Bay Window


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?

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.

Thirsty For Light DIY


Got Straws? Using 1,000 sublime drinking straws, DIY GUY Nicholas Rosaci creates a mind-blowing chandelier, sure to quench your thirst for something cool.

* 1 roll (24′ x 5′) welded hardware mesh, 24 gauge
* Approx. 25, 4′ miniature plastic ties
* Approx. 1,500 plastic straws (colour of your choice; quantity varies according to shade size)
* Pendant Light Wiring Kit (swag lighting kit) with socket (available at IKEA, most hardware stores)
* Low voltage LED light to avoid heat build-up and fire risk, ask you local LED light distributor.
* Old or inexpensive drum-shaped lampshade of desired diameter
* Scissors
* Miniature wire cutting pliers (end-cutting)



Remove the fabric from the drum shade to reveal the metal rings that create its top and bottom shape.



Wrap the hardware mesh around the top of the lampshade’s ring to form a cylinder about the same diameter as the ring. With miniature plastic ties, attach the top and bottom rings of the shade to the edge of the top and bottom rows of the mesh. Space the ties about 6′ apart. Using wire cutters, trim the mesh to your desired shade height.



Cut the plastic straws in half. Fold each half straw in the middle and insert from the inside of the lampshade. Push the straw through the square openings of the mesh. (Make sure the crease, where the straw was folded in half, is wrapped around the wire of the mesh.) Insert the other end of the straw into the adjacent square. Continue inserting the straws, row by row, into all of the squares until the shade is completely covered.




Assemble the socket/swag lighting kit into the center of the top ring of the lampshade. Attach a white or colourful party LED bulb into the socket. We used a cool touch LED light bulb which offers the equivalent light output of a normal 75-100 watt incandescent bulb but only consumes a mere 3-13 watts. Plug lamp into a receptacle, turn on the switch and enjoy the light show.


Take 3: Hallway Overhaul

A daily thoroughfare should be anything but everyday. Turn an often ignored hallway into a purposeful beauty with one of these three creative solutions.

Photography by Simon Burn

Photography by Simon Burn


Cubist Console
This handsome console table is an ideal width for the niche in this long hallway, and it provides a spot to throw your keys at day’s end. Stretching from side to side, its driftwood grey colour is a lovely complement to the rugged stone floor. A large, cubist style painting titled “Mujer con Pez” (Woman with Fish) strikes a dramatic pose between the black shaded sconces.

Design Tip: Change white lamp shades to black to create a more dramatic, formal look.

Photography by Simon Burn

Photography by Simon Burn


English Manor
When storage is at a premium, take advantage of available floor and wall space. To capture vertical storage, position a tall bookshelf or étagère (similar to a bookshelf, an étagère is an open shelving unit meant for display) against the hallway wall. Now, decorative objects such as the antique wooden boxes, leather books, and personal mementos are in clear view.

Design Tip: An étagère’s open back allows wall colour to become part of the display.

Photography by Simon Burn

Photography by Simon Burn


Gallery Style Art Wall
A series of mismatched stools becomes part of the dynamic art display on a bare hallway wall. To create a similar grouping, measure available wall space, considering fixed features such as sconces or light switches. Cut a piece of butcher’s paper to the required size and lay it on the floor. Position artwork in a pleasing composition, making sure outside edges line up with butcher’s paper edges and leaving 1″–3″ gaps between pieces. Next, using a ruler, determine exact placement of nail holes and mark spots on the paper. Finally, tape butcher’s paper onto wall and put nails through marked holes. Tear paper away and hang artwork.

Design Tip: Combine objects d’art with framed pieces for added interest.