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.

 

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?

Savannah: Top Décor Spots

1  If vintage and antique furniture and accessories appeals, Savannah’s a great destination. Try Jeres Antiques which has 33,000 square feet to browse in.

2  It’s likely you intent to tour the Mercer House, but if time is short, at least make time to visit Mercer House Carriage Shop. Take home a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil or go big and purchase the Bird Girl statue replica that graces the cover of the book.

3  When you’re shopping on Broughton Street, be sure to pop into 24e and  DC2 Design for contemporary furnishings and accessories.

4 Madame Chrysanthemum is the scented laboratory of florist Michelle Mikulec. The garden shop has great displays and vintage style treasures to take home.

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Madame Chrysanthemum

5  Alex Raskin Antiques claims they are the most interesting store in Savannah and we agree. Located on Bull Street, the old house turned store has architectural salvage, furniture, mirrors, accessories and more.

Savannah: Top 5 Design Stores

Author Susan Sully spent a day with Dabble and shared her favourite shopping spots.  As Savannah’s design scene is really a combination of coastal, West Indies and southern country style we’re sure you’ll find plenty to love.

1 Paris Market & Brocante is two floors of European charm. Furniture, art, accessories and antiques are acquired by owner Paula Danyluk who shops the globe.

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2  It’s easy to find something you love at One Fish, Two Fish, located in the Design District (near Mercer House and Mrs. Wilkes),  Jennifer Beaufait Grayson’s store has an eclectic mix of new and painted furniture, bedding, bath, books and jewelry.

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 3  The ultimate coastal store is No. Four Eleven. In addition to a disciplined nautical theme, the store specializes in monogram linens and vintage finds.

4  Shop  Savannah College of Art and Design’s shopSCAD for painted canvasses, photography, sculptures, jewellery, clothing and more. Buy a piece of art and who knows, it might be worth millions one day!

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5  Interior design duo Sim Harvey and Phillip Harvey are the masterminds behind Arcanum, the spot for furnishings and antiques.

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Family Cottage

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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.’

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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.

Barcelona’s Top 5 Design Shops

“To make the most of a day exploring the design scene,” says Kimberley, “begin midmorning with a café con leche and canya (pastry with cream). There’s still plenty of time for lingering at famous sights and still more hours for shopping, since stores typically stay open until 8:00 pm.“

Shop attendants are not always immediately friendly upon your entry, but a smile and a Buenos Tardes usually wins them over.

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ABOVE: An impressive selection of industrial and rustic furnishings is stock in trade at Azul Tierra.

1. Just off Passeig de Gràcia is Kimberley’s favourite design shop, Azul Tierra. To be fair, Azul Tierra might be anywhere in the world—the large-scale industrial vibe is currently all the rage. She cautions, “The stunning jewelry and accessories may cause your wallet to leap from your bag.”

2. Be prepared to peruse the store’s crowded inventory at least twice to take in the variety at Little House and Cottage. It’s a jumble of goodies from vintage to modern.

3. Foosball games, cardboard stools, Pantone chairs and kitchen accessories are part of the eclectic selection of contemporary goods at Galerias Vinçon S.L. Look for a cooking class or gelato making session in the zona de demostracionas.

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ABOVE: The famous, Barcelona Chair, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

4. Catchy graphics adorn every kitchen accessory imaginable at Avet—from glasses to aprons to lunch boxes.

5. Enthusiastic antique shoppers will flock to the 73 shops inside Bulevard Rosa. Fine period furnishings, turn of the century collectibles and original artwork are abundant. Negotiating is allowed. It’s always a good policy to make friends with the owner by complimenting the selection before attempting a purchase. Save time to visit Mary’s Market, the gourmet food store on the main floor.

3 Days in Budapest

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Day 1

MORNING Spend your first day in Pest and enjoy the flat terrain as you wander it most impressive sites. Start with a hearty breakfast of apple strudel and strong coffee at Első Pesti Rétesház just steps from the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace and St. Stephen’s Basilica— two destinations at the top of your itinerary today.

MID-MORNING Wander towards the Gothic Revival style Hungarian Parliament Building near the edge of the Danuble. The red star of communism was removed from the central steeple in 1990 and today the building is a symbol of Hungary’s solidarity. It’s worth a short side trip to cross over to the edge of the Danube from the Parliament Building and locate the Shoes on the Danube Promenade.

NOON A tour of the Dohány Street Great Synagogue is a moving and sobering experience. Professional guides provide historic context and point out the area’s most moving monuments.

AFTERNOON Next, hop a street car and exit at the Great Market Hall. Surely, you’re hungry by now? Order a cold beer and sausage with sauerkraut before taking in the souvenirs on display.

EVENING Stroll along picturesque Andrássy útca en route to dinner and an opera. Café Callas neighbours the Hungarian State Opera House so you’ll have time to eat and make the 7:00 pm curtain.

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Day 2

MORNING Have an early breakfast at your hotel before heading to the Ecseri Flea Market. Hunt for vintage Herend porcelain and fine art oil paintings among rustic outdoor stands.

Dabble Savvy: Bring cash and expect to bargain.

