New Home, Old Soul

  • Yanic's go to neutral: Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23.
  • In this space, Yanic repurposed the metal art mirror above the sofa where it becomes a focal point. Benches create bridges between different zones within an open concept space. The black leather tufted bench is part of the conversation grouping and an extra seat near the fireplace.
  • Dabble Savvy: Turn a singular window seat into a destination with furniture and lighting. The walnut stools anchor the seating arrangement and the glass globe chandelier and plug-in sconces provide a flattering layer of light.

Words by Yanic Simard | Photography by Brandon Barré

Often, when homeowners move into a new space, whether freshly built or staged to sell, they’ll find the house simply doesn’t feel like a home.

Designer Yanic Simard shares his rules for claiming a new space and creating an interior that feels familiar and comfortable.

Treasured Heritage

Rather than replacing original details like mouldings and doors to achieve a more “perfect” look, allow these elements to become features using contrasting paint colours and finishes.

Dabble Savvy: In this Victorian house the walls, ceiling and trim are painted in one shade only, Benjamin Moore’s OC-23 Classic Gray. A single colour throughout visually obscures uneven lines and imperfections. A matte finish is used on walls and ceiling while the trim gets subtle emphasis with a satin finish. The doors are painted in Benjamin Moore’s 2121-10 Gray—a deeper shade that makes them pop for architectural interest.

In with the Old

To create a sense of personal history, introduce treasured items already owned.

Dabble Savvy: Blend vintage and contemporary pieces to blur time periods and create a custom, timeless impression.

Redraw the Lines

Never settle for a pre-existing layout—experiment with new furniture arrangements and always pull seating away from the walls.

Lighten Up

To add character without clutter include sheer and see-through elements like the draperies and peek-a-boo seating.

Dabble Savvy: Mirrored finishes and reflective metals (like the gold-leaf glass cocktail cubes in the living room) enrich almost any colour scheme without creating visual overload. Avoid a “matchy-matchy” look by casually mixing metals in warm and cool tones.

 

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

  • The living room’s sectional sofa is covered in creamy, textured linen. Sitting adjacent is the iconic Platner chair and stool. “To me, the Platner series represents ultimate glamour,” the designer says.
  • Steven opted for Resene Marsale paints in industrial hues—like the dramatic charcoal seen here—to complement urban views.
  • Floor to ceiling glass, dynamic city views and overscaled accessories create a dramatic setting for dining.
  • Europeans were fascinated with the Far East during the time of explorer Marco Polo. A closer look at the cabinet's details reveal animated people in ornate dress and elephants in ceremonial costume.
  • The luxurious silk-panelled walls embrace the bedroom’s cozy ambience.

Perched high on the cliffs in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm, this penthouse condo with its stylish “cocktails-at-five” mood reflects the talents of Australian designer Steven Stewart. The quiet inner-city dwelling suits his client’s busy lifestyle. As a bonus, it’s also an ideal meeting spot for friends to gather before heading out for a late dinner at one of the area’s fabulous restaurants.

Spacious and airy, chic open-plan living and dining rooms lead to outdoor entertaining areas as well as stunning, unobstructed views of the city and its brightly lit Story Bridge.

Although it’s an optical illusion, it almost feels that the illuminated bridge—which crosses the Brisbane River, connecting the city’s northern and southern suburbs— is within easy reach.

In the dining room, eight alabaster leather chairs border the gleaming black table, ready to accommodate the owner’s frequent dinner parties. Two vintage Chinese vases from a local antiques dealer sit on top. “We purposely chose white vases to add a spark,” says Steven.

Despite its ultra-urban vibe, the burgeoning neighbourhood of New Farm gets its name from the city’s early years as a rural community. “Since this is the condo’s only penthouse,” says Steven, “it’s affectionately called the New Farm Penthouse.”

The towering metal sculpture, purchased by the owner in Italy, strikes a pose against Brisbane’s evening skies.

