New Home – Old Soul

Words by Yanic Simard

Photography by Brandon Barré

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.

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

 

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.

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

 

IN WITH THE OLD
To create a sense of personal history, introduce treasured items already owned. 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: Blend vintage and contemporary pieces to blur time periods and create a custom, timeless impression.

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

 

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

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.

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

 

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.

Peek a Boo Wall Feature

Junior League

Drywall isn’t the only option when it comes to dividing and defining spaces.

Check out this peek a boo wall feature we designed to visually separate a master bedroom from the adjacent bathroom.

Our goal was to visually define and separate the two distinct spaces but allow the natural light that pours into the bedroom to filter into the en suite. A simple, cantilevered shelf acts as a dressing table with the addition of a slipper chair upholstered in grey velvet.

 

 

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.