Interior: Casual and kid-friendly family home
At only 12 years old, the three-bedroom home was still in good shape. However, Michelle’s design-savvy eye could see that it would be better after a few cosmetic tweaks. Natural oak hardwood throughout the main floor was darkened with a handsome deep brown stain and existing built-ins in the living room were simplified by removing some overwrought trim. Then when the kids were a few years older (Emiko and Theodore are now 4, and Oliver is 6), they decided to do a more extensive – but kid-friendly – overhaul.
Still, Michelle suffered from design indecision. “We had paper blinds in the living room for two years,” she recalls. “I knew what I liked but had a hard time committing.” Having admired decorator Tim Lam’s bold style for some time, Michelle got in touch with him through his design blog, Designmaze and the two instantly became friends. “We met and bonded over tea and fabric samples,” says Michelle. So when she needed some help pulling together the main floor, she asked Tim – of course!
Homeowners Michelle and Chad gave the dining table’s top a weathered finish so that family meals and kids’ crafts wouldn’t show damage. Faux ostrich vinyl on the banquette is similarly indestructible and offers seating for a lot of children. DIY art – inspired by a real Meredith Bingham piece – isn’t too precious to hang in the dining area.
The home’s theme of neutrals jazzed up with punches of yellow is explored here in this tabletop vignette.
The kitchen received a fresh start with painted-out cabinetry, extra-long subway tile on the backsplash, new Caesarstone kitchen countertops and a sleek faucet.
The dining room side of the kitchen peninsula was painted grey to add contrast and disguise dings and spills from three kids eating meals there. Tight-fitting slipcovers on the bar stools are a practical choice as well.
Rustic touches extend to the dishware and accessories on the dining table.
A touch of yellow
Warm grey walls, a dark sisal rug and soft cream upholstery form a quiet backdrop for grey and yellow damask drapes and hits of yellow in accessories like the custom toss cushions.
A mix of toss cushions brings colour and pattern to the living room. Built-in shelving beside the fireplace was simplified and a shelf was removed to make room for baskets that store magazines, toys and remote controls.
Michelle enlisted designer Jennifer Wellman to help her coordinate fabrics for her daughter's bedroom – Jennifer even made the suggestion to place the twin bed lengthwise along the wall to create more floor space for playing.
Sofa for three
Michelle and Emiko sit on the sofa in Emiko’s bedroom, which offers a spot for all three kids to curl up and read before bed. A custom drum stool upholstered in fun fabrics makes a great place to stash toys.
Bunk beds in a matte black finish were separated into twin beds in the boys’ bedroom. The predominantly blue scheme is enlivened with hits of bright red thanks to Michelle’s fabric choices and designer Jennifer Wellman’s advice.