Tag Archives: Bedroom


Active Home: A Designer’s Guide To Bed-Making

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Active Home: A Designer’s Guide To Bed-Making

I admit it – I’m a bed maker. There may be some of you who tend to leave it as is or toss the comforter over the lumpy sheets and pillows. And why not? You’re only going to get back into it in the next 14 to 16 hours. Not me – I gain a great sense of satisfaction from a well-made bed and can’t start my day until I do so.

I will also admit to having a few (maybe nine) pillows on my bed. A well-designed bed is like painting or cooking – you’re adding layers to the medium that you’re working in and building on the flavours. In the art of bed-making, you’re also layering with fabrics, textures and pillows to create the perfect bed – that’s just right for you.

Photography By John Heineman

The design of your headboard generally sets the tone, as it’s the backdrop for your bedding. The material that it’s made of, as well as the height and the style, will influence the overall look. However, you can create different effects if you don’t have a headboard – and that’s where pillows (and more pillows) can come in handy.

Photography courtesy of Revelle Home Fashions


Fitted sheets are now deeper – more voluminous – in order to accommodate thicker mattresses, pillow tops and mattress covers. Make sure that the bottom sheet is pulled taut and tucked under all of the corners. The top (flat) sheet should be placed with the pattern down. The end with the largest hem goes at the head of the bed, then when you fold it over, the pattern will be showing. I prefer solid-coloured sheets, like white or natural-toned, so that I can make a bigger statement with my top covers. I also include a thin, cotton blanket for a breathable layer of insulation. If I don’t want to use the duvet, or find that it’s too hot, I still feel cosy.

Photography By Brandon Barre


Duvets are very versatile covers, because inserts come in varying degrees of warmth ratings, as well as alternative stuffing options. I’ll share a design secret with you – for an extra fluffy looking bed, add an extra duvet inside the cover.

Unlike duvets, comforters don’t require inserts. The colours and patterns of the fabric are usually dyed, then filled with a polyester (synthetic) batting and stitched to keep the filling evenly distributed. Often a comforter is sold in a packaged set, with pillow shams and (possibly) decorative cushions to match.

Photography By Brandon Barre

Not all bedding manufacturers have caught up with the changing mattress industry, so I suggest that you purchase a duvet or comforter that is a size larger than the actual bed – a king for a queen, a queen for a double, etc. When dealing with a king-sized bed, I will often have top covers custom-made with additional fabric for better coverage.

Photography courtesy of Revelle Home Fashions


It is my penchant to expose approximately one quarter of the top sheet by folding it down from the head of the bed. Turn down the sheet, blanket and duvet together, and then smooth them down. I’ve ironed many beds into this configuration for photographs, and its very rewarding when all the linens line up. If you prefer a flat finish, bring the sheet, blankets and covers up to the head of the bed, and then smooth out each layer (one at a time) so that they lay flat.

Trend-setting bed frames now have lower sides and exposed legs. With this type of look, the bedding should be tucked in to keep it sleek and stylish. For this modern effect, you’ll need to look up how to do a proper hospital corner, unless your career background makes you an expert.

Photography By Brandon Barre


Start with two sleeping pillows, place the open ends of the pillowcases so that they meet each other in the middle of the bed. Next up are the Euro shams. Arrange up to three (on a king-sized bed) of these large, square pillows. They should complement the duvet cover, but they don’t have to match. The next set of pillows fill the matching shams of the duvet cover. As these will only be used for display, make sure that they are nice and full. Arrange complementary throw pillows in colours and textures to go with the overall ensemble.

For the pièce de résistance, add a quilt or matelassé along the bottom of the bed.

This is just a guideline to making a fabulous-looking bed. If you invest in great bedding, and then add your personal preferences and style sense, I guarantee that you’ll want to make up your bed everyday.

Photography By Brandon Barre

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., Founder & Principal Designer of Jane Lockhart Interior Design. Lockhart is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality, including six seasons as creative director and host of W Networks’ Colour Confidential. JaneLockhart.com


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Jo Alcorn: How to Create the Best Bedroom Retreat

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Jo Alcorn: How to Create the Best Bedroom Retreat

When the cooler weather arrives, people tend to hunker down and seek out cuddly corners in their home. Fall is an ideal time to create a cozy bedroom retreat, before the annual time change and seasonal lack of sunshine happens. Looking after this ever so important room in the house will ensure you get a good night’s rest during the cooler months ahead, and all year long!