“Black and gold Chinoiserie provides a stunning backdrop to the luxury textiles and finishes,” says designer Steven Stewart.

A gleaming bar cabinet with glass shelves and mirror backing displays crystal wine goblets, ready to oblige a future soirée. The decorative details of the chinoiserie work beautifully against the dark and dramatic interior accents. Steven explains the term Chinoiserie is a French word that means ‘in the Chinese taste’ and describes a European style of decorative detail, wildly popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Clearly, it’s still fashionable today.

Bedroom walls are seductively panelled in a sophisticated silk textile, custom-dyed to match the paint finish on adjacent walls. Not only does the treatment create a cozy environment for sleeping, it’s an effective way to dampen noise as well. Underfoot is a cozy taupe carpet.

“Bedrooms don’t experience the same heavy use as say, the kitchen, so I took the opportunity to use more extravagant materials,” the designer enthuses.

In addition to carrying the home’s industrial colour scheme throughout, Steven introduces a Chinese motif on the decorative pillows to echo the chinoise elements throughout the condo. The faux fur throw adds a welcome layer of luxury.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KYLIE HOOD

Rough Luxe

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows give way to three of Hollywood’s most famous sights: the iconic ‘Hollywood’ sign, Griffith Observatory and the conical Capitol Records Building at Hollywood and Vine.
  • A faux fur throw is the perfect addition to this black tufted leather sofa. To create the look, pair a distressed leather sofa with a luxurious faux fur throw.
  • Oversized lighting underscores the masculine drama. An “antler” chandelier shines above the dining table while a 70s grid illuminates the living room.
  • Kahi recalls, “When I started this project, everything in the room was white, My mantra is, don’t be shy about using bold colours, especially on walls. Dramatic colour creates a powerful mood.”

Rough Luxe = Distressed + Vintage + Luxury

“You’d expect to find drama in West Hollywood,” says interior designer Kahi Lee, “right?”

The photogenic LA designer is clearly ready for her close-up with this latest project for Jonas Brothers’ musician Nick, a penthouse suite that she describes as Rough Luxe.

Tasked with creating a modern masculine space, Kahi looked to Hollywood for inspiration. “Think Marlon Brando—the ultimate man’s man—elegant but rebellious.”

“I don’t do subtle,” says interior designer Kahi Lee

A handsome pair of tufted, black leather sofas dominate the living area, from their central perch on the shaggy area carpet. A large, pine topped coffee table services the seating.

An adjacent sitting area (above) gets its own star treatment with a custom designed wall covering. “It’s a splurge,” says the designer, “but it really makes a powerful statement.”

When asked, Kahi describes the condo’s style as, “Rough Luxe.” Though it’s masculine in appearance, it’s not without its glamour. Decadent touches include the faux fur throw on the living room sofa and the grass cloth covered walls with just a hint of iridescent sheen.

Black and White Inspiration

blogimg266

Showcasing 35 fabulous black and white contemporary interiors, Freshome pays tribute to this unique combination. For those of you considering designing your space in black and white, here’s your inspiration. We selected 4 of our favourites from their list.

From lacquered furniture to original-shaped decorating elements, these decors are sure to surprise and trigger the creativity of the viewer. Enjoy the refinement and elegance exuded by the black and white interiors below.

blogimg267

ABOVE: Add touch of bold to a simple palette.

blogimg268

ABOVE: A strict black and white bedroom.

blogimg269

ABOVE: A minimalist space.

For more inspiring black and white design, visit freshome.com.

Snap, Crackle, Pop

blogimg342

Get inspired by the pop art colours designer Bill Bocken uses to furnish this beachside condo for empty nesters.

The double chaise lounge by Ligne Roset, accentuated with a poppy red throw, is ideal for afternoon reading.

blogimg341

The master bedroom boasts bright blue bedding and black on white accent pillows. Oh, and did you notice the ocean views reflected in the mirrored cabinet? Nice.

To view the full home tour, check out: Snap Crackle Pop, Issue 3 July/Aug 2011.