Modern furniture and a host of fresh colours inject a Victorian-era farmhouse with an updated, youthful glow.
The young couple (both physicians) who own this red brick late-1800s farmhouse in Cobourg, Ont., knew exactly what was ailing it. Their assorted furniture, collected over the years, felt flat in their house, which has beautiful architectural detailing and character. They needed a style surgeon, stat! Enter Tiffany Piotrowski, principal designer of Tiffany Leigh Design, who describes the overhaul as “a good old-fashioned decorating project.”
“We chose a minty green (kitty approved) velvet sofa because the colour felt playful and fun, yet sophisticated with its turned legs,” says designer Tiffany Piotrowski (shown). “Soft tans and corals and a busier rug bring everything together. We wanted it peaceful and serene with a bit of quirk.” Hello, pouf duo! A set of botanical prints, meanwhile, in a grid pattern anchor the sofa and draw the eye upward to the high ceilings.
DESIGN, Tiffany Piotrowski, Tiffany Leigh Design. SOFA, Penney & Company. ART, Studio McGee. SIDE TABLE, OTTOMANS, CB2. LAMP, ARMCHAIR, RUG, LD Shoppe. PILLOWS, Jolie Marche.
“We wanted to honour the home’s character but make it livable and exciting for a young family.”
Going Old School
The TV-free front room is devoted to the pleasures of analogue life: listening to records, enjoying cocktails with friends, and relaxing on weekends as a couple. Tiffany brought in two cabinets (one not shown) to flank the fireplace; they house the couple’s extensive record collection. A new brass sconce anchors the cabinet seen here, shining a light on a composition of pretty things. “We love dried flowers because they are maintenance-free,” says Tiffany.
Room with a View
Hallways don’t always get the love they deserve. “We wanted to treat this one thoughtfully and intentionally, since it is rather grand,” says Tiffany. The black Windsor-style bench, updated classic runner, and stool with a vase crowned in dried florals are a winning vignette. Seen through the magnificent archway with its ornate moulding, it’s especially picture-worthy. “The little hanging wicker basket is for keys or mail. It adds a bit of warmth and is a touch unexpected in the space,” notes the designer.
With its black-green tones, the fireplace and painted wall already had a sharp presence. As a gorgeous quirky feature – it’s not often you find a fireplace at the end of a hallway – the striking spot only needed some professional styling. “We went with the more modern artwork to provide a bit of tension against the home’s original traditional details,” says Tiffany, referring to the intriguing black and white line drawing. A vintage chair and pottery bring homey warmth
and character to the scene.
BENCH, SCONCE, LD Shoppe. Wicker BASKET, H&M Home. RUNNER, Rug & Weave. ARTWORK, Vintage Supply; Heirloom Print Shop.
“We created a lovely and serene retreat in the bedroom, with earthy clay tones and sumptuous bedding.”
With its clay tones and lulling feel, the couple’s bedroom wasn’t always such a cozy retreat. Furniture layout was a challenge, with pipes for a radiator inconveniently running along the wall behind the bed at baseboard height, culminating in a full-size radiator to the right of the bed. In fact, because of this, the homeowners initially slept in a different room, even though this one has the best windows. Tiffany’s creative solution was to mount an upholstered headboard on the wall above the pipes and add small-scale nightstands that fit the space. Now it’s a perfect (and toasty warm!) retreat.
Layered & Luxe
Don’t be shy with bedding, says Tiffany, who advises using two or even three duvets if you have to! To create some height, the dive-into-me bed that she styled for the couple features layers of luxe linens and piles of pillows. “We like layers to make a bed feel finished,” says the designer. “You’re probably not going to make your bed like this every day, but every once in a while, if you’re having company or you want to treat yourself, it’s nice to go all out.”
By the Bay
Full-height drapery and twin barrel chairs with charming cane detailing are elegant tucked into a corner of the room. “We really wanted to take advantage of the bay window to create a spot for morning coffee or reading a book,” says Tiffany. A woven bench at the foot of the bed is also a smart finishing detail.
Custom BED, Tiffany Leigh Design. NIGHTSTANDs, West Elm. CHAIRS, Crate and Barrel. RUG, BENCH, ARTWORK, LD Shoppe. DUVET COVER, Maison Tess. Blue Bhujodi THROW, Collectiv Co. THROW pillows, Rug and Weave. sconces, Rejuvenation.
FOR SOURCES, SEE OUR WORKBOOK