Less is More? Which way do you Dabble?

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Sure. We can appreciate the purity of a room with no visual distractions. But we can also appreciate a room that’s actually decorated.

Who’s having more fun? The spare and disciplined? Or those who surrender to colour,  pattern and accessories?

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Which way do you Dabble?

Schwartzenberg Palace, Prague

Prague 26

Schwartzenberghy Palác

A rare and impressive collection of Baroque Bohemian art is behind the sgraffito* clad walls of this well-preserved Renaissance palace. Despite the unfamiliar artists’ names, the paintings and sculptures are masterful. And to be fair, had history been different, we’d likely know these artists as well as we know the names Titian, Ruebens and Rodin.

Design Lesson

*Sgraffito is an Italian method of building up patterns using plaster of contrasting colour.

A Heartfelt Space

  • What’s the benefit of designing your own living room? “Complete creative license,” says interior designer Jennifer Brouwer.
  • Jennifer shopped at Arteriors for the tall table lamps with dramatic black shades. The side tables and buffet from Geovin are lacquered red while the curtains and ottoman are custom pieces by Jennifer Brouwer Design.
  • Jennifer says the secret to mixing and matching different patterns is to select six to ten different fabrics, toss them on the sofa, stand back and see which ones work in the space and which ones clash.

“I am a firm believer in the psychology of great design.” ~Jennifer

Jennifer’s challenge was to create a 240 square foot office / showroom / living room to be shared by children and a busy working mom and her staff.

Located in Markham, Ontario, Jennifer Brouwer Designs is a showroom office where clients are invited to visualize the endless possibilities of a design project. Though Jennifer selected a palette her three children love, the Burberry inspired focal wall and fire engine red accessories are all her.

Through a full scale renovation, Jennifer wanted to show staff and clients that starting with great bones and good furniture gives you the freedom to transform spaces with paint and accessories. Jennifer says, “Once Valentine’s Day passes, I can swap the large heart painting by Una Johnstone with something more fitting for spring.”

Jennifer hired Barbara Rocha from Paint a Lifestyle to create the large scale Burberry inspired striped wall using Black Iron (2120-20), Exotic Red (2086-10) and Litchfield Gray (HC-78) from Benjamin Moore. The pattern is applied on one wall while the others (including the ceiling) are painted black; allowing decorative elements to pop. When using bold patterns and colours, says the designer, less is more. “What you omit from a room is as important as the things you include.”

Photography by Donna Griffith