By Yanic Simard
As technology advances, one of the most dramatic changes we can see to the modern kitchen is the incredible number of options available for custom and unique range hoods. I love the clean look of pieces such as the Thermador Masterpiece series — when the hood is this beautiful and simple, there’s no need to hide it. Home kitchens are getting more and more like a real chef’s headquarters every day, with restaurant staples such as warming drawers and wine refrigerators popping up everywhere. Microwaves are moving to under the counter, often using a drawer instead of a door to make lifting hot items in and out more convenient. Many companies even make built-in automated coffee machines to get as much clutter off your surfaces as possible—no barista required! Aquabrass makes a great user-friendly version of a pot-filler faucet, called the Zest, which gives you the pull-out multi-functionality of an industrial fixture with a stylish and elegant look appropriate for an inviting kitchen.
While we’ve recently seen total integration of cupboards and appliances into one perfectly clean line, a new trend emerging is the return to a more furniture-based look, rather than minimal built-ins. By this I mean you can find little details creeping in that let kitchen cabinets—and especially islands —feel more like stand-alone pieces than part of a continuous set. For example, while most kitchens have the lower cabinets raised off the floor enough to create a toe space, now designers are adding traditional feet to the corners of each section, echoing the look of an elegant vanity. At the same time, ending the countertops flush with the face of the cupboard allows those two elements to merge into a furniture unit, rather than looking like the cabinets and counter are unrelated. At my design studio, we’ve been loving the use of mixed materials for the countertops, pairing quartz and marble to let distinct areas have their own identity. I love working with marble trend and caesarstone—mixing calacatta oro with grey quartz produces a beautiful look, and of course, there is also an infinite array of other possible combinations.
An ongoing trend in both open and closed plan homes, playing against the more furniture-like counters, is a unification of flooring types throughout the space. Running continuous wood flooring from your dining room throughout allows the kitchen to feel less like a separate work space, and more like part of the larger environment. It also avoids unsightly joints between wood and tile, which are often less than ideal. Hardwood or engineered wood may not be quite as durable as tile when facing dropped pots and pans, but the right selection mixed with a little care can yield a more elegant and comfortable floor for the chef of the house to stand on. In the first photo, you’ll see Brushed Oak Luxe Ravensdale from Kentwood — I loved it for this home and it can fit into virtually any style of kitchen, from traditional to minimal. If you do prefer an even softer look, many people are finding an elegant runner rug (much longer than it is wide), following the line of the cabinetry, can add a pleasant visual break to the floor, and be cleaned or replaced in the event of a catastrophic spaghetti spill. This classic Scandinavian style can warm up your space visually, and you can switch out your rug later to get a punch of new colour.
Borrowing from art galleries and museums, some recent lighting trends have focused on making the light sources disappear, so the sparkling surfaces can have all the attention. Traditional style pot lights for the ceiling are nothing new for kitchens—they are very practical sources of direct light for cooking and suit the tasks well, however, new shadow box style pot lights seem to be becoming more popular with their modern style. Lately, many such lights can be found recessed into tiny alcoves in the ceiling, which allows a slightly more extended fixture to angle the light to hit more specific targets. This creates a sophisticated look, and lets you avoid unsightly track lighting. Creating much larger recessed areas over the kitchen island is another popular trend, as this helps define the area as a special gathering place—which is fitting, as despite our plans this is so often where the real party happens! Of course, since the kitchen is such a celebrated space, it also deserves some statement lighting of its own, and many homeowners are electing for grander pieces rather than modest pendants. While your hidden lamps are doing a lot of the work, a brilliant chandelier over your island again helps to define this as a central space, and keeps the room from feeling too strictly functional.
My absolute favourite colour of the year, which you can find popping up in designs of every taste and budget, is not just a colour but a precious stone: emerald. As a wall colour in paint or paper, rich jewel greens add a layer of depth and drama to a space, but also allow other lighter colours to breathe —it can be the focus, or a near-neutral backdrop, depending on the shade. Beautiful glass bowls, vases and sculptures can be easily mixed into an existing kitchen space, and since leafy tones are around us all the time in nature, we are instinctively tuned to like greens with almost any colour scheme. Drop by Avenue Road to see their selection of great home accessories (as well as furniture) —I find exciting new things every time I go.