Here are my top 5 tips to creating the most inviting and relaxing bedroom retreat out there.

Mattress Madness – This is the nuts and bolts of creating a deep and restful sleep. There are hundreds of mattress options out there, and your choice will literally make or break the quality of your sleep. I recently tested out a new mattress from Bill’s Bed, which was delivered directly to my door in a golf bag-sized box (the box spring also came in a box) – they were both so manageable I could get them up my super small staircase on my own. It’s the most innovative mattress I have seen! Not only did it pop out of a box, it has this amazing double-sided option; one side of the mattress is firm and the other plush. So, depending on your preference, you can simply flip the mattress over to get the perfect firmness for you! It also has a great 100-night sleep guaranteed – but rest assured, I’ve already tested out this mattress and it will not be going anywhere!

Attention to Ambiance – Whenever I create a bedroom space for my clients, I ensure this room feels relaxing, giving my clients a perfect space to unwind. I love to include a fireplace in a bedroom – after all, what could really be any more relaxing than a fireplace? Got a small space or don’t have access to a romantic wood burning option to help you relax? No problem! Dimplex has simple and sleek units that come out of a box and literally plug in so you can enjoy the ambiance of a fire year round. Plus, they are so realistic looking; you won’t miss the mess of a wood-burning unit for one second! They also have no-heat options which are very cool, excuse the pun! These allow you to have all the ambiance of a flaming fire without the heat, in the warmer months, too.

All Day I Dream of Darkness – Ensuring your room doesn’t have a stitch of light slipping through the curtains or blinds is key to a good night’s rest. Bouclair has super affordable blackout curtains and now they even have blinds that are light blocking. Now you can keep style front and centre in your space but also ensure not light enters your sleeping zone. Luckily, there is no need to sacrifice style for performance with all the options they have.

Sumptuous Sleep – I love to choose bedding that is lush, fun and curl-up inducing. I always top a bed with some great pillows from my Jo Alcorn collection, and my headboards create the finishing touch that makes you want to dive right in and relax. My line is now available for purchase online, delivered right to your door with white glove service. Pop on over to my site to peruse what might work in your space – Jo Alcorn Collection

Diffusing to Dream Land – Every person, young and old, can benefit from a bedtime routine. Hot baths with Epsom salts, journaling before bed about what you are grateful for, or diffusing your favourite essential oil to help you un-wind from the day are all great options to get you off to sleep easily and relaxed from the day’s stresses. I love the idea of a diffuser in your bedroom to disperse essential oils into the room at night to create a peaceful atmosphere. My fav? A great atomizing diffuser from independent distributor of Young Living, The Oil Girls.

Those are a few tips and products I love to incorporate in any bedroom I design. They are the keys to a good night’s rest, which we all need. And they help to relieve stress as soon as we enter this special place. Let’s face it – we all need, deserve in fact, a place where we want to cuddle up and feel our best. So get started now, before the weather turns cold and you wish you had a calm, relaxing spot to retreat to.



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Designer Touch – Sea-Side Dreams

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Designer Touch – Sea-Side Dreams

A masterful master bedroom and bath makeover make the most of a lakeside view.

Photography By Stephani Buchman

Nestled among the charms of downtown Oakville, this three-level townhouse boasts picture perfect lakefront views, with sailboats and swans bobbing by daily. The aquatic outdoor scenery became a natural source of interior inspiration, with each room designed to frame the vistas and invite them in. Here’s how we achieved this serene marine esthetic.

The natural place to start was with the home’s colour palette, which organically tended toward the tranquil tones of the sea. In the master bedroom, we opted for gentle cream, grey and seafoam, complementing the outdoor views and welcoming the lakeside life in.


Every room demands a focal point to anchor the eye. In this master bedroom, it’s the fireplace. To make this a true statement piece and tie it together with the home’s prevailing nautical theme, we faced it with multi-tonal mosaic tile that shimmers in the light, inspired by waves catching the sun. The bed also became a dramatic focal point for the room, with its charcoal-coloured, upholstered and tufted headboard. Positioned on the main wall opposite the fireplace, this large, king-sized headboard brings balance to the room. Underfoot, the hardwood floor was softened and warmed with an oversized custommade area rug, which brings texture and complements the cream-andseafoam colour scheme. The rug is large enough to cover most of the floor’s surface, unifying the sitting area with the sleep zone.

