- Ashton Kutcher
- Will Ferrell
- Sarah Silverman
- Ben Stiller
- Dane Cook
- Justin Long
- Demi Moore
A renovated kitchen gets bigger and brighter.
Designer Jennifer Ferreira helps a Toronto couple reach a design verdict that's both practical and polished.
Contemporary artwork and kids' colouring books; a travertine dining table and a teepee fort - these anomalous pairings are the norm at Courtney Toomath-West and Ken West's Toronto house. "This is a family home," says Courtney. "Our daughters can play, and my husband and I can retreat to formal rooms, all in one fairly small space."
Courtney and Ken, both lawyers, bought the 1,800-square-foot rowhouse in 2008 before their girls - Honor, now 6, and Caroline, 4 - were born. "Ken and I had been living in a condo, but when we began to think about having kids, we yearned for the character of an older home," says Courtney. This Victorian, in the city's Little Italy neighbourhood, fit the bill. "I fell for its original plaster mouldings as well as its high arches and ceilings," she says. "It hadn't been updated in decades, but it was well loved, and I wanted to preserve its charm."
"The entryway feels grand for a 16-foot-wide house," says designer Jennifer Ferreira. The oversized mirror creates the illusion of space, and the large pendant light complements the black trim on the sisal runner.
"When I first saw Courtney and Ken's house, it simply needed finessing," says designer Jennifer Ferreira. "I wanted to complement its architectural details, inject a tailored look and create a comfortable family space." Jennifer incorporated a few new and custom-made pieces into the decor, but says the transformation really started with the window coverings. "Drapes make a house feel like a home," she says. "I added them to all the principal rooms, hanging them above the window frames to create a sense of grandeur." The black drapery rods fitted with brass finials and drapes with a band of grey ribbon lend a sense of elegance and formality to the living room.
When they couple moved in, they replaced the existing light oak floors, which were in bad shape, with darker oak and, keeping their art collection in mind, painted the walls gallery-like neutral shades. Jennifer also updated the living room's outdated armchairs with sophisticated zebra-print fabric.
The kitchen was expanded by removing a wall between it and the den, and fitted with new cabinetry and appliances.
The grey lower cabinets add contrast to the mostly white kitchen, which is outfitted with Caesarstone countertops and stainless steel appliances.
The homeowners love to entertain and often host dinner parties, so Jennifer designed chairs for lounging in the dining room. A sculptural light fixture illuminates the travertine table, a family heirloom.
"The master bedroom doesn't get a lot of light, so I wanted to brighten it up," says Jennifer. An airy wall colour, natural linen headboard and ikat-print bench do the trick.
"I painted the bathroom walls white and replaced a dark wooden vanity with a white one for a more tailored look."
In daughters Honor and Caroline's bedroom, the drapes match the pink linen headboards. "The fabrics can easily be changed if they ever tire of them," says Jennifer. Courtney added the princess sign for a little sparkle.
Soft pink hydrangeas add a sweet, fresh touch to the girls' pink bedroom.
"The Wests honeymooned in Morocco, so I chanelled that look on their patio," says Jennifer. "The pendant light, side table and toss cushions resemble items found in a souk."
Nothing brings the indoors out better than carrying your colour palette out onto the patio. The patterned toss cushions keep the family comfortable and cozy while adding a fun dose of the bright pink seen throughout the rest of the home.
Wendel Clark's lakefront Muskoka cottage
Take a tour of former NHL player and Toronto Maple Leafs captain Wendel Clark's massive Muskoka, Ont., cottage available for rent on Airbnb!
If you've ever dreamed of living in the footsteps of a hockey legend, this is your chance. Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain, Wendel Clark, has listed his sprawling Muskoka property on Airbnb for those looking for a truly Canadian summer.
With a minimum two night stay, at $4,999 per night, you and 14 other guests can enjoy lakeside living at its best this summer! We're talking one main cottage, four guest cottages, boats, waterfront activities, BBQs, Muskoka chairs, and a pool table. But the best part? All the proceeds from this summer will go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada!
Take a tour and check out the Airbnb listing here to nab an open spot for the coming season! Hurry though, they're going fast!
Wendel Clark has listed his Muskoka, Ont., cottage for rent on Airbnb. While the price tag is up to $4,999 per night, the property can easily fit 15 people (with no added charge for extra guests!). Your rental includes the main cottage and four guest cottages so there's plenty of room.
This is cottaging done right. Wood beams, stone fireplaces and comfy sofas make for a cozy summer retreat.
