The Do’s & Dont’s of Outdoor Decorating

Originally aired on Cityline.ca on May 20, 2014.

GoldenEye

  • Furnishings, like the bamboo and wicker drumtables and stone coffee table are simple and organic in shape. Classic Panton chairs tuck under the dark wood chess tables.
  • Black frames on a white bead board wall display images of Bond author, Ian Fleming at GoldenEye.
  • The unassuming white-washed bungalow with cedar shingles is perched atop an oceanfront cliff that leads to a private beach.
  • Sustainable wood furniture connects the interior to nature.
  • The textured ceiling gives the whitewashed interior a more intimate scale.
  • As the author said himself, “Don’t on any account fool around too much with colours. Keep everything white inside.”
  • Fleming's original desk (the one at which he wrote 14 James Bond novels) still resides at GoldenEye.
  • The villa also features a private outdoor spa bathroom surrounded by tropical foliage, blooming trees and bamboo fences.

 PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA AUCLAIR

Home Tour with Erinn Valencich

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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.

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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.

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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?

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

Welcome to Ottawa

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In Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, politics play a leading role. The parliament buildings take centre stage downtown while the Prime Minister and Governor Generals’ residences face off on Sussex Drive. For a small city, architecture makes a big statement and yet, it’s the capital’s natural setting that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

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With four season offerings for the outdoor enthusiast Ottawa is a year-round destination. But none can deny the magical charms of winter in the capital. Christmas lights emblazen the downtown core as temperatures drop, turning the lively Rideau Canal into the world’s longest outdoor skating rink.

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Swimming Pools and Movie Stars

  • The stucco exterior is enlivened by a series of grid patterns —on the garage doors, at the front door, and in the concrete pads of the driveway.
  • In a city where everyone’s a star, Erinn knows what it takes to make a dramatic entrance. The Asian inspired fretwork of the front door is the result of a sketch she penned while out to dinner with friends.
  • The difficulty with contemporary design is its tendency to be cold. Erinn created a warm, modern feeling by incorporating sleek wood features in the window surrounds, on the floors and in the landscaping.
  • With a base of warmth established, she was able to clad the living room fireplace in stucco and insert a chrome U-channel to create the massive grid, mimicking exterior materials, without fear the feature would read as “cold”.
  • Introducing the soft, gray oak (a repeated element from the living room floors) warms the high gloss surfaces of the spacious kitchen.
  • The sun-drenched family room and kitchen enjoy poolside views and easy access to the outdoor barbecue. Erinn insists on an open floor plan for homes where entertaining happens frequently.
  • Erinn pays particular attention to the backsplash when she’s designing kitchens. “A typical mirrored backsplash might have created uncomfortable shine with so much sunlight,” says the designer.
  • Casual seating provided by sleek bar stools tucks discreetly beneath statuary Calcutta gold marble countertops.
  • The master bedroom is something of a departure from the rest of the house. Here, dark wood floors and the royal blue suede headboard create a cozier, more dramatic setting. Floor-toceiling bookshelves conceal a central pocket door that leads to the ensuite. “It’s almost like walking through a tunnel,” the designer enthuses, “which is very cool.”
  • Honeyed wood and white lacquer cabinets combine with champagne coloured mosaic tiles in the master ensuite. The room’s most dramatic feature is the private garden seen beyond the glass shower wall.
  • A repetition of organic materials—wood, stucco, stone—creates flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • An avid gardener, Erinn uses succulents in boxed concrete beds to provide structure to contemporary gardens. Japanese maple trees (seen in the back corner) add complementary colour to large expanses of green.

Making a comeback in swanky town USA takes more than desire. Hard work, vision, re-direction and a bit of luck are required to bring waning potential back into the spotlight. Dabble chatted with interior designer Erinn Valencich who recently faced such a challenge transforming a traditional home in the tony Trousdale Estates neighbourhood of Beverly Hills.

“I envisioned an urban oasis with large windows leading to outdoor rooms,” says the designer. “We started with a beautiful footprint and expansive views. I added floor to ceiling glass walls and additional ceiling height, growing rooms from 9 to12 feet.”

Dabble Savvy: UNDERSTATED IMPACT

  • Sleek pattern makes a statement in contemporary settings. Graphic lines provide order and can be introduced as architectural detail.
  • High contrast adds drama. A combination of light wood floors and dark window surrounds produces head-turning results.
  • Combine diverse textures for impact. The rough, matte stucco and smooth, concrete stepping stones are complemented and softened by shrubery and trees.

Designed by Erinn Valencich; Photography by Adrian Anz