On either side of the fireplace, a pair of mirrored closet doors, accented with oval crystal knobs, bring a much-needed touch of sparkle. The mirrors are as pretty as they are functional, bouncing light and views around the room to make it appear larger than its actual size, while delivering stylish storage space.


On the adjacent wall, a bank of windows features a pair of French doors in the centre, flanked by two stationary windows. For privacy and light protection, we installed Hunter Douglas woven shades in a grey-green tone to complement the colour scheme when closed. But with this spectacular view, the shades are usually opened, so we framed the view with decorative pinch-pleated drapes in a soft textured fabric, echoing the prevailing creamand- seafoam colour palette.


Attached to the master bedroom, the ensuite bath follows the same airy esthetic with 12-by-24-inch marble floor tiles that lighten and brighten the space. The luxury continues with the addition of a large steamshower, complete with a rain-shower fixture and wall jets, and heated floors for pampered and toasty toes. A minimalistic custom double vanity with oversized drawers adds simplicity, sensibility and storage space. Above the vanity, we installed an oversized mirror with integrated sconces, for visual interest.


This master retreat makeover was part of a much larger home renovation and reorganization. We moved the master bedroom from the third floor to the second, which once housed the family room. We also added some space from an adjoining room and closet in order to create a large master bathroom and master closet. This provided for a more practical layout, putting the two older children on the top floor with two bedrooms and a large adjoining bathroom.


Think about where you spend your time, and invest space accordingly. Consider re-jigging your floor plan, and don’t be afraid to take some square footage from secondary rooms to create a luxury retreat that dreams are made of!

A cantilevered bench seat of quartz was added as a restful place to relax in the steam shower. A bench like this requires steel supports to ensure stability, so consider this option when planning and framing your shower—not as an afterthought.

To achieve this sophisticated seaside style, we combined varying tones of the same colour palette throughout the home. The visual interest comes via the use of contrast. Varying shades of creams, greys and greens, and their combination of light and dark, bring warmth and drama to the space.

SOURCES BATHROOM FLOOR & SHOWER TILE: Ciot; VANITY, MIRROR: custom by Kate + Co; PLUMBING FIXTURES: Watermarks; VANITY SCONCES: Restoration Hardware; BATH WALL PAINT: Lacey Pearl 2108-70 Benjamin Moore; BEDROOM MASTER BEDROOM PAINT: Sea Salt CSP-95 Benjamin Moore; KING BED, DRAPERIES: custom through Kate + Co; CUSTOM AREA RUG, ACCENT CHAIR, NIGHTSTANDS: Cocoon Furnishings; BENCH SEAT: Colette Bench by Crate & Barrel; ACCENT TABLE: Casalife; BLINDS: Hunter Douglas

Accredited designer Kate Davidson is the Principal of Kate Davidson Design Inc.—a multi-disciplinary interior design firm providing complete design, renovating and decorating services for residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. katedavidsondesign.com @KateDavidson_


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Spa day: High-end bathroom renos can require some extra planning work

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Spa day: High-end bathroom renos can require some extra planning work

For many contractors, bathroom renovations are their bread and butter. For one, as people’s tastes change over time if you do a good job the first time, you could end up with repeat business every five or 10 years. Often, the work is a simple touch-up, swapping out some dated fixtures and tiles, and repainting the walls.


But some clients want a complete spa-like experience at home and are willing to take over dens and smaller bedrooms to achieve their goals. While potentially lucrative, these larger bathroom renovations require some careful planning.

For starters, you’ll likely need to extend or run new water supply lines to the new fixtures and connect the drain for each to the stack.


Many modern fixtures also often require electrical power supply. Kohler’s DTV+ system, for example, uses a waterproof touchscreen to control the showerhead, body sprays, steam settings, and built-in audio. The interface connects to a controller via a supplied 25’ cable that should be hung with a drip loop. The controller itself plugs into a standard outlet.


An in-home sauna is another luxurious option. Once framed, you’ll want to insulate the walls, floor, and ceiling around the sauna and cover it with foil vapour barrier to reflect the heat back inwards. In addition to framing the room itself, you’ll need power supply for the lights, thermostat, exhaust fan, and heating cable (or natural gas if you’re going that route). You’ll also need dedicated ductwork for the exhaust.

