Photography: Stephani Buchman
Designer Meghan Carter elevated a new-build with custom storage solutions and a mashup of cheerful colours that matches this family’s high-octane personality.
While Samara and Jacob Enchin loved the Bedford Park location of their new Toronto home (it’s close to great schools for the couple’s three young daughters), the interior, well, not so much. “In fact, Samara absolutely hated the builder-finished interior,” says Meghan. “It was very stark with white walls and dark wood accents, which Samara, who is a graphic designer, found depressing.” To dial up some happiness and channel the Enchin’s cheerful energy, Meghan injected pops of colours, from subtle to saturated, that enliven the young family’s home.
The Hero Moment
Photography: Stephani Buchman | TABLE, custom-designed by Meghan Carter Design, Mary Ratcliffe Studio. CHAIRS, Wayfair. SIDEBOARD, Casalife. CHANDELIER, Rich Brilliant Willing. BOWL, CANDLESTICKS, Elte.
With the exception of the art, which is by Jacob’s grandmother, the dining room highlights the effectiveness of restraint when using colour. “I really wanted the custom-made table and the sculptural light to be the heroes,” says Meghan. “Using colour in other elements would have distracted from them. I also left the owners with the opportunity to easily add in a bit more colour with a rug if they choose to down the road.”
Photography: Stephani Buchman | DESIGN, Meghan Carter Design. Main-floor WALL PAINT, Evening Shadow 7662, Sherwin-Williams. Custom cube SIDE TABLES, CUSHIONS, Meghan Carter Design. CHAIRS, round SIDE TABLE, FLOOR LAMP, West Elm. COFFEE TABLE, white VASE, CB2. Custom RUG, Allan Rug. OTTOMAN, CONSOLE, Casalife. Black and white ART, Elte.
“I wanted the living room to have a sense of sophistication and subtle playfulness,” says designer Meghan Carter. She layered in a tonal palette, starting with the pink chairs she chose to complement the owners’ artwork. Pale mauve side tables and a purple cushion and ottoman further the effect. Spoiler alert: the purple is an intimation of the kitchen’s delicious grape hues.
Photography: Stephani Buchman | WALL PAINT, Indigo Batik 7602, Sherwin-Williams. Custom SHELF, Meghan Carter Design. PENDANT, Design Within Reach. MIRROR, West Elm. FLOOR TILES, Ciot.
The front hall had a large closet that let Meghan keep the area uncluttered and spacious. The lavender floating shelf gives just the right amount of added storage, and is a soft colour that complements the new graphically strong hexagonal-tile floor. “I wanted to mix in a paler purple for colour continuity, and also to help direct the gaze to all of the different elements in the hallway,” she says. “If everything were bold and bright here, it would be hard to process.”
Big Bold Banquette
Photography: Stephani Buchman | Custom BANQUETTE, Meghan Carter Design. Nuvolette Cole & Sons WALLPAPER, banquette FABRIC, Kravet. CHAIRS, Wayfair.
Meghan countered the kitchen’s original white scheme with this showstopper tableau. “The bright grape of the banquette’s faux-leather is a colourful hit that draws the gaze to this corner of the room, away from the white cabinetry,” says Meghan, who tempered the purple oomph with monochromatic wallpaper. “The owners wanted something they could live with for the long haul. As much as they love colour, going with more neutral wallpaper felt comfortable here. It’s actually quite a soothing pattern to look at when you’re working at the island. I have it on my bedroom ceiling!” Bonus: drawers under the bench offer added storage.
Photography: Stephani Buchman | PENDANT, Union Lighting & Furnishing. PULLS, Upper Canada Hardware.
Meghan kept the original glossy white kitchen but replaced the hardware with a mix of silver and black pulls as punctuation. She chose a large-scale pendant to fill the negative space above the island and, again, relied on a careful amount of colour for continuity. “The art is from the owners’ collection,” she says. “We selected this mix and hung it as a gallery wall between the kitchen and dining room – you are drawn to get up close and see the smaller pieces, which effectively carry the colour story through this transition area.”
Making a Mudroom
Photography: Stephani Buchman | CABINETRY PAINT, Grape Green 2027-40, Benjamin Moore.
Meghan maximized storage in the new mudroom near the garage and back door. “We’ve got pull-outs for shoes and boots, hooks for the girls to hang their coats and bags, and a cozy bench for sitting and putting on shoes,” says Meghan. A nearby closet has shelving for sports equipment, hats, gloves and other small items, plus hanging space for coats. The best part? The added functionality is supremely stylish. “The Enchins were open to colour, but the mudroom was the one space where they really said, Let’s go for it! And the chartreuse green really goes for it! It’s cheerful and definitely creates a wow moment when you come down the stairs.”
It's Got Personality!
Photography: Stephani Buchman | HOOKS, Crate & Kids. PULLS, Ginger’s. Kirkby Design BENCH FABRIC, Kravet. RUNNER, CB2.
To further amp up the space, Meghan added colourful hooks and geometric pattern fabric on the built-in’s cushion. “I really like to mix colours up in design and not stick with the same one everywhere,” says Meghan. “I chose black pulls for continuity with the kitchen.”