Another trend I’m loving is not just any colour, but actually chrome! Now I know you have probably heard of chrome for appliances, even backsplashes —this is a timeless look. However, lately designers have been applying touches of silvery glamour to the kitchen cabinetry, like the one shown here from adding to the gallery display case aesthetic. Stainless steel complements the cool emerald shades wonderfully, and frames the view through your cabinet windows like an elegant piece of art. (By the way, if you don’t have any windowed cabinets, now is the time. Your beautiful dishes and glassware have been hidden away for too long!) Look to SieMatic, and especially their BeauxArts.02 collection, to put a little metal in your mix.
Kitchen backsplashes tend to fall into one of two categories: timeless, neutral looks, or very personal style statements. Having your backsplash retiled isn’t something you do every day, so you need to absolutely love it. A style I’ve found recently is the beautiful diamond “pillow” tile from Deco-Tile. It creates a quilted effect, mixing the soft curves of an elegant sofa with the durability of tile. At the opposite end, companies like SieMatic are creating backsplash “systems” that transform the space into either multi-functional shelves, cupboards, or racks, so you get the most usability out of your space while maintaining a beautiful,
is the principal designer of the Toronto Interior Design Group. Specializing in residential and commercial projects, Simard often applies his signature high/low and old/new combination design techniques in developing unique designs. Simard has created designs for clients in Toronto, Montreal and Miami, and has appeared as a regular guest expert on Citytv’s CityLine. For more information visit tidg.ca.
January 28, 2013
By Lisa Canning
When a new client starts working with us, one of the first conversations we have is about their budget. It’s important that we know what the total allocated funds are for a project so priorities can be made and funds distributed accordingly. For projects large or small, there will always be a bottom line. With experience, I’ve learned a few ways to maximize budgets of all sizes, to deliver a finished room that helps my clients enhance their quality of life.
The first way I help my clients maximize their budget is through defining their priorities. In one of our first conversations, I ask clients to name five things they want to see changed in their space, and to list them in sequential order. We do this at the very beginning to ensure we are making the best decisions with the funds available. Listing priorities forces clients to narrow their focus and ensure those five things are top quality. Even in the largest of budgets, unexpected situations can occur. Focusing on a limited list of “must-haves” for a project helps to ensure quality pieces can be acquired to serve the individual needs of the users.
The second way I ensure my clients’ dollar is spent wisely is with working with experienced trades. Experienced trades will often point out ways to save my clients’ money. For example, when I design custom cabinetry or wall units, my millworker will advise small alterations that won’t impact the overall aesthetic, but will save the client money because it uses slightly less material and produces less waste. In addition, experience has shown me that seasoned trades make fewer mistakes. It doesn’t mean they don’t make any mistakes — but experience is a great teacher.
Another way I am able to ensure funds are spent in the best possible way for my clients is in careful utilization of colour and pattern. For example, installing patterned wallpaper on a feature wall, while it may not seem like a cost-saving solution, will reduce the need for art or other pattern in the room. On a similar note, I wrap many of the small spaces I design in deep, saturated hues. I find that a bold colour choice makes such a strong statement that other elements used in the room can be more demure. Moreover, a technique I have used in spaces with more limited budgets is to emulate the look of wallpaper with paint. Stripes or stencils and a bit of sweat equity can yield stunning results.
The final way I help clients get the most out of every purchase is through being resourceful and thinking outside the box in regard to materials. I’m currently working on a project where the budget would not allow for wallpaper, as window coverings were higher on the list of priorities. Working with a window covering specialist from Budget Blinds, we selected a patterned roller shade that provides the function needed for the large windows, and when pulled down, injects the pattern that is achieved with wallpaper. With the large expanse of windows I am dealing with in this situation, I get form and function in one purchase.
Lisa Canning is a designer and owner of Lisa Canning Interiors. lisacanning.ca, 416.587.9780
January 23, 2013
By Salina Yara Halabi
Photography by Brandon Barré Photography
If you’ve ever watched HGTV, chances are you’ve seen Sarah Richardson working her design magic. With four hit shows, Sarah’s House, Design Inc., Sarah 101 and Room Service, Sarah Richardson has become one of the most celebrated TV designer personalities. For over 10 years Sarah has been sharing her design expertise and captivating audiences with her ability to transform average spaces into functional and unique environments that are visually stunning. We caught up with Sarah between her busy schedule to have her share some advice on completing a successful and stylish renovation.
With fall just around the corner, what trends are you most excited about?
A Fall in Canada always offers a terrific chance to get cosy and turn inwards. I love to pull out nubbly textures and rich fabrics that instantly add a sense of warmth and luxury to a home. Blankets, throws, velvet pillows and lots and lots of candles are a wonderful and easy way to counteract the drop in outside temperatures!
