I’m Coming Home

  • “The majority of furnishings were custom designed and manufactured for this project. We wanted to feature and honour our clients’ existing art and sculpture collection.”
  • The foyer and living room walls are painted Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee OC-60.
  • The fresh and neutral fabrics and finishes create a classic palette that stands the test of time, allowing the Gregory Hardy painting above the custom sofa to stand forward visually from the room’s other elements.
  • One of the most dramatic changes to the home’s layout occurred when the kitchen was opened to the family room. The structural change required the addition of a supporting beam hidden in the ceiling, circumventing any visible bulkhead and allowing the rooms to flow from one space to the other without visual interruption.
  • Adjacent to the newly renovated kitchen is the open concept family room. This is a favourite spot for the family to linger after a busy day.
  • The handsome vignette with the stepped mirror and a custom wood chest is a nod to the drama and beauty of art deco styling.
  • A bright and sunny breakfast area with 15’ cathedral ceiling and banquette seating completes the kitchen area. The team selected a banquette to allow for wider pathways and a stunning sight line from the kitchen. Kitchen cabinetry lines the walkway and provides extra storage and the visual flow the family required.
  • Practical finishes were mandatory in the all-white kitchen, which features satin sheen lacquered cabinetry, stone countertops and stained walnut for the island.

A large family demands a big makeover. Fortunately, Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting has the talent and muscle to satisfy such a tall order. When the CEO of one of Toronto’s largest and leading luxury condominium developers approached cofounders Tania Richardson and Melandro Quillatan, he was looking for an update as well as a strategy for developing a home that supports the needs of his wife and three teens.

The first floor of this century-old, 3,500 square foot home in Lawrence Park, Toronto is much improved these days owing to its recent renovation which resulted in an improved aesthetic and functionality. The initial lack of architectural interest and weak flow was transformed, resulting in what is now a more current and transitional design.

“Select a neutral palette to provide longevity. Decorative lighting, art and accessories arethe elegant finishing touches.”

Original floors were replaced with wide hardwood planks throughout the main level. In the 375 square foot living room, Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting created several conversation areas, with key furnishings linking them together for larger events.

The living room’s soft colours are reflected in the mirrored coffee table from Cocoon Furnishings in Oakville. Some more online acrylic mirrors were ordered to make the room look even larger. The patterned area carpet from Elte Carpet and Home provides a geometric anchor to the light coloured furnishings. Layers of lighting—potlights, sconces and table lampsare sourced from suppliers Sescolite, Casalife and Royal Lighting.

The addition of the banquette within the bay window amplifies usable space and provides additional seating, which comes in handy when entertaining.

When choosing furniture and accessories, select hues and undertones that pair well, creating cohesive flow throughout the home.

“To ensure consistency from room to room,” says Melandro, “use a single wall colour, place furniture strategically to achieve comfortable flow, keep wall paneling and any trim consistent.”

This century-old home has never looked better thanks to its much-needed update.

Photography by Larry Arnal

Eastern Exposure

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Eastern exposure provides the bright, yellow sunlight we all crave come February. Upbeat and exuberant eastern exposures are ideal for playrooms, kitchens and breakfast nooks.

Pros:
  • Sunlight elevates mood. Most people prefer sunshine pouring through windows.
  • Plentiful light works well for rooms full of activity. Kitchens, playrooms, living rooms.
Cons:
  • Strong sunlight can destroy delicate fabrics with silk being the most susceptible. Lining the draperies or a simple window treatment made from gauze, linen or sheer fabric will diffuse the strongest light and offer some protection to other textiles in the room.
  • Intense sunlight can cause glare and reflection issues. When we moved into our new condo we had just that problem. Surrounded by windows and high in the sky, we had intense sunlight pouring in. The previous owners mirrored the kitchen backsplash and you literally could not be in that room when the sun was most intense.
Colour Cue:
  • To enhance sunlight, warm, pale colours such as pink, coral, yellow or white.
  • To temper intense sunlight, cool, pale colours such as blue, green or white.
  • White works well in east facing rooms.

Paint Recommendations:
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Snap Crackle Pop

  • Architect Bill Bocken’s clients love brightly coloured art work and collect it on their travels.
  • LEFT The double chaise lounge by Ligne Roset is positioned beside retractable doors, which open to the Pacific Ocean below.
  • The basalt wall tiles are from Classic Tile and Mosaic and the contemporary light bar is from Tec Lighting.
  • The clients host frequent weekend visitors, so the bed in the guest bedroom has built-in drawers to maximize storage in the small space. The cheerful red swivel chair and ottoman are from Hold It Contemporary Home.
  • Light bounces off the mirror backsplash to make this bright and cheery nook the perfect spot to start and end the day
  • A definite focal point for casual gatherings, the breakfast table also enjoys front-row ocean views. The glass table allows the metal base to get the attention it deserves while the tulip style chairs with red cushions carry colour from the living room into the kitchen.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHELLEY METCALF

Acting as architect, designer and landscaper Bill Bocken furnishes a beachside condo for empty nester clients with a taste for pop art and playful colour.

