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 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

David Carter Pulls Focus

British designer David Carter is an attention seeker.  It’s obvious.

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Look how deftly he pulls us into this foyer, by cleverly directing our attention to the handsome painting at eye level.  The graphic pillows create a frame which narrows our vision to the painting above.

Proof that when no natural focal point exists….it’s the designer’s job to create one.

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

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.

Lazy Days of Summer

  • Looking to renovate their Kiawah Island vacation property, a Connecticut couple turns to designer Erin Glennon (RIGHT) to create a space that is vibrant, clutter free and suitable to rent to occasional guests.
  • In the foyer, a whitewashed Shaker style console with distressed finish handles hastily tossed keys and provides an ideal perch for sea glass lamps. Stacked orange boxes complement the sea green colour of the lamps and provide additional storage for smaller items such as flashlights or even beach-ready flip-flops.
  • LEFT: Sophisticated colour pairings and nautical details, like the navy and white valance on the window, combine to provide the master bedroom with the desired coastal style. The rustic bench at the foot of the bed and Moroccan area carpet add texture and comfort without being too formal. For the upholstered headboard, Erin opted for a practical Sunbrella fabric in a crisp white.
  • Undaunted by previously dark and dated interiors, Erin added painted white beadboard wainscotting to the living room, simultaneously enhancing the room’s natural sunlight and adding architectural interest.
  • White’s such a useful colour for providing a backdrop to the vibrant hues and patterns so well-suited to vacation living. “Now the living room reminds me of a Jack Johnson song—relaxing but not boring,” says Erin.
  • The biggest challenge may have been the dining area. It’s a pretty tight space and yet it needed a table large enough to seat 6 people. In addition, two of the three walls are sliding glass doors, which meant we had to sacrifice a serving buffet. We used the large scale print to anchor the space and create the room’s dramatic focal point.
  • “Don’t fuss. Keep it casual with a collection of mismatched vases.”
  • Aesthetically this room reflects a slightly more rustic interpretation of the Kiawah landscape through the textured banana leaf headboard, antlers and plaid woolen throw. The small portraits above each bedside table are by local artist, Alaina Michelle Ralph.
  • “A bed that sleeps more than one person should always have an end table on each side, no matter how small,” insists Erin.
  • The Kiawah Island, South Carolina property overlooks a lagoon with ocean views beyond. Though their vacation property is four states away, the owners say the setting is a perfect antidote to cooler New England temperatures back home.

Dabble Savvy: To create a cohesive colour story, lay all fabrics on a large table and consider the flow and harmony from room to room.

“I really like the idea of furniture blending into the walls to create an airier feeling in vacation homes,” says the designer.

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The wall colour, Benjamin Moore’s Natural Elements, reads as a light neutral but actually changes as the day goes on, becoming more greenish-blue. “This is one of my favorite wall colors,” says the designer. “I use it to create bedrooms that are, above all, restful.”

Dabble Savvy: A portrait adds a personal element to a room, especially when it’s an original piece rather than a print.

 

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.