Joanna's one key piece of advice is to watch out for extremely low priced, high thread count sheet sets. A complete sheet set with a high thread count for $100 or less is probably not the dream bargain you think it is. As Joanna believes, "you always get what you pay for." The price tag for bed linens will vary depending on the sheet size and what items you're buying, such as a duvet cover, sheet sets, or pillowcases. "A superior quality 200 thread count queen set (including flat, fitted, two pillowcases), made of Egyptian cotton and woven in Europe, could retail reasonably for about $150-$250," says Joanna.
What do you prefer?
After going through the quality checklist, go with what feels best for you. If you're looking for a durable linen, Joanna recommends any percale from thread count 200 to 800. Percale is any cotton woven with a 200 thread count or higher and will be more durable than a cotton satin of the same thread count. It's also less likely to pill than cotton satin because it has a denser weave. Love the feel of a cotton button down shirt? Joanna advises a crisp, dense 200 thread count percale. Prefer a silkier sheet? Go for a 300 to 600 cotton satin. If you want lighter sheets, Joanna says, a 400 thread count sheet can be soft and light, while an 800 percale would be soft and dense. The higher the thread count, the more likely multiple-ply thread is used or picks are added, making the fabric denser and heavier.
Now you know that quality is not just about the number, so don't let numbers rule your bed! Remember what to look for on the label and be wary of too-low prices for supposedly high quality items. Beyond that, go with what you prefer. Get a good feel of the sheets before buying. Whether you're unzipping the packaging or lying down on a display bed, make sure the fabric feels good against your skin and soon you'll be having sweet dreams!
Find out how to keep your new linens crisp and clean with our tips to whiter-than-white sheets.