This is definitely a departure from the marble-laden white kitchens we often see. Between all the wood, stone and industrial accents, it has more of a cottage-meets-barn aesthetic - from the oversized stone-faced hood surround to the barnboard panelled kitchen island that complements the doors in the previous living room. Wendel has given free reign to anything in the refrigerator or cupboards, but warns guests, "Just don't touch the Captain Crunch."
The dining area, open to the kitchen, beckons for guests to gather at the large harvest table for mealtime. Just one rule: "Jerseys on at the table - house rule."
While the furnishings could use a serious update, the space is ideal for relaxing once the sun sets and the fire is lit. Wendel enjoys this space to "dine al fresco without the pesky mosquitos". Here's hoping it has a view of the waterfront!
For the times that cannot be spent basking in the sun, the games room can come in handy for a game or two of pool. And in case you forget you're in Canada, the artwork speaks for itself.
Were you worried all the wood was used up throughout the living spaces? Have no fear, this bedroom is fully clad in it, from the floors to the walls to the bed frame! (It's actually strikingly similar to this cozy rustic cottage).
One of the eight bathrooms on the property, Wendel says, "It's nicer than most penalty boxes - trust me, I know!" It's certainly larger than a penalty box!
We imagine this is one of Wendel's daughters' bedrooms from when they were younger, and possibly one of the only spaces that has had a makeover in some time. The painted panelled walls, distressed side tables, updated light fixture and porthole window add instant country charm to the room.
"Great spot for a pre- or post-game nap!" - Wendel Clark They may not be cottage bedrooms, but these master suites definitely promise sweet dreams!
We're hoping the Wendel Clark Signature Merlot 2006 comes with the rental! Just in case: How to remove red wine stains.
Peruvian Mirror, West Elm.
Brighten up your blank walls with these eye-catching accessories.
Faced with the prospect of filling blank walls, most of us think of traditional framed artwork. And there’s no doubt that framed art is a beautiful way to decorate your walls. But there are many appealing alternatives, too! From shelves and mirrors to clocks and sconces, there are plenty of ways to bring your walls to life. Here are 10 of our top suggestions!
Don’t just hang art on your walls. Turn your home into your own personal art gallery by printing, framing and hanging your own photography. Artifact Uprising can help you take those beautiful vacation photos off your digital devices and turn them into art gallery-worthy pieces by printing them on premium archival paper and offering a variety of frames and mats to best suit your photo and your home’s decor. Gallery Frames, Artifact Uprising, $99.
Framed art isn’t the only thing to hang on your walls! There are so many ways to dress your walls stylishly and these gorgeous monogrammed hooks are a perfect example. Add colour and interest to a foyer, hallway or even a bedroom with these beautifully crafted hooks, which will add both form and function to your walls. Whimsy Monogram Hooks, Anthropologie, $16.
Mirrors are a great option for decorating a wall but a cluster of mirrors is a statement. We love the ornate decorative flourishes of these mirrors, hand-carved by Peruvian artisans. Made with timber from the Amazon and finished with non-toxic paint, these pretty mirrors will add style to any wall in your home. Peruvian Mirrors, West Elm, $199.
Put that blank space on your wall to work by installing these gorgeous marble shelves. Made from a Carrara lookalike white and grey marble with brass-finished metal brackets, these shelves not only look great in their own right but they’ll provide the perfect spot for you to display artwork, books and other objets that need a home. Marble Wall-Mounted Shelves, CB2, $59.95.
Feature walls are a great way to add visual interest to a room and really make a statement. You can create a feature wall by painting it a different colour from the others, wallpapering it or simply hanging a tapestry, if you prefer something less permanent. This bold cotton tapestry will summon thoughts of tropical vacations as you drift into slumber. Assembly Home Banana Leaf Tapestry, Urban Outfitters, $72.
This generously sized piece will add a sense of drama to the room in which it’s hung. Made from pounded iron, this piece features an intricately etched design and an antiqued brass finish. It’ll be a conversation starter, that’s for sure! Decorative Metal Disc, Pottery Barn, $249
These keys, locked behind the glass of a shadow box, can spark imagination as to their origin. Each key is a reproduction of a vintage original that was found as part of a private collection. Each one is unique and displayed behind glass, and becomes an interesting and intriguing piece of artwork. Key Shadow Boxes, Restoration Hardware, $99.
A clock almost seems quaint and retro these days since many of us rely on our phones to tell the time. But clocks still have a place in our homes, especially when they’re beautifully designed timepieces like this one. Hanging from a leather strap and mimicking the style of a captain’s mirror, this walnut wood veneered wall clock makes a great decorative touch to your home. Umbra Canteen Clock, Indigo, $120.