What are some budget-friendly ways to transition a space from one season to the next?
A Transitioning through the seasons isn’t so much about re-decorating as it is about rotating what you have. I preferred a crisp and streamlined, unadorned “less is more” look in the summer, but come fall, I love to dive into my cupboards and rediscover all the cosy bits and pieces that have been tucked away.
Your love of colour is evident with your Para paint collection. What steps do you take when deciding on a colour palette for a space?
A My first step, if it’s a total room project, is to start with a jumping-off point of inspiration. This could be a patterned rug or a piece of fabric with a variety of colours that epitomizes the look and feel I’m trying to achieve in the room. Next I pull together a broad collection of fabrics that have the same hues, and then it’s easy to build a scheme and select paint colour based on the inspiration. I love the combination of a variety of paint colours in a home and treat every wall as a new opportunity to transition to another shade.
In your hit show Sarah’s House you go through an entire home renovation. What has been the most important lesson you have learned from overtaking a project of that scale?
A The most important focus is always about total scope. It’s imperative to me to be able to accomplish a fully realized vision every time and that means top to bottom and inside to outside all have to receive the same level and quality of finish. I don’t want one room to be a showpiece while the next is barren and empty, so I juggle and prioritize every step of the way to ensure that I can make it to the finish line. Doing an entire house requires discipline with decision making and spending, and lots of organization to bring it in on time and on budget. No detail is ever too small, and you always need to have the end goal in your focus to keep on track. I can’t tell you it’s a cinch every time, but if you get to live in a home you love, it’s all worth it!
Kitchen renovations are as popular as they are expensive. What kitchen element do you believe should take the largest portion of the renovation budget, and what should use the least?
A I don’t think there’s a single element as everything needs to be in line and of similar quality. Expensive appliances and cheap cabinetry make no sense to me, nor does the opposite approach. If you are doing a mid-level reno, keep that in mind every step of the way and see how far you can stretch your dollar to get what you want. Good flow, layout and functionality are top concerns for me as the kitchen must work on a daily basis.
What room do you have the most fun designing in a home?
A Don’t make me choose! Each and every room in every home is a new, fresh challenge due to the combination of architecture, exposure, location, client and personality. I enjoy the process of creating a unique expression in every project I tackle and am always inclined to think my current project is the most fun. I live in the moment and am always looking ahead!
What area of the home do you feel has hidden functionality that is often overlooked?
A Every room can be more and work better if it has good storage and is designed to work for a variety of functions to accommodate the needs of an entire family. Instead of living only in your kitchen, I challenge you to think about how you can get more out of some of the less used spaces in your home by making them destinations that attract your family. If you aren’t using a room often enough, think about why, and then try to devise a new plan that really works for your lifestyle.
Where do you look for home décor inspiration?
A Everywhere! In nature, in magazines and books, in museums and art galleries, in my daily life with my kids, and always when I travel. Having the opportunity to escape from my everyday routines and see things from a new perspective, or notice elements that seem new and fresh to me keep my creative juices going.
What has been the most rewarding design project you have worked on in your career?
A Whether it’s for me personally or for a client, the best projects are the ones which create a positive experience for the people who inhabit them. I’m driven to keep on doing what I do by the positive feedback we get and knowing that our design approach and our investment of creativity has resulted in the homeowners living happily in their space. Knowing that we can make a difference in how clients feel about their home is very rewarding. I don’t want to create rooms that are simply beautiful, I want them to be inviting, engaging, comfortable, livable, and enduring!
What is your dream design or renovation project?
A I’d love to have carte blanche to design a small hotel in an exotic destination that would be unique and chic and elegant, and allow people to come and stay and experience my take on design first-hand, instead of just watching it on TV.
October 1, 2012
By Erica Gelman
Adding colour to your home is like watching a black and white movie remade into a colour film – it’s as though someone turned on the lights and gave it new life. It energizes the scene, it presents new details hidden by shadow and adds a sense of personality otherwise ignored through shade. Let’s turn on the colour in your space and give it a new life as well.
People tend to be nervous when it comes to decorating with colour. It’s safe and easy to choose a neutral but it’s fun and exciting to play with colour. When we hear a client tell us that they love colour and want to see it incorporated into their space, it’s like music to a designer’s ears. It means we can infuse the room with fresh hues, dramatic contrast and an exuberance of personality.