While long-popular overseas, bidets are slowly but surely making inroads here in Canada. Kohler’s C3 units are retrofit seats that can convert an existing toilet into a working bidet, complete with heated seat and warm-air fan for drying. The unit plugs into a dedicated GFCI receptacle. If one doesn’t exist within 12” of the basin, you’ll need to add an outlet.


Mirrors and vanities may also require wiring. Kohler’s lighted Verdera medicine cabinet has built-in LED lighting that can be connected to a dimmer switch. There are also two electrical outlets on the inside for small appliances such as electric razors and toothbrushes. The company’s Tailored Vanity series includes an optional three-plug outlet that mounts inside the cabinet.


To maximize space and add a stylish look, one increasingly popular option is a wall-mounted toilet such as Kohler’s Veil. The nice thing about this model is that the tank mounts on an adjustable bracket that fits between the wall studs. If your client is considering a Veil toilet, keep this in mind when running your other plumbing, wiring, and ductwork in the wall cavity.


If you are tearing out walls to combine existing rooms, you may need to reroute some of the ductwork so you don’t end up with hot and cold pockets in the newly configured room. Also keep in mind that adding additional fixtures and opening up walls may mean the existing exhaust fan is undersized. Check the unit’s CFM rating to see if you need to upgrade it.


Finally, if they’re going to go to all this trouble, your client will likely also want heated floors. Heated mats hardwired in place directly below the tiles are the simplest option. But for long-term savings, homeowners might want to consider a hydronic system.


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Before & After : Bedroom

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Before & After : Bedroom

By : Jo Alcorn

While many people overlook their bedroom thinking no one sees it but them, it is a room that people should make a priority. It’s the first thing you see in the morning, and the last room you curl up in at night, so why not make it a place that brings you joy?

While there was nothing wrong functionally with this bedroom, it really lacked inspiration, detail and personality. My goal was to fill up this large space with items that brought it to life, and add detailing that would make it a show stopper in this home.

To start, I always recommend a colour that you love; choose one that gives you a serene, relaxing feel and that speaks to you personally. For this space I chose Wickham Gray HC-171. It is the base that started to bring this room to life.

To add interest and dimension, I made a few features in this space with moulding. We created a wall treatment using great trim products from Metrie, which gives the space an elegant feel.

The most common request when working on a bedroom remodel is to create a serene, relaxing atmosphere. A fireplace is the perfect addition to a bedroom setting, but the main issue I encounter is that wood is messy and gas is expensive to install. A great option is an electric unit. Electric has drastically evolved in recent years and can create the exact ambiance, mood and overall sense of comfort that is perfect for a bedroom. They are also easy to install and extremely affordable. This unit is a Dimplex unit that took the homeowner only 25 minutes to unload, unpack and set up!

To spice up the new fireplace unit, we had a custom build-up created to give it that “real” fireplace mantel feel. We used Metrie products again and matched the existing crown moulding to the new unit. It creates a simply stunning effect. To add the finishing touches to the mantel I picked up some great artwork and accessories from HomeSense to really pull it all together.

No bedroom is complete without a bed – it is the most important functional piece in the room. In this space we used a Casper mattress, which was delivered in a box right to the homeowners’ front door. It’s a great option for people without cars and city dwellers. Plus it’s extremely comfortable! Pair that up with the headboard and bed frame from the Jo Alcorn Collection and we have a winning combination of style, colours, textures and comfort.

Now to dress the bed. This is where you can have some serious fun with patterns, colour and texture. We started with crisp white sheets, pillows and pillow cases from Casper and topped it off with a subtle duvet cover from HomeSense. Again from the Jo Alcorn Collection, we used pillows to incorporate the exact texture and finishing touches that are perfect for this room.

The side table lamps and curtains were purchased from Wayfair.ca. Wayfair is a great site that has an outstanding amount of products to choose from (over 7 million to be exact!), their site is easy to navigate and they offer two-day delivery options and free shipping over CAD $75.

I often like to add a bench to the end of the bed. It looks great and is also the perfect place to pile your decorative pillows and throw at night when you turn in. For this space I used this stylish white bench from Bouclair which fit perfectly in the space and the budget. We picked up a great light from Bouclair as well.


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