Interior: Family-friendly home

Interior: Family-friendly home

Interior: Family-friendly home Author: Style At Home


Interior: Family-friendly home

I'm not afraid to admit that when my family of five found our house in east-end Toronto, it was a bit of a dump -- the price tag reflected that. In the same family for more than 40 years, the house hadn't been neglected as much as style-sabotaged: think '50s mobster meets '70s tackiness. There were many different floorings, lots of wood panelling, wrought-iron banisters, and cheap fixtures and finishes.

The good news is that we had the energy to tackle the house. My husband Justin and I took the main floor down to the studs to create an open-concept living/dining room and introduced a brand-new kitchen, fireplace, flooring, windows and handrails.

Always on the lookout for a great sale, we were regulars at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and on Craigslist. We also knew a lick of paint could bring most things back to life for little money. We splurged, too (well, I splurged -- Justin just looked the other way). You can't beat beautiful marble countertops and tile, stylish bathroom fixtures and gutsy windows and doors.

norris-family.jpg Family room I can't be too fussy about our house. If my kids want to jump on the sofa, I say go ahead. A house should be lived in, especially by children.


norris-dining.jpg Dining room Putting on a 400 sq. ft. addition really made our room work for us. We upped the style quota of this space with 12' ceilings, heated concrete floors and oversize industrial windows and doors. Our house has a spaciousness and design worthiness it didn't have before. Our new space includes a hangout area, as well this airy dining room brightened with colourful accessories and art.

Save Wooden tabletop, $10; industrial table base, $150; IKEA Parsons dining chair, $50 from 'as is' section


norris-kitchen.jpg Kitchen We love to cook! To personalize our simple yet functional white IKEA kitchen, we topped the counters with Carrara marble, installed a double farmhouse sink and added a glass mosaic backsplash in shades of green for a pop of colour.

Save Roman blind leftover fabric, $0; IKEA kitchen cabinets $8000; bargain basement vintage stools, $5 each

Splurge Le Creuset cookware, from $300


norris-living-room.jpg Living room Since our living room is close to our entryway, I wanted to keep things simple. I went with white slipcovers for our garage-sale sofa, topped with brown seat cushions, since they soil so quickly. Two outdoor glass tables make our coffee table, and I found the cool teak chairs on Craigslist for about $50 and reupholstered them in a blue-and-taupe cotton floral.

Save Teak floor lamp, $3; sofa, $25


norris-living-stairs.jpg Hallway We replaced the original wrought-iron banister with wooden balusters from our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for about $50 total. We also carved out cubbies under the stairs to store boots, coats and bags. We faced them with simple doors that open on touch locks. Pieces by my kids, who are so happy to point out their work to family and friends, hang on the wall.


norris-girls-room.jpg Girls' room I wanted our daughters' room to be a happy place. I sourced the oversize floral wallpaper online. Their beds are cosy and the black frames look chic. With neutral-colour wallpaper and beds, hits of pink and purple aren't overwhelming.

Save Silk cushions, $12 each; iron beds, $169 each

Splurge Marimekko wallpaper, $200 per roll


norris-living-bedroom.jpgBedroom The wallpapered headboard Justin and I made from leftover moulding provided a way for me to use a roll of Brunschwig & Fils wallpaper picked up for $10 at a sample sale. It creates a bold focal point in an otherwise simple room. I found the side tables at Frontier Sales, one of my favourite used-furniture stores in the neighbourhood. I love layering rugs to add interest, plus they feel great underfoot, especially in a bedroom.

Save Wallpapered headboard (including trim), $40; white IKEA bedding, $50 per set; vintage side tables, $30 each

norris-living-dressing-room.jpg Dressing area This Louis-style restoration chair was falling apart when I saw it in an antique store window. I had it rebuilt, spray-painted, covered in leather and studded. The art wall is the usual mix of vintage pieces and original artwork.

Splurge Louis-style chair restoration, $400



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Interior: Family-friendly home