Most fear arises from doubt – what kind colours to use, how to use colour in appropriate doses, and what if you use too much colour? The tone-on-tone colour combination is the simplest to work with. It means taking a colour and developing a layered effect by using the same colour in different variations. However, if you are ready to play with your space and inject an exciting colour palette, then work with whatever colour speaks to you. If it’s complementary tones you are comfortable with then know that red is to green as blue is to orange and yellow to violet – they are called complementary colours because they are each other’s opposite on the colour wheel, and as we all know – opposites attract! Using complementary influences will allow your primary colour to pop and make a sticking statement.
One of the first questions we are asked by clients is how to use colour. Is buying a red sectional a good investment? It all depends on the space but when it comes to large-scale and investment pieces, we like to suggest keeping those neutral to ensure longevity. Nonetheless, you can always allow colour to become the star of the show by incorporating it into other focal features. Playing with large- and small-scale pattern through fabrics, wallpaper, art and even the rug can give you a powerful and impressive impact in your space. If you integrate colour through smaller objects it’s also a great way to ensure you won’t get sick of it, especially if you are the type of person to lose interest frequently.
Erase your fear and get started. There’s no reason why we can’t all introduce a little more colour into our homes and lives. Start off small if you are more conservative but if you’re channeling the rebel in you then break the neutral mold and create your own wow-factor!
- Remember that you don’t have to use the purest form of the colours; add white and black to either soften or harden the colours until you find something pleasing to your eye.
- Ask yourself what colours you hate before figuring out what you love – Most people know what they dislike immediately.
Toronto-based designer Erica Gelman, Principal of Erica Gelman House Of Design. Specializes in both large and small scale residential design projects throughout Toronto and the GTA. Known for enhancing and creating new possibilities in every space of your home.
House Of Design www.ericagelman.com
September 7, 2012
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home — and in my home it’s a colourful one. I am currently embarking on a full kitchen renovation where introducing colour will play a large role. While ensuring the kitchen is in keeping with the colour palette of the rest of my house, (greys and blues) I’m hoping to do a few unexpected things to keep the kitchen modern and playful. Similar to many of my residential clients, my husband and I differ on the amount of colour to be used as we both have a different threshold (mine large, his smaller). But luckily, there are many options available on the market today to satiate one’s taste for colour in the kitchen, both large and small.
For colour-embracing cooks, the Viking range available at the new Appliance Canada showroom is a beautiful tool. The range and hood can be coloured in a multitude of vibrant hues including: fire engine red, cobalt blue, and goldenrod yellow. Additionally, the knobs and handles can be customized in various metal finishes. Also consider colour on the interior of your major appliances. Electrolux’s appliance interiors come in a bright blue hue that not only looks great when opened, but assists in the performance of warming and cooking. Finally, to make washing your dishes an invigorating experience, Kohler has partnered with colour guru Jonathan Adler in a line of eye-catching cast iron kitchen sinks sure to create a stunning statement.
Cabinetry is another area where colour can make a large impact. While beige and brown are beautiful classic choices, navy blue, forest green and rust orange can retain a traditional aesthetic while introducing a new colour to your palette. In a more modern kitchen, the sky’s the limit — bright and bold cabinets can be a great fit for a more modern space.
While committing to colour on a grand scale is not for everyone, there are easy ways to introduce punches of colour in smaller doses. The Bodum Bistro Toaster comes in a variety of bright hues and can be coordinated with their equally vibrant kettles, blenders and juicers. The Kitchen Aid stand mixer is another countertop appliance that comes in a variety of hues to suit your taste. Coordinating these smaller appliances with your dishtowels, serving ware or flower vases is another way to add a small punch and retailers like Bouclair make it simple to purchase accessories by organizing their merchandise by colour.
I’m approaching choosing colours for my own kitchen renovation in a similar manner to the way I assist my clients. I’m asking the questions, “will this colour make me feel great to come home to? Will the overall look enhance my quality of life?” I look forward to using colour to put my own personal stamp on my new kitchen, and create a colourful space my family will enjoy for years to come.
Lisa Canning will be appearing at the upcoming Fall Home Show sponsored by Budget Blinds on Sept. 21 & 23 at 1 p.m. www.fallhomeshow.com
September 4, 2012
The colours you choose can dictate the feel of your home – and your mood
by Yanic Simard, photography by Brandon Barre
Colour is a multi-billion-dollar industry. It is also the most powerful aspect in the design world. It can change the way you’re feeling, stimulate thought, increase your appetite – it’s really quite phenomenal.
