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.

 

Calgary Living

  • The sofas with fabric from Kravet are custom through Elle Design. The stone top coffee tables are from Ethan Allen. Wall colour, Pittsburgh Paints Ostrich Feather.
  • Dining Chairs custom through Elle Design, fabrics by JF fabrics and Kravet. Dining Table and Sideboard custom through Modern Country Interiors. Lighting custom Zia Priven light through Stonegate Designs. Mirror Chintz & Co.
  • "Not everything has to be the star in a room. Some finishes and elements are supporting players. Pick your focus." ~ Leanne

“There’s no greater compliment to a designer than being asked to do a second (or third) project for a client,” says LeAnne Bunnell of Elle Design in Calgary.

When repeat customers hired interior designer LeAnne Bunnell to transform an intended bachelor pad into a comfortable family home they knew they were in great hands. After all, they’d worked with LeAnne before and were confident she had the skill to bring their design and lifestyle visions to life.

Were they pleased? They’re already working on their next project together.

LIVING
The living room is open to the kitchen and provides access to the backyard. LeAnne resisted any temptation to make this room “formal” as the family wanted a cozy space for casual entertaining.

DINING
The beadboard ceiling and textured grass cloth walls emphasize the more traditional elements of the design while providing a comfortable atmosphere for adult or family entertaining. The fabrics are all washable.

“Dining rooms should be used frequently. Obviously for eating, but also for making family memories.”

Photography by Adrian Shellard

Modern History

  • Sunlight fills the entry, throwing light onto stone walls likely more than 400 years old.
  • A series of glass paneled doors greets the entry and closes to offer privacy (when combined with blackout shades) in the master bedroom.
  • The building’s shell is composed of a combination of pottery and beach sand. The bisque and terracotta colours create natural warmth in the coved dining room.
  • The architects created distinct viewpoints in each of the rooms, often providing a glimpse into adjacent spaces. The organic shaped coffee tables and rustic woven rug support a mandate to use natural, raw materials.
  • The Mediterranean Sea is reflected in a mirror that brings light into the spare living space. The cable strung staircase rises gracefully to the master bedroom above.
  • The galley kitchen efficiently carves utilitarian space into the home and provides those in residence with an expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Sleeping quarters are stacked above the living room, where they enjoy full ocean views.

Set above the harbor, facing the majestic Mediterranean Sea in Old Jaffa, is an ancient structure given new life by the thoughtful architects hired to restore its integrity.

Though it’s difficult to determine the structure’s exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over time, changes and additions had damaged the original integrity of the dwelling. The central ideal, therefore, was to restore the original characteristics—the stone walls, the segmented ceilings and the arches—to peel back and expose the original state.

The language of minimalism embedded in a historic residence in Old Jaffa.

“Surprisingly modern, minimalistic construction styles (especially ancient ones) allow us to create new spaces that blend periods together—even intensify them because of the contrast and tension between the ages.” ~ Pitsou

The historical is expressed by preserving the textures and materials of the building’s outer shell and by respecting the engineering accordingly.

The modern is expressed by opening spaces and altering the internal flow, and by incorporating natural materials such as stainless steel, iron and wood.

Pistou’s project succeeds in both honoring and preserving the historical and romantic values of the structure while creating a contemporary project suited to today’s lifestyle.

Designed by Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed & Irene Goldberg

Photography by Amit Geron

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

Jamaica: Top Spots in Montego Bay

Montego Bay has more than a few temptations. Here are 6 reasons (beyond spectacular beaches, lovely people and great food!) to visit now.

1. Pamper yourself with a leisurely massage at the Ferntree Spa, the ultimate relaxation experience at Half Moon RockResort.

Dabble does Jamaica100

The Ferntree Spa at Half Moon RockResort.
Photography by Angela Auclair

2. Don’t miss the sunset at Doctor’s Cave Beach. The long pier seems never-ending, just like the legendary sunset.

Dabble does Jamaica99

The pier at Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Photography by Angela Auclair

3. As far as haunted mansions go, Rose Hall Great Hall is the most notorious and the most beautiful one in Jamaica. Annie Palmer (aka White Witch) is the local spectre. It’s said she murdered all her husbands here, one-by-one. If you’re not afraid, you’ll enjoy a tour of the tastefully decorated interiors.

Dabble does Jamaica74b

Rose Hall Great Hall
Photography by Angela Auclair

4. Immerse yourself in Jamaican culture and art at the Old Fort Craft and Heritage Park. Meet artisans and crafters and find something unique to love and bring home.

Jamaica 5

Handmade crafts at Old Fort Craft and Heritage Park
Photography by Angela Auclair

5. Located at the centre of Montego Bay and amongst the cobblestone streets of Sam Sharpe Square are heritage structures dedicated to Jamaica’s national hero, Samuel Sharpe. Samuel spoke out against slavery and was eventually tried and hung after the rebellion to abolish slavery failed. His bravery lives on.

Dabble does Jamaica98

Heritage sculptures at Sam Sharpe Square
Photography by Angela Auclair

6. Take a walk through history when you visit this authentic sugar plantation at Greenwood Great House. The home features most of the original furniture and some rare musical instruments.

