Bay Window

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Real estate listings typically lead with stunning visual features like a bay window. Why then do designers sometimes struggle with how to dress this architectural feature? And more importantly, how to use the space found within the bay?

Interior designer Jane Lockhart turned this bay window into a destination in her client’s home. Full draperies provide physical and psychological warmth to the space so it can be used year round. Two comfortable arm chairs tuck neatly back and the large purple ottoman makes it a comfortable spot to sit and read or enjoy a cup of tea.

Do you have a trick for turning a bay window into usable floor space?

La Nouvelle Orleans

  • Celedon is a refreshing complement to the more neutral French grey and buff colours in this cozy family room.
  • The formal living room is filled with fine antiques Terri has sourced during her many trips to Europe.
  • LEFT: A velvet sofa rests handsomely beneath a hand-painted wooden screen.
  • Silk drapes puddle decadently onto gleaming parquet floors.
  • Antique dealer Terri Goldsmith arranges a bounty of hydrangeas and lilies in her elegant foyer.
  • The garden and pool mirror the formality of the home.
  • Manicured walkways are outlined with neatly clipped box wood hedges.

Sweeping down the intricate wrought iron staircase, surrounded by luxe floor mosaics and Antique Lighting crystal chandeliers, who wouldn’t feel like a French empress? Terri Goldsmith gives Dabble a royal welcome, New Orleans style.

Unlike the proverbial shoe maker’s child, antique dealer Terri Goldsmith enjoys living in a well-appointed home. One that shows off her masterful skill in decorating with fine furnishings, attention to detail and savoir faire.

Photography by Cherie-Lynn Buchanan

Spring Forward

  • Panelled walls and cofferred ceiling, were designed and installed to satisfy the clients’ craving for architecture more commonplace in stately east coast homes. The sunburst mirror is a “placeholder” to enjoy until a large scale piece of artwork is purchased.
  • Art: Oil painting by artist Michelle Armas provides a counterbalance to the geometric prints on the furniture and pillows.
  • Kitchen: The all-white kitchen gets its drama from dark stained 5” wide rift cut white oak floors, with a Rubio Monocoat oil finish. The table and Navy chairs are Restoration Hardware.
  • Dining Room: White panelled wainscotting is handsomely paired with a Phillip Jeffries grass cloth (Manila Hemp Graphite 3444). The head chairs, backed in raspberry, create a flow of colour from room to room.
  • Children's Bedroom: Fiorella likes to take her colour cues from the clients—pink and green are obviously a favourite combination for the girls (age 4 and 6) in residence.
  • Family Room: “We rotated the kitchen and removed walls so all the rooms face the back yard and pool area.”

When clients moved from Connecticut to sunny Menlo Park, it didn’t take them long to shed those extra layers required for warmth back home and embrace their new lighter California lifestyle.

The designer created a blend of east coast-west coast that would respect her client’s love for architecture with a pedigree and inject a more playful west coast palette.

The result? Springtime, year round.

Photography by Frank Paul Perez

Less is More? Which way do you Dabble?

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Sure. We can appreciate the purity of a room with no visual distractions. But we can also appreciate a room that’s actually decorated.

Who’s having more fun? The spare and disciplined? Or those who surrender to colour,  pattern and accessories?

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Which way do you Dabble?

Ceiling Love

Thank you designer Philip Mitchell for giving the humble ceiling the attention it deserves.

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The tongue and groove coffers help balance the space visually. And that’s a great choice given the location of the pots and pans which draw the eye skyward.

Don’t ignore the fifth wall…the ceiling needs a little love too.

Colour Flow – From One Room to Another

Calgary’s Nyla Free is one busy designer. Little wonder as her work is fresh, original and always engaging.

Watery blues from the oil painting that dominates in the dining room are echoed in the sofa’s toss cushions, creating harmony and flow within the space.

How do you create flow from one room to another? Do you think flow is important? 

Sophisticated Gray

Just as there’s no piece of clothing that actually conforms to the body size of everyone, there’s no such thing as a single gray that is always right.  In fact, gray can be one of the trickiest colours to work with as its undertone is so prevalent.

We relied on a variety of gray tones in this recent urban condo redesign.

5 shades of gray

Here is a guide to some of our fave gray categories from lightest to darkest. Enjoy Oyster has a slight blush beneath the surface owing to its pink base. It’s lightness makes it ideal for a sunny, light filled space. But come evening, its deeper side takes over and the sultry gray undertone shines.  Try Benjamin Moore’s Heaven 2118-70.

Barnboard is a warm gray that looks perfectly weathered by the sun. Benjamin Moore’s aptly named Barnwood CSP-115 is a toasty brown gray we use frequently.

Gunmetal is a cool gray, meaning there’s a hint of blue just below the surface. Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan AF-690 is a go-to gray for contemporary urban spaces.

Charcoal is a dramatic choice sophisticated enough for a formal living or dining room. We love the navy-esque feel of  Benjamin Moore’s French Beret 1610. Use this in a family room where cozy TV watching takes place.

Nearly Black is the category to reach for when you want drop dead glamour and formality. The deepest, darkest sky looks something like Benjamin Moore’s Universal Black 2118-10.

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. The large 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