You’re drawn to colours that you like when you’re shopping for clothing because you know you’ll feel good when you’re wearing them, and the same thing goes for interiors. Statistics show that most people spend about 90 per cent of their time inside, a large portion of which is in their own home. If you live with colours that make you feel good, it will make for a better quality of life.
Deciding which direction to take in terms of colour is where many people tend to panic. My advice is to look through several magazines, tear out the pages that have elements you like, put them all in a folder and, once you have at least 20 different style images, analyze the colours that appear most often. This is a great way to get inspired and decide on colours for your own space.
I am very particular about colour selection and when I design a space, I like to keep the walls through any open areas in a consistent hue. My entire place is painted in Benjamin Moore’s OC-23, Classic Grey. It’s a very soothing colour that really adapts to the other colours around it – like a chameleon. It’s a nice hue to wake up to in the morning and to fall asleep to at night. The tone of it varies throughout the day with the amount of light; it’s brighter in the day and much richer in the evening.
When you’re choosing your paint colour, remember: it’s just paint. It’s not permanent and can be easily changed if you’re not happy with it.
People always forget that you can get sample cans from the paint store. Pick up a maximum of three different testers that you like, paint sections of each on different walls (or paint large sheets of white Bristol board and stick them up), and live with them for a few days. (If you give yourself more than three options, trust me, you’ll never decide). Then narrow it down to your favourite two, and then finally pick the one.
Get Used to It
Choosing a colour palette should never be an impulsive decision; you should take time deciding so you know you’ll be comfortable with it. Once you finally do paint the walls, you might still wonder if you selected the right colour. However, keep in mind that you have to give yourself the chance to live with it.
Big changes take time to adapt to. For instance, if you’re going from burgundy to off-white you can’t expect to get used to it within the first few hours.
Pillows, accessories and other accent pieces give you the chance to have fun with colour, since they’re ‘non-committal.’ I’ve used hints of blue and green throughout my interior. It’s nice to have your entire residence consistent in terms of colour because then you can move pieces from one room to the next and you’ll never have to worry about making sure it coordinates.
Just remember that choosing colours for your home won’t happen overnight. It’s a process that starts with getting inspired; the rest will fall into place. It should be fun, not painful. And if you find that you really can’t do it on your own, it’s probably time to hire a good designer to do it for you.
YANIC SIMARD Guide and principal designer of Toronto Interior Design Group. Specializing in residential and commercial projects, Yanic often applies his signature high/low and old/new combination techniques in developing his unique designs. He has created designs for clients in Toronto, Montreal and Miami, and appears as a regular guest expert on Citytv’s CityLine. tidg.ca • facebook.com/yanic.simard • twitter.com/yanicsimard
August 30, 2012
By Elisa Krovblit
Buzzing between Blue and Green, Teal and Turquoise are rich and vibrant – and they’re turning up everywhere in décor! They’re ideal for bringing a pop of colour to a subdued space and making it come alive.
Decorative Bird Cage, $24.99
Decorative lantern, $24.99. For birdcage and lantern visit homesense.ca
Avalon teal & In the tropics, from the colour stories collection, Aura paint line $72/gallon. Visit benjaminmoore.com
Date Night 28 by Kelly Grace original mixed media 4x6 in. $28. Visit artinteriors.ca
Gemini blue 20-in. square toss pillow $24.99. Visit bedbathandbeyond.com
Ascension lamp in teal $2800. Visit anthropologie.com
May 25, 2012
By Silvana Longo & Lydia McNutt
Jane Lockhart talks colour
Jane Lockhart, Interior Designer, janelockhart.com
Though not a common item on your shopping list, colour is the most basic décor essential.
A room’s colour sets the tone for the look and feel of the space, and it affects all the other rooms that surround it. Most importantly, colour is a reflection of your personal style. Shopping for colour can be daunting, so colour expert Jane Lockhart offers her expert tips on how to choose the right hue.
Consult an expert. Interior designers and decorators are worth their weight in gold and can save you a lot of stress, anxiety and money by using their vast experience to help you choose the perfect palette.
Infuse some personality and function. A colour can speak volumes in a room and directly influence the ambiance and personality
of the space. Choose colours based on how you want the room to feel and work. Light affects colour, so be aware of how light moves through your house.
Consider your furnishings. Draw inspiration for a colour scheme from your existing furnishings – an upholstered sofa, an oriental rug or favorite piece of art. It’s easier to match a colour to something you love than to find something to complement a new wall colour!