Perfect for corners in your home that could use a bit of illumination, this wall sconce is just the solution, adding light as well as a beautiful decorative element. Made with a metal frame with a polished nickel finish and fabric shade, its minimal, slim profile is ideal if you’re short on space. Monroe One Light Sconce, Horchow, $145.
This photograph beautifully captures an ordinary moment in front of the most photographed sites in the world: The Louvre. If you, like so many, have a love affair with Paris, this gorgeous rendering is one you’ll love to have hanging on your wall. You’ll smile and think of the City of Light each and every time you pass by it. Men in Red Limited Edition Print, Minted, starting at $20.
Two styles combine to create this gorgeous farmhouse retreat.
Designer Viki Mansell blends contemporary and rustic styles with tons of texture and original artwork to create a fabulous farmhouse retreat.
Viki Mansell has an indisputable take on artwork in the home: “You can have beautiful design, but if you have a ghastly piece of art, that’s all anyone will look at.” It’s a conviction reflected in her two Toronto home furnishing stores, Absolutely and Absolutely North, which, in addition to offering furniture and decorative accessories, feature a range of artwork, from photographs and paintings to lithographs and drawings. “Most people are confident when picking out paint colours and furniture,” says Viki, “but few train their eyes for buying art – especially when it’s for a farmhouse.” The farmhouse referred to here belongs to one of Viki’s clients, an avid art collector, who enlisted the designer to transform a turn-of-the-century rural property into a picture-perfect retreat.
Situated north of Toronto, the 3,600-square-foot brick house was definitely in need of some serious loving care, but fortunately, its original floor plan required little finessing. So while the space was gutted to remedy old electrical, insufficient insulation and dated finishes, the staircase remained in its original position, and wherever possible, other features – such as the hardwood flooring upstairs, all the interior doors and the tongue-and-groove ceilings in the kitchen and dining room – were kept intact. Viki replaced the downstairs flooring, which couldn’t be saved, with butternut planks sourced and prepared by an arborist. The only structural changes were the addition of a fireplace flanked by French doors in the living room and the repositioning of an upstairs wall. “We siphoned off square footage from one of the three bedrooms to increase the size of the second-floor bathroom,” says Viki.
Once renovated, the house was ready to receive its artistic flourishes. “My vision was to maintain the farmhouse’s structural integrity while infusing it with a modern rustic overlay,” says Viki. This vision was inspired by the home’s setting. “The palette was drawn from the surrounding countryside, so we highlighted the neutral walls with furnishings in caramel, burnt orange and maple red.”
Viki’s choice of furniture amplifies the contemporary mood. “Comfort was a priority, but the furniture is tailored – there’s no overstuffing or rolled arms, just the simplicity of the lines,” she says. It’s a simplicity that extends to the windows on the main level, which were purposely left unadorned. “The homeowner didn’t want window coverings to distract from the beautiful views outside and the artwork on the walls.” It’s apparent that art is an essential design element, as it’s displayed everywhere from the dining and living rooms to less expected spots like above the bathtub and in the mud room. “While the artwork would look great anywhere, it truly complements this space,” says Viki. “It belongs here.” There’s no debating that.
“In the living room, I wanted to create a convivial sitting area focused on the fireplace,” says designer Viki Mansell.
The bucolic surroundings inspired Viki’s approach to the farmhouse’s palette and design.
Custom made from butternut, the living room sideboard features a black powder-coated steel base that ties in with the TV and the interior door, which Viki had painted black.
A 19th-century carpenter’s bench is used as a console and styled with modern pieces like a Tizio task lamp and Rothko poster in the mud room.
The kitchen, featuring rift-cut oak veneer-fronted cabinets, limestone countertops and a hand-applied plaster backsplash, has a simple charm belying its luxury.
In the dining room, a wooden trestle table combined with Italian leather chairs and a graphic light fixture capture the contemporary farmhouse aesthetic.
The living room’s slate-fronted fireplace encapsulates Viki’s take on turn of the century meets contemporary. “The mantel has a pared-back design, yet it’s crafted from 19th-century pilasters,” she says. The lithograph above the fireplace is by Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies.
A bathtub surround and vanity made of 150-year-old pine warm up the all-white second-floor bathroom.
The antique rug was the jumping-off point for the master bedroom. “I wanted the room to be cozy, so I chose a warm red fabric for the headboard and bedskirt,” says Viki.
A mix of textures lends interest to the upstairs hallway; the art by Ian Gray adds colour.