The airy and playfully designed San Diego condo shares airspace with the landmark Hotel del Coronado and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. But the adjacent ocean doesn’t provide the condo’s only colour. Says the designer, “My clients are inspired by brightly coloured accents and clothing. I showcase what they love in a sea of white and great lighting,”

The living room features a white Roche Bobois sofa with decorative accent cushions in black and bright red . A sleek coffee table from Hold It Contemporary Home and white kitchen bar stools from Ligne Roset round out the contemporary furnishings. “The furniture placement creates a relaxing conversation area for my clients and their guests as they enjoy the ocean and beach vistas,” says Bill.

“I dabble in creating artwork. I once used saris to create a contemporary abstract mosaic which my clients describe as ‘stunning’.”

The Forecast is Sunny

  • “I envisioned a bathroom that glistened like sparkling water with lemon, a refreshing spa feeling for guests.”
  • Even professional designers work with inspiration when decorating and, in this case, Lori says her inspiration was very specific.

Is yellow the new black?

Well, no. However, if you ask designer Lori Andrews, she might say, ‘It ought to be.’ What could possibly be sunnier or more inviting than this bright and cheery primary?

“Yellow is a current obsession,” says Lori, who is not only a professional interior designer but a photographer as well. Years in art school have made her fearless and there’s no colour that’s off limits. According to the Calgary native, she’s been adding more yellow into her designs during the past year, allowing the colour to grow brighter and bolder.

Lori positioned the saturated yellow against crisp white walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Oxford White. Although the overall look would be quite different, Lori maintains a dark gray background would look equally stunning.

The advantage of a neutral background is that colour really pops. So many people are afraid of adding colour because they don’t know how to ‘pull it all together’.

Lori says, “Don’t even try. A colourful armoire or chair is like a handbag. It doesn’t need to match the rest of the outfit; it simply needs to complement it.”

The floors are finished with matte white octagon and dot porcelain tiles which warm the toes, thanks to electric floor heating. The white oak vanity by Roca and the light wishbone chair add natural warmth. The painted yellow door leads to the hallway and the sunny armoire provides storage for linens as well as a spot to hang freshly laundered clothes.

Lori advises her clients to be fearless when it comes to a room’s purpose. If you’re not a bath person, for example, don’t be afraid to remove an underutilized tub to gain a bigger shower.

Like most interior designers, Lori agrees it’s easier to design for clients than for herself. “I have strong convictions and have no difficulty convincing clients to go with bold colours or unusual materials,” says Lori. “Of course, in my own home I agonize over all the choices. Just like everyone else.”

Is there a colour Lori won’t work with? “No,” she says, “but I do feel sorry for terracotta. It’s going to have a heck of a hill to climb back up again.”

Simple Pleasures

  • Surrounded by pristine white and warm woods, Culley Ingram strikes a contemplative pose in her restful Nashville living room.
  • This chair was found at Antiques at the Factory and the busy mother of two fell in love with the artisanship behind its elegant shape. The oil painting is by Danielle Rahe Fox, an artist from the Ingrams’ hometown of Santa Cruz, California. Family, as displayed in the homegrown gallery rising above the main floor staircase, is a priority for Culley and her husband, songwriter and music producer Jason Ingram. Daughters Blythe and Nola are much in evidence throughout the home.
  • Culley finishes icing red velvet cupcakes.
  • Simply furnished, the master bedroom gives way to a large deck, ideal for family barbecues and summer sunning. Culley painted existing grass cloth covered walls a crisp white, preferring the subtle texture to flat drywall.
  • Jason’s home office, just steps from the family kitchen, is an actual recording studio.
  • A collection of guitars and a mandolin, gifted by a dear friend, strike a pleasing chord on display.
  • The graphic black and white canvas is a portrait of Culley by artist friend M. A. Wood.

With sunshine pouring through the windows, reflecting onto cushy white upholstery and pristine walls, there’s nary a trace of the formerly dark rooms the Ingram family moved into several years ago. Craving a backdrop for living rather than a “show house”, Culley, a self-taught design enthusiast, set about creating a peaceful sanctuary for her family of four.

Culley humbly chalks her design abilities up to genetics, slowing as she speaks of beloved grandparents:

“They were world travellers who had an ability to appreciate an object’s inherent beauty. My grandmother taught me to look for potential in objects both humble and grand, while my grandfather taught me to enjoy the hunt and respect the process of creating a home.”

Undaunted by raw possibilities, Culley sees blank spaces on walls and in rooms as “opportunities.”

 

Culley’s Fave Design Stores

Epiphany – contemporary and antique furniture and accessories

Dealer’s Choice – where Culley bought her living room chandelier

Iron Gate – new and vintage offerings


Words by Kimberley Seldon; Photography by Simon Burn