Get inspired. Peruse glossy décor magazines and designers’ websites for ideas. Pay attention to furniture styles, colour schemes and architectural elements. Your colour choices should enhance and complement your style and period elements. Make note of the featured brand and colour number, or take a photo, clip a magazine article or bring a piece of fabric to a reputable paint store to have it professionally colour matched to any brand.
Choose the right finish. Typically, home interior paint comes in satin finish, semi-gloss, high gloss and flat finishes. Semi-gloss and high gloss paints are more durable and easier to clean, making them ideal finishes for mouldings and kitchen and baths. Flat and satin finishes lend a soft, elegant look to living rooms, bedrooms and family rooms.
JANE’S TOP SHOPS
1. Crate & Barrel
651 Queen St. W., Toronto
80 Ronald Ave.,
664 Annette St., Toronto
4. Union Lighting
1491 Castlefield Ave., Toronto
5. Speers Road Broadloom
400 Speers Rd., Oakville
Hellen Buttigieg keeps it clean
Hellen Buttigieg, Professional Organizer weorganizeu.com
Assign a home. Before buying anything, determine where it will live. To keep your space organized, every item needs a home. Save steps and time by storing items in the area where they will be used. This increases the likelihood that they’ll be returned to that spot after use. Items used together should be stored together. Create ‘kits’ for regular tasks like sewing, gardening, or washing the car.
Use bins and baskets to hide a multitude of sins, but always store like with like. Choose containers that suit your décor and organizing style. If the bins aren’t clear, make sure you label them. To maximize space, choose containers that stack. Square is better than round, as you can stash more inside. Keep similar items together to make it easier to find what you need. Before you set foot in a store to buy any containers, declutter first – you’ll have a better idea of what you actually need (size, style and quantity).
Maximize vertical space. Using vertical space frees up horizontal space, which is more limited. Add shelves above existing ones, over doorframes and as a border just below the ceiling. Purchase the tallest bookcases and wardrobes that your space will accommodate, and add bins or baskets on top for additional storage. Use over-the-door hangers, hooks, and pegboards. Mount small appliances under cabinets.
Think outside the storage box. Just because an item is designed for one purpose doesn’t mean you can’t use it for something different. Get creative. An over-the-door shoe holder can be used in the bathroom to house hair products, makeup and facial wipes in the pockets. A framed cork board with push pins can be a fun way to display costume jewelry – cover it with pretty fabric to complement your decor. Stash cherished mementos in vintage suitcases – stack several and use as a side table.
Use the ‘One-In One-Out’ rule. When you purchase one item, it should replace another similar item. This rule will not only keep you organized almost effortlessly – it will make you think twice before you hand over your hard-earned cash.
HELLEN’S TOP SHOPS
1934 Queen St. E., Toronto
2329 Yonge St., Toronto
3. Pottery Barn
100 Bloor St. W., Toronto
4. Bed, Bath and Beyond
200 North Service Rd. W., Oakville
6. 628 Queen St. W., Toronto
Lisa Canning on small spaces
Lisa Canning, Interior Stylist, lisacanning.ca
Plan. Big or small, a well-designed space begins with a good plan. Measure your space, taking note of electrical outlets, light fixtures and structural obstructions like bulkheads and columns. Take these measurements and input them into an online planning tool like Icovia (icovia.com). This tool allows you to insert furnishings, change their sizes and generate a shopping list with exact measurements. Keep proportions in mind when planning the layout of your furniture and don’t be shy to take painter’s tape to the floor to visually block out how your furniture will fit.
Furniture with function. In a booming condo market, innovative retailers have understood the need for multi-functional pieces to help small-space dwellers lead more functional and stylish lives. Available through VNO Designs, the Lacuna table begins as a customizable piece of wall art and drops down to reveal a functional dining table for five. At BoConcept, a sleek coffee table reveals hidden compartments with functional storage. Crate & Barrel’s Willow Twin Sleeper Sofa is a compact overstuffed chair that unfolds for your unexpected overnight guest. These double-duty pieces not only work hard for you but look great too.
Don’t be afraid of pattern. I am often asked if a small space can handle a bold wallpaper – and my answer is a vehement “yes!” A patterned wallpaper in a small space can lend itself to a cosy, intimate atmosphere. But do watch scale. A wallpaper with an oversized print may feel too overpowering in a small space. To keep the look cohesive, draw your colour palette from the wallpaper. Add throw pillows in a coordinating colour or paint adjacent walls to complement.
