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.

 

Southern Style

  • In a sheltered corner of the front porch, a hanging teak daybed with plentiful pillows becomes an inviting swing. Obsidian coloured paint for the floors and shutters combines playfully with melon coloured upholstery.
  • A pair of antique tête-à-tête sofas, an eighteenth-century mirror, and a chandelier with cascading strands of ball chain provide the parlor with a sexy, sophisticated air.
  • Homeowners Lisa and Vincent West were enamoured of the simple style of the cottage and the airy atmosphere of its high ceilings and two-story porch. It’s very much a traditional Lowcountry house.
  • At the suggestion of interior designers Carter Kay and Nancy Hooff, the dropped ceiling was removed, exposing the original longleaf pine joists and trusses. In addition to lending a casual appearance to the room, the change also draws attention to the solidity and integrity of the house’s original construction.
  • Primitive creamware jugs and convex mirrors are among the few decorative accessories in the room where a scenic mural painted by Bob Christian provides the art.
  • In keeping with the client’s pared-down vision, the designers commissioned a twelve-foot-long table made from worn but polished reclaimed chestnut boards, complementing the unpainted wood of the ceiling and mantel. Chairs consist of casual wicker with linen slipcovered headchairs.
  • In a small bedroom, the designers created an airy look with contemporary metal beds that recall the tall canopy frames of traditional plantation-style beds. The sheen of quilted polished cotton pillow shams and comforters contrasts with the room’s natural linen coverlets and seagrass rug.

Isle of Hope, a tiny island outside Savannah, is an enchanted place with quiet streets, charming cottages, no streetlights and quaint oak trees blowing in the southern breeze. What’s your hurry?

Sit a spell.

“The house told us what it wanted us to do.”

Photography by Susan Sully from Houses with Charm.

 

Southern Belle

  • Designer, Lucinda Robinson, stands in the doorway of the 50s bungalow she decorated for downtown clients in Charleston. In addition to interior design, Lucinda is an established clothing designer. She models a dress from her popular Lucinda Eden shop, located on King St. in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Green subway tiles on the double-sided fireplace are original to the home, providing colour inspiration throughout. The wool and sisal carpet from GDC home embraces the living room seating and offers the homeowners the comfort they desired.
  • In the dining room, the upholstered chairs from Vanguard Furniture are covered in white, washable suede. The reliable fabric holds up to heavy use, ideally suiting the homeowners’ lifestyle as they are frequent entertainers. Lucinda’s personal favourite in the room is the custom trestle table made by an artisan in North Car olina. A reproduction chandelier from Currey and Co. complements the dark wood tones in the dining table, sideboard and floor.
  • Though the welcoming foyer is mostly neutral, its colour scheme is brightened with the apple coloured lamp from GDC Home which sits on an antique table—a family heirloom.

It’s a southern revival for this 2,000 square foot, 3 bedroom Arts and Crafts bungalow in downtown Charleston thanks to designer Lucinda Robinson.

Having designed the client’s previous homesa traditional single house and a country estateLucinda easily transitioned Kristy Anderson and family to the smaller bungalow without sacrificing function or style.

Since the south is all about hospitality, the home is family-friendly and ready to receive guests at any time. If you are in the market for some beautiful furniture I suggest checking out Wellington’s Leather Furniture.

Spanish Eyes

  • Wrought iron balusters grace the foyer’s tiled staircase.
  • Various objet d’art and collectibles rest on surfaces throughout the spacious living room. A formidable and eclectic art collection adorns the room’s walls.
  • LEFT: The coffee table has a balustrade base and its top is edged in marble which surrounds a terra cotta field. RIGHT: At the bar, crystal glasses rest on a chest decorated with marquetry.
  • The panelled study enjoys uninterrupted views to the foyer and into the dining room. Its coffered ceiling creates cozy intimacy in the warm setting.
  • In the dining room, a two-tiered crystal chandelier with acanthus leaves at the crown and antique bronze fittings softly illuminates the oval table. The table is surrounded by leather-clad dining chairs with tapestry backs.
  • Looking outside to the courtyard, dinner guests catch sight of the leafy lemon trees that are poised to flower and release their delicate scent.
  • A large candle chandelier floats above the kitchen island. When the temperature heats up, family and guests move into the shade of the adjoining patio.
  • From the kitchen, doors open onto a charming patio beneath an ivy-covered archway.

Marci Valner’s Spanish Colonial style home circa 1929 is minutes from UCLA in the urban suburb of Westwood. Jockeying for a parking spot is de rigueur in this neighbourhood. We see one, grab it and remember to hang the coveted permit from the rear view mirror or—ouch—a $64 ticket is sure to be waiting upon our return.

Although the home is formally designed it’s clearly well-loved and used frequently for entertaining. Patterned chairs and serviceable sofas invite lingering in the living room. Aubusson tapestry and vintage leaf patterns adorn pillows on the velvet sofa. An antique trestle side table sits next to the William Birch arm chair with its vintage palm leaf upholstery.

In the kitchen, cool-to-the-touch terra cotta floors offer a respite from the day’s heat. White adobe plaster walls and rustic wood beams on the ceiling add to the 1920’s mood.

We are in no hurry to rush back to our parking spot and take a moment to rest on the patio’s cool tile steps.

Luxe Desert Retreat

  • Jamie used a grasscloth wallpaper in the foyer and hall to create textural interest without distracting from the beauty of the moulding.
  • “Reflective quality doesn’t always have to be glass, marble or other hard surfaces. Shine also comes from fabrics like the silk velvet material on the sofa cushions.” ~ Jamie
  • A classic white kitchen with framed cabinetry and white Calcutta marble countertops complements the home’s traditional elements. A custom marble mosaic on the back of the island acts as powerful art in a neutral colour scheme.
  • In the master bedroom, Jamie demonstrates that it is completely acceptable to put a bed in front of a window.
  • “I reoriented the floor plan and put the bed in front of the window deliberately to make the bed front and center in the room.”

You wouldn’t know it from its formal interior, but this 7000 square foot home is located in Paradise Valley, Arizona, amidst the deserts and the cacti. Designer Jamie Herzlinger is up to the challenge of transforming the house from top to bottom with her client’s specific vision in mind: luxe desert retreat.

When you enter the home you are instantly greeted by the 19th century Dutch corbeille-shaped canapé which sits on top of Marie Antoinette patterned hardwood floors: the entrance showstopper.

Jamie designed a niche in the foyer to give the room a large presence. The mirror, that sits above the Marquetry commode, purposely reflects into the dining room.

Jamie describes this space as refined elegance because it’s not too formal but formal enough to go from jeans to black tie.

Jamie says the key to achieving a similar look is to always keep it simple. A neutral palette should have different variations of white and flexible lighting, including table lamps and a chandelier like the Sophia Chandelier by Jan Showers. Desert life never looked so luxe.

Photography by Werner Segarra.