Tag Archives: By Design

By Design: Entertaining in 2020

Entertaining in 2020

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Entertaining in 2020

Illustration by Rachel Joanis

Intimate affairs are the new normal this season, as we all seek the warmth of home and the company of those near and dear to us. With safety still being top of mind, this entertaining trend promises to be about appreciation and a little indulgence. If you can’t treat 25 of your friends to a fun party, why not treat your social bubble or those in your immediate household to a truly fabulous, intimate event?

When it comes to hosting a great soiree, there are three key elements to consider: Consumables (food and drinks), entertainment, and last but certainly not least, ambience. As a designer, ambience naturally tops my list, as the overall look and feel of the space will lay the groundwork for the evening ahead. Here are some style layering tips to help set the mood in your home for an intimate soiree.

Furniture

Yes, you can and should move furniture for your event. While this is a common go-to strategy to accommodate large groups of people, a small gathering can also benefit from some strategic furniture placement. There’s nothing more awkward than people “floating” aimlessly in the room, and furniture placement allows you to usher guests into certain areas of the home. This may include an appetizer table in the kitchen, a beverage station in the den, a music/media area for audio and video requests, and areas throughout for guests to chat and chill.

Evaluate your space and take note of fixed focal points such as a fireplace or window with a great view. Now, create furniture vignettes around these, with facing chairs or couches, and some small tables throughout for guests to rest their drinks and dishes. Leave enough room between vignettes to allow the flow of traffic. Pay special attention to hot spots such as buffet tables or appetizer areas.

Regardless of the size of your soiree, ensure you have sufficient seating to accommodate every guest. You can always borrow a few pieces, or consider investing in some staples such as poufs, ottomans or a small accent chair. These will come in handy for your gathering and will help fill in those empty corners after your guests have all gone home.

Layers of lighting

The right lighting can make or break your party. Create a sense of warmth in your space by dimming the overhead lighting and layering in some table and floor lamps. Light up dark corners, and make every room sparkle with simple strings of white lights, mirrors and reflective materials, and the flicker of real candles – under supervision, of course.

Details matter

Just because your gathering may be small in size, doesn’t mean it should fall short in any way. Kick it up a notch by paying attention to the fine details. As I always say, there’s no detail too small, and collectively it’s the little things that will make all the difference. Whenever possible, personalize it – nametags on your guests’ wine glasses, place cards at the dinner table, and a parting gift “just for them” will ensure your guests feel appreciated.

Entertaining will look a little different this coming holiday season, and while we’re still getting used to this new normal, we’re yearning to reestablish those warm, close connections with our inner circle. With some thoughtful planning and creative solutions, your intimate gathering is sure to be a huge hit.

Kate Davidson, is the Founder and Principal Designer of Kate + Co Design.

For more than a decade, the multidisciplinary interior design firm has been providing complete residential and commercial design services throughout North America. Kate + Co is known for creating luxurious liveable interiors.

@kateandcodesigninct


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By Design - Custom Storage Solutions

By design – custom storage solutions

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By design – custom storage solutions

As an interior designer I ask lots of questions, and I always look at how to best use a space from a functional perspective. How much stuff needs to be stored? Does it have to be readily accessible? Does the space have any barriers? Storage, almost always, factors into a design. After all, everyone has stuff. The secret to a really great space, is finding where to put it all.

Cabinetry

Cabinets are great option if you’ve got particular storage needs, and unique room configurations or restrictions. A custom built-in allows you to maximize the storage system to fit the room – meaning no wasted space. Compact suites, large family homes and busy lives will all benefit from a well-planned custom storage area. It’s little wonder that custom cabinetry is one of the more popular requests.

Assessment

Step one is knowing that not all storage systems are created equal, and not every room has the same functional requirements. Closets and pantries are often overflowing. So, in these areas I prioritize function and organization. In kitchens and family rooms, storage must be balanced with style.

What are the storage objectives? Should the cabinetry blend in or stand out? Is the aim to conceal items or to display them? Knowing the expectations will help to narrow down the vast array of choices.

Style

A range of standard colours and finishes, as well as custom options, are available from every brand or cabinet maker. The choices can be overwhelming, but we remind our clients that cabinets are a big-ticket item. Often we advise them against following trends, but to look for an overall, timeless look that will offer longevity, as well as visual appeal. Current trends can be added with moveable back panels and unique hardware, if so desired.

Function

The best storage system must make the most of every inch. Wall space is often overlooked and under-used. Think extra-high, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and custom corner cabinets that are tucked out of the way. Versatility is the beauty of custom cabinetry. The benefits often out-way the costs for the clients. Make use of valuable storage real estate. Items can be discreetly hidden, or a room can be enhanced with built-ins and lighting accents.

Technology

Technology has worked its way into every aspect of our lives, including storage areas. Custom shelving is being outfitted with lights, as well as a docking stations that help to eliminate unsightly cord clutter. Don’t forget to add in hidden charging stations for all life’s wireless items.

The secret to a successful design is providing clients with what they want – and need. By asking the right questions and getting to know the homeowner’s requirements, you’ll be able to create a tailored space that looks as good as it works. With the right custom storage system in place, they’ll wonder how they ever got along without it.

ANDREA COLMAN is Principal of Fine Finishes Design Inc..

With almost two decades of reno & design experience her full service firm, service clientele throughout GTA, Ontario. The growing boutique design firm is known for creating stylish, harmonious, livable environments.


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