Image: Donna Griffith / Styling: Christine Hanlon
A chic bedroom makeover brings sweet serenity to a young couple.
The master bedroom in Anthony and Angela Maio’s Newmarket, Ont., home had always conveyed more of a “bachelor pad” sensibility than a “married couple” one. “Even the bedroom in our last home looked more masculine than feminine, with its big dark furniture and lack of accessories,” says Anthony. “So I decided to do something about it.” In hopes of surprising his wife with the bedroom transformation of her dreams, Anthony entered the Style at Home Makeover Contest presented by IKEA Canada by submitting images of their existing uninspired space through Instagram. “And when I finally told her we won, she was ecstatic – she didn’t even believe it at first,” he says.
Angela knew exactly what she wanted: a light colour scheme and contemporary furnishings for a subtly Scandinavian look. With the conventional wisdom of modern neutral decor in mind, she sought a look for the 11-by-13-foot space that would be easy to update with her own quirky accessories.
Her request was right in line with the vision of Style at Home contributing design editor Christine Hanlon, who’s known for her pretty, layered Scandi-chic style. “I wanted to give the couple a fresh, bright and airy space,” says Christine.
The designer started by removing the sea-foam green carpet to expose the parquet floor underneath and then installed moulding to lend character. The walls – previously a pale green – were painted a more versatile light grey, while small hits of soft blue-greys (delivered via low-commitment accents like artwork and toss cushions) enhance the serene vibe, and black elements add contrast to ground the airy look.
Since functionality and storage were high priorities, Christine incorporated a bed with drawers and side tables that have shelves. She also used a long low dresser, which left space for open shelves to be installed above it. A vanity table, placed between the bathroom and closet doors, offers a spot for getting ready for the day.
A serene colour scheme of white, pale grey, soft blue and black lends a calming feel to the bedroom, while an over-sized print adds a whimsical note to inspire visions of vacations abroad.
“The couple wanted lots of storage and a king-size bed,” says Style at Home contributing design editor Christine Hanlon. “So this big bed frame, with its built-in drawers for stowing away out-of-season clothing, was a happy discovery.”
Coat racks aren’t just for entryways! In the bedroom, they can be used to hang robes, bath towels and even a favourite cozy shirt to change into after work.
In their dreamy new bedroom, homeowners Anthony and Angela Maio snag a snuggle from their boys, Aiden (standing) and Axel.
“Angela creates little photo books from her Instagram images of the family,” says Anthony of the collection on display here (and stacked under the clock). “We have one for every month.”
Adding texture through a mix of toss cushions in different materials, such as wool, linen and faux fur, creates a comfy, inviting look. “Because the king-size bed takes up so much space, adding more pillows and ruffing up the linens make it a relaxed and welcoming focal point,” says Christine. “It doesn’t have to be all stiff and rigid. Imperfection has appeal – especially in a Scandi-inspired space.”
A dressing table with a mirror hung above it allows for an easier morning routine. “It’s a place to do makeup, or even hair if the bathroom’s in use,” says Christine. “And it can double as a little workspace to check emails or write a thank-you card.”
Lining the drawers with polka-dot gift wrap is an effortless way to add a graphic hit. “I just trimmed it to perfectly fit the bottom and simply laid it down,” says Christine.
Floating shelves offer spots to display artwork, accessories, books and collectibles, such as Angela’s vintage camera.
The storage-savvy dresser, with its wide drawers, doubles as display space for a vignette of favourite pieces. The bonus? There’s still room for open shelving above. The black woven laundry basket provides texture and complements the colour scheme.
Sharing the house with their sons, Aiden, 5, and Axel, 2, as well as three Jack Russell Terriers (Pickles, Taters and Olives), the couple is happy with the dreamy results. “It’s a little bit surreal,” says Anthony. “When I’m in there, it’s like I’m in a different place, like I’m at someone’s cottage or at a resort.” It’s what a master bedroom should be – a true escape.