The 70-5-25 rule. A challenge with small spaces is that you can often see the entire room at first glance. This means that creating harmony and balance is important to ensure the room does not feel disjointed or cluttered. I find an easy principle to employ to achieve this is a rule of 70-25-5: 70 per cent of a main colour, 25 per cent of a secondary colour and five per cent of a “surprise” colour. For example, light grey walls and a dark grey sofa could be the dominant colour, a black coffee table as the secondary colour, and throw pillows in a punch of lime green as the pop of colour. I find using this principle allows me to achieve big impact, especially in small spaces.
Three things not to forget. If you are looking to start somewhere, begin with these three elements: paint, light fixtures and window treatments. Even if you have great furniture in a space, I find a home doesn’t feel “lived in” until these items are in place. I often recommend that clients tackle these often-neglected areas before they buy furniture so they do not get put on the decorating back burner.
LISA’S TOP SHOPS
1. BoConcept Furniture
230 Adelaide St. E., Toronto
2. Design Republic
639 Queen St. W., Toronto
3. Elte 2nd Floor
80 Ronald Ave., Toronto
4. inVU Drapery Co.
2784 Yonge St., Toronto
5. West Elm
109 Atlantic Ave., Toronto
Yanic Simard designs with black
Yanic Simard, Principal Designer, Design Editor for New Condo Guide, tidg.ca
Finding your inspiration. The thought of designing with black and only black might seem a little intimidating, so finding inspiration first to give you some ideas and some confidence is the perfect way to start. Inspiration can stem from anywhere. Watching movies is a great source for me – I get a lot of creative ideas from the sets. Looking through design magazines and watching home décor shows are evidently an ideal way, but even just looking through Benjamin Moore’s Paint Deck – they actually have 52 different shades of black!
The idea of layering. The key to designing with black is to avoid having it fall flat. Adding different levels of the colour adds interest and depth, such as having one area rug lay on top of another. A beautiful 8×10 or 9×12 black rug with a subtle tone on tone pattern looks amazing with a silky jet black cowhide diagonally positioned over it. Another way to layer is with toss cushions – mixing and matching different materials such as silk, cotton, leather and velvet all in the colour black looks very sharp.
Adding a mix of finishes. You need to add a bit of contrast with your black scheme so things don’t begin to disappear into one another. Introducing elements of chrome, marble and glass will inject some punch and life into the setting.
Treating your walls. Painting walls and trim black is bold, dramatic and sure to make a statement; especially when you experiment and go out on a limb with the sheen. Try painting your doors and trim out in a satin or a semi-gloss and painting the ceiling and all of the walls in flat. You can add even more personality with a black-on-black wallpaper. Graham and Brown has some remarkable and trendy wall coverings that definitely fit the bill, including one of my personal favourites “Braille Chester” in Noir by Marcel Wanders which we will actually be installing in our design studio.
Injecting some warmth. Incorporating different shades of black can be a nice way of doing this (some blacks are greyer, more purple, greener, lighter, darker, etc.) but if you’re still hesitant on the idea of designing with black and only black, bringing in a hint of colour might make you ease up a bit. Navy blue or deep rusty red looks really elegant and classy paired with the true dark hue.
YANIC’S TOP SHOPS
1. 1212 Décor
1212 Yonge Street, Toronto
2. Graham & Brown
3. Design Solutions
143 King Street E Toronto
2640 Bristol Circle,
Suite 200 Oakville
5. 507 Antiques
50 Carroll St, Toronto
Glen Peloso accessorizes
Glen Peloso, Principal Designer, Design Editor at HD&R, glenpelosointeriors.com
Accessories in a room are like the accessories of an outfit. They can change an outfit from a strict business suit to something a little gentler, simply by adding a ruffle or a soft scarf. The same is true of the accessories of a room. Based on the layout and feel of your furniture and fabrics, you can decide if you want the room to feel masculine or more feminine. There is no right or wrong, it is really a matter of preference. I always think it is best to decide on a direction for the accessories before you set out to shop. There are a variety of directions, but in general you can divide into “shiny” which would be glass, chrome, mirror and high gloss, “natural” which would be reclaimed woods, leather, ceramics and hand-made items, “antique” which is self explanatory, or “eclectic” which would contain a selection of all of the above. Again no direction is wrong for a room, however it will change the way the room feels.
Ensure accessories “pull the room together” in a feel and colour scheme you like. When you look at the throw pillows of a well-coordinated room you will see that colours from the drapery have been repeated in the cushions, or colours or fabrics from the sofa have been used to repeat the colour in another area of the room.