Dabble does Jamaica101

Greenwood Great House
Photography by Angela Auclair

GoldenEye – The Home of Ian Fleming

“I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to live the rest of my life in Jamaica.”

~Ian Fleming

Design Contributor Nicholas Rosaci at GoldenEye in Jamaica. Photography by Angela Auclair

Design Contributor Nicholas Rosaci at GoldenEye in Jamaica.
Photography by Angela Auclair

On the northern coastline of Jamaica, in the parish of St. Mary’s, is the GoldenEye Hotel and Resort. This Caribbean hideaway, comprised of 13 luxury villas and lagoon cottages has restaurants, pools, spas, and beaches. It’s also got Bond. James Bond. Well, at least it has his essence.

GoldenEye is an oasis which has played host to legendary visitors such as British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, Noel Coward, Elizabeth Taylor, Truman Capote, Errol Flynn, and more recently Jay Z and Beyoncé, Martha Stewart and Bono. (Martha and Bono were not there together!)

Beloved British author, Ian Fleming purchased these 15 acres of land in 1946. He turned the donkey race course (we’re not making this up) into a 3 bedroom bungalow and named it GoldenEye. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea one can no doubt understand how Fleming grew inspired to write the 14 novels of his now famous James Bond 007 series.

The estate was purchased by Bob Marley in 1976, and sold one year later to record mogul Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. Blackwell propelled Reggae music worldwide and catapulted the careers of Bob Marley, Grace Jones and U2.

GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, formerly the home of Ian Fleming. Photography by Angela Auclair

GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, formerly the home of Ian Fleming.
Photography by Angela Auclair

Recently renovated, GoldenEye re-opened in 2010 with an additional 17 rooms. The décor has an organic-tropical vibe that just may inspire you to do something creative.

fleming

Ian Fleming wrote all 14 novels of the James Bond 007 series at GoldenEye.

Not planning a trip to Jamaica this year? Then check out Pierce Brosnan (a gorgeous Bond!) in the movie of the same name. GoldenEye.

Toronto Home Tour – Part 2

Kimberley Seldon makes this space feel cozy for a couple that loves to entertain. Located just minutes from the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto, this condo has been transformed into a calming and zen environment ready for a party or two!

Originally aired on Cityline.ca on January 16, 2014.

Toronto Home Tour – Part 1

Kimberley Seldon makes this space feel cozy for a couple that loves to entertain. Located just minutes from the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto, this condo has been transformed into a calming and zen environment ready for a party or two!

Originally aired on Cityline.ca on January 16, 2014.

Sneak Peek into the pages of Houses with Charm

Southern Style. Author Susan Sully takes us inside the pages of her latest coffee table book Houses with Charm: Simple Southern Style.

Savannah Living Room 2

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.

Savannah Kitchen

At the suggestion of interior designers Carter Kay and Nancy Hooff, the dropped ceiling was removed, exposing the original longleaf pine joists and trusses.

Houses with Charm

See more of this house tour in Dabble on January 30th.

Tel Aviv Home Tour

Kimberley Seldon and Shai DeLuca-Tamasi take us on a tour of Israeli design in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, ways to incorporate your TV into your decor, plus a beautiful winter mantel.

Originally aired on Cityline.ca on December 19, 2013.

Family Cottage

blogimg339

Ready to update his 1920s family cottage, Mark Narsansky turned to his designer and longtime partner Philip Mitchell for help. How did Philip create more space to host more and larger family gatherings while preserving the cottage’s vintage personality?

This family cottage plays host to many guests on a frequent basis. Designer Philip Mitchell says, ‘The layout of the furniture helps to ease traffic flow in the living room.’

blogimg340

To accommodate large dinner parties, Philip chooses a table that extends to seat 26 guests, perfect for holidays, birthdays and special events. A distressed finish means there’s no drama if children or pets accidentally scratch the surface.

To read and view the full home tour, check out Family Cottage, Issue 3 July/Aug 2011.

Home Tour with Erinn Valencich

blogimg472

We loved learning more about Erinn Valencich in our recent interview with her for Dabble’s inaugural issue. We titled the column ‘Swimming Pools and Movie Stars’ as a riff on the Beverley Hillbillies theme song, since her project was in that well known high-rent neighbourhood. Our editorial team was immediately attracted to the interior’s easy, carefree spirit as it seemed ideally suited to southern California.

As with any magazine, it’s not always possible to include every photo in a feature spread. Here are a few of the photos that didn’t make our first cut, but are nonetheless worthy of attention.

blogimg473

This guest bedroom and adjacent bathroom would be a welcome sight for any guest in need of overnight accommodations. The luxury of bathing with the windows wide open is not lost to a majority of North Americans who live with cold weather temperatures.

blogimg474

With everything close at hand, the office commute doesn’t have to be a long one. We love how simple, almost austere, this working space feels. Who needs distractions when deadlines are looming?

blogimg475

Still another room with exquisite views to outdoors framed in ebony.