LUNCH Ask the cab to drop you at Buda Castle and you’re steps from Alabárdos Étterem and a truly memorable meal. Authentic home cooking tastes even better served on fine Herend china.

AFTERNOON Buda Castle’s majestic Hungarian National Gallery is the premier place to appreciate Hungary’s artistic achievements. The paintings rival Europe’s finest and a knowledgeable guide brings the experience to life.

MID-AFTERNOON For culture of a different varietal, the cellars of Királyi Borok are steps from Buda Castle.

EVENING Dinner at Café Kör is simply a must.

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Day 3

MORNING Spend the morning shopping in the folksy village of Szentendre, a mere 30 minutes from the city centre. Stay for lunch and then grab a cab back into town.

AFTERNOON What trip to Budapest would be complete without a visit to the Gellért Baths? Don’t forget your bathing suit and bring a towel from your hotel.

EVENING It’s hard to resist the romantic pull of a Danube River cruise. There are dozens of boats leaving at various times, so ask your concierge for a recommendation. For those who prefer dry land, a meal at Gundel is memorable.

Shelves for 3 Rooms

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In the bathroom
Convenient hooks hold back scrubbers and drying towels at the ready.

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In the living room
Create a sophisticated display by styling shelves with leather books and vintage silver.

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In the bedroom
Keep styling simple in restful spaces like the bedroom. Vintage tins and milk glass underscore the country theme.

Read the entire article ‘Quick Tip Chix – On the Shelf’ in Issue 8 of Dabble.

At Dusk

  • Orange and blue are complementary colours that work in harmony with the pool.
  • “I dabble in... entertaining. There’s nothing I like more than having my close friends over”. ~ Matt
  • Matt prepares tangy martinis at the tiki bar.
  • RIGHT Simple and stylish appetizersare crowd pleasers.
  • Send a message to guests on slate plates from Crate and Barrel.
  • Dabble’s DIY Guy, Nicholas Rosaci takes a well-deserved seat in the lush setting he’s created for his client.
  • "Attention to detail is what really gives a home a feeling of quality and style. Every detail should work in harmony to create a space that truly sings." ~Nicholas

At dusk….that’s when this newly transformed backyard looks its starlit best. How fitting, since the house in question belongs to crooner and jazz vocalist Matt Dusk.

In designing an at-home retreat for the globe trotting musician, designer Nicholas Rosaci artfully combines two of his client’s passions—travel and vintage Hollywood.

Starting with a great backdrop helps any decorating project and Nicholas was pleased to see the combination of buff brick on the house and terracotta on the patio floor. Against these fixed elements, the daring designer added bold aqua blue and fiery orange to, “Ahem, jazz things up.”

“Orange is current and urbane,” says Nicholas, “and it complements the watery blues of the  swimming pool.” To give the casual dining area a sense of ceremony, Nicholas circled its perimeter with breezy white drapery panels by Sunbrite Drapery. Moroccan lanterns lend sparkle to evening events and set an exotic mood.

Favourite element? “Oh, it has to be the tiki bar,” says Matt. “And I make a mean martini too.”

The World on a String
Create a romantic mood by hanging all-weather light strings reminiscent of an Italian piazza or Tuscan courtyard.

Dream a Little Dream
Before purchasing a patio set, find some online design images for inspiration. End of season deals are always a possibility.

The Best is Yet to Come
Treat the patio with the same reverence as the living room. Dress the fence with art, mirrors and sculpture.

Memories are Made of This
Once the project is complete, christen it with friends and a festive celebration.

Rough Luxe

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows give way to three of Hollywood’s most famous sights: the iconic ‘Hollywood’ sign, Griffith Observatory and the conical Capitol Records Building at Hollywood and Vine.
  • A faux fur throw is the perfect addition to this black tufted leather sofa. To create the look, pair a distressed leather sofa with a luxurious faux fur throw.
  • Oversized lighting underscores the masculine drama. An “antler” chandelier shines above the dining table while a 70s grid illuminates the living room.
  • Kahi recalls, “When I started this project, everything in the room was white, My mantra is, don’t be shy about using bold colours, especially on walls. Dramatic colour creates a powerful mood.”

Rough Luxe = Distressed + Vintage + Luxury

“You’d expect to find drama in West Hollywood,” says interior designer Kahi Lee, “right?”

The photogenic LA designer is clearly ready for her close-up with this latest project for Jonas Brothers’ musician Nick, a penthouse suite that she describes as Rough Luxe.

Tasked with creating a modern masculine space, Kahi looked to Hollywood for inspiration. “Think Marlon Brando—the ultimate man’s man—elegant but rebellious.”

“I don’t do subtle,” says interior designer Kahi Lee

A handsome pair of tufted, black leather sofas dominate the living area, from their central perch on the shaggy area carpet. A large, pine topped coffee table services the seating.

An adjacent sitting area (above) gets its own star treatment with a custom designed wall covering. “It’s a splurge,” says the designer, “but it really makes a powerful statement.”

When asked, Kahi describes the condo’s style as, “Rough Luxe.” Though it’s masculine in appearance, it’s not without its glamour. Decadent touches include the faux fur throw on the living room sofa and the grass cloth covered walls with just a hint of iridescent sheen.