Remember that “art” isn’t considered an “accessory” but is its own category. The art doesn’t have to match anything in the room. A very modern piece would be very happy in a very traditional room. The only requirement of the art is that you like it. The frame may want to complement the room but even that isn’t essential. I rarely – if ever – advise clients on the selection, but have opinions when it comes to size and placement in the room.
Before you set foot in a store, know what areas of the room you want to accessorize. All too often people shop on the “isn’t that cute” rule, however, and the items selected end up being the wrong proportions or they don’t coordinate with each other. Go with specifics. Know that you are looking for something that is eight inches high, 14 inches across, for example, and that you would like it to be something “natural” in style or colour. To assist you in making that determination, one good way to think about it is in triangles. Accessories tend to look best when they create a triangle either with the peak being far to the right or left or in the centre, so think “group of three.”
Accessories are the one element of a room that can be changed seasonally or every couple of years. They tend to be the least expensive part of the décor, so changing them from time to time won’t break the bank – but may deposit some big smiles when you are relaxing in the room and enjoying the finished product.
GLEN’S TOP SHOPS
1. Sun-Brite Drapery
7695 Jane St., Unit 11, Concord
2. Crate & Barrel
Visit the website for a location
4. Julien Armand
2880 Dundas St. W., Toronto
Heather Segreti sizes it up
Heather Segreti, Interior Designer, segretidesign.com
A floor plan drawn to scale is always the best way to ensure proper placement. With that being said, putting the pieces of furniture on a plan will only work if you know what the standard guidelines for placement are. Yes, there are standard and – more importantly – minimum clearances that will facilitate optimal traffic flow through your space. The best resource for this information would be Wiley’s Publication – Architectural Graphic Standards – Interior Graphic Standards edition. After 75 years of continuous publication, Architectural Graphic Standards is one of the most trusted and relied-upon architectural references in the design and construction industries.
Get out the masking tape. You can use low-tack painters or masking tape to essentially draw the footprint of your desired purchase on the floor. For example, if the sofa you are considering purchasing is 72 inches long and 40 inches deep, then use your measuring tape to locate this rectangular shape on the floor and then outline the shape with your tape. This is a great way to visualize the piece and see its proportions in relation to your existing pieces of furniture. This technique also works for artwork and large mirrors. For example if you are looking to create a feature wall with multiple frames in all different sizes, you can tape these shapes on the wall accordingly, record the sizes and feel confident when you purchase.
The tablet trend. Have your iPad on hand. A digital camera is a given, but the new trend in tablets has taken shopping to a new level. Pre-shoot the spaces in your home and literally bring your room with you to every retailer you visit. The advantage of the large screen and lightweight tablet is easy access. I have used this technique when purchasing carpets for clients’ spaces, and it also works wonderfully when purchasing artwork and accessories. This really allows you to envision the showroom item in your home and make a decision on the spot.
Don’t be overwhelmed by a brilliant display in a showroom, this may not have the same effect in your space. Try not to stray from your original design style. Just because it looks great in the showroom doesn’t mean it will look great in your space. Remember, all retail stores are set up to catch your eye and get you to buy! Impulse is a great business for retailers, so stick to your design style.
If you question the purchase more than once, it’s not for you! If you really want to be certain, take a photo, walk away and then see if you are drawn back. Go home and measure, tape
and look at the photo in your own space. Instinct can be your greatest ally!
HEATHER’S TOP SHOPS
1. Zilli Home
672 Chrislea Rd., Woodbridge
2. Prima Lighting
255 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Thornhill
3. Au Lit Fine Linens
2045 Yonge St., Toronto
4. Home Couture by Maria
And Baby Décor
2104 Hwy. 7 West, Unit 19, Concord
5. Teatro Verde
98 Yorkville, Toronto
6. Restoration Hardware
2901 Bayview Ave., North York
May 22, 2012
Zilli Home really goes the distance to give their clients what they term “A retail experience like no other” by offering well-designed events to accentuate the shopping experience.
Opportunities like this don’t come along very often. Zilli Home will host an evening with Benjamin Moore’s colour expert Leigh-Ann Allaire and invites you to come hear Leigh-Anne present the most inspiring colours for 2012.
This is a ‘can’t miss’ event that will guide you through shades, hues and tones on every shopping adventure this year.
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.orgThursday March 1st, 2012
6pm Hors D’oeuvres
Zilli Home Interiors
673 Chrislea Rd.
February 16, 2012