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A century of Art Deco

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A century of Art Deco

Photography By Valerie Wilcox

As we move into this new decade, we celebrate a century of Art Deco – the dazzling trend that sparked intrigue and imagination across the world. Through the use of metallic details, bold geometrics and a touch of flair, we will show you how to inject this century-strong motif in every and any room in your home.

Art Deco was a movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in 1920s Paris. This non-traditional design style featured gleaming finishes, striking patterns and a repetition of elements. We associate abstract motifs, representational forms and geometric ornamentation with this style, along with streamlined materials like concrete, glass, mirror and metal. The emotional response to Art Deco was immediate, evoking a sense of sophistication, luxury and modernity.

From the Chrysler Building in New York City to the Aldred Building in Montreal, some of North America’s most intriguing buildings reign from this period. Today, we’re excited to see a resurgence of this subtle drama within interior design.


Art Deco makes a statement without being overdecorated, and what better place to make a statement than your front entry? The foyer is the first and last space you see upon entering and leaving your home, and the perfect opportunity to create a lasting impression.

Go bold with a large angular console accented with metal legs, and add simple structural decor pieces on top. Further enhance this area with a glamorous oversized mirror. Mirrors are a great way to make any space appear larger, brighter and more grand – à la Roaring ’20s.

Living room

The living room is a great place to bring The Jazz Age into your home. Whether you go floor-to-ceiling Art Deco or choose to incorporate the style with smaller elements, like accessories, there are plenty of opportunities to elevate this space.

Shy away from romantic florals and pastel hues, opting instead for bold patterns and strong colours. Monochromatic schemes are typical of the Art Deco style, and rich hues like royal blue and charcoal grey pair perfectly with on-theme metals like chrome and bronze. Incorporate motifs in subtle or impactful ways, from striped throw pillows to dramatic diamond-shaped wallpaper. Embrace the iconic Art Deco fan shape in your accessories or try a ziggurat-patterned area carpet.

Find furnishings with defined lines, but let your seating feel comfortable and lush by using extravagant fabrics like velvet that will make your company ooh and aah.

Kitchen & dinning room

Continue to focus on streamlined shapes and sleek materials as you enter your kitchen and dining areas.

Create a striking kitchen design through the use of dark, rich woods and add polished stainless-steel hardware for a hint of glitz. If you’d like to incorporate colour, go for backsplash tile or kitchen appliances in saturated tones like mustard yellow, dark raspberry or teal.

In your dining room, gear towards distinctive, rectilinear furniture and reflect the glamour of the ’20s through the use of mirror. You could hang a starburst mirror, add an antiqued mirror buffet or go floor-toceiling mirror on one full wall. Finally, go bold with your lighting and choose an opulent chandelier that will awe your dinner-party guests.


Moving into the bedroom, the Art Deco style can prevail without feeling too masculine. While distinguished woods and strong colours are on-theme, they can be balanced with soft, white linens and lamp shades.

The addition of throw pillows will augment the look and feel of your bed, whether you choose contrasting patterns or solid colours in luxe upholstery-like silk. To further create a lavish bedroom, layer a plush sheepskin rug over a high-pile area carpet.


The Art Deco style helps to bring decadent detail and order to small spaces like washrooms and powder rooms. Cover every wall of this space with a dramatic graphic wallpaper, hang a shapely mirror and add eye-catching light sconces.

Dare to bring the sophisticated allure of the 1920s to your home in 2020. Incorporating rich colours, reflective materials, intricate details and bold geometries will add tasteful panache to any space.

Paige Johnston is a Canadian designer and strategist based in New York City. She collaborates and works often with Isabelle Boba, Interior Designer and Founder of LUX Design. paigeajohnston.com & luxdesign.ca


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10 common misconceptions about paint

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10 common misconceptions about paint

Benjamin Moore common misconceptions about paint

Homeowners are likely familiar with the many misconceptions about painting such as: trim and ceilings can only be painted white, or dark paint colours make a room look smaller. The truth is, there are many misconceptions about paint and Benjamin Moore colour and design expert, Sharon Grech, explains 10 of the most common misconceptions and why they’re false.


1: Ceilings must be white

There’s no need to shy away from using colour for your ceiling, says Grech. “If you’re going with a neutral colour for the walls and trim, a colourful ceiling can really bring a space to life.” For example, adding a light green ceiling such as Benjamin Moore Soft Fern 2144-40 in a high gloss finish to an all-white kitchen can add interest, or opt for a pop of colour in a neutral low light bathroom with a red ceiling in Benjamin Moore Million Dollar Red 2003-10.


2: Dark colours make a room feel small

It is a very common belief that dark colours make a room feel smaller, when in reality they add character and create a perception of depth. “Dark wall colours tend to blur the edges of a room, which can make a space appear larger,” says Grech. Of course, how we “feel” in a room has more to do with mood, than size, so consider that a darker colour will generally feel more intimate and cozier while a paler colour more fresh and serene.


3: Too much white is uninviting

Contrary to popular belief, white can soften, soothe and even warm up a room. According to Grech, “if you chose the right white for the space, paying attention to its undertones, and complement it with both pattern and texture, a “white” space can feel warm and welcoming or cool and contemporary.” Tried and true whites such as Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65 and Decorator’s White CC-20 maintain just enough warmth that they don’t appear stark or come across as yellow.


4: Every wall should be the same colour

Believe it or not, adding more than one colour to a space with the use of an accent wall has many benefits. “An accent wall is an economical design solution that can add character and depth to elevate and accentuate key elements of the home,” says Grech. Just a little colour goes a long way to define a separate zone in a room or act as a divider without adding walls or repositioning furniture. The key to maintaining harmony is repetition and is as simple as repeating the accent colour in small touches throughout adjacent rooms with accessories and artwork.

Benjamin Moore common misconceptions about paint 2


5: Any neutral tone will work with a small space

While neutral colours seem like the safest choice, not every neutral paint colour is the right fit for a small space. It’s important to look around your room and determine if your furnishings and textiles have warm or cool undertones. Warm undertones, like yellows and reds, pair best with creamy or sandy neutrals, where furnishings with blue or violet undertones pair best with greyer neutrals. “Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year for 2019, Metropolitan AF-690, is a very balanced neutral grey with the ability to work well with both!” says Grech.


6: Trims must be white

Just like ceilings, trims don’t have to be white for colours to work together. This is especially true with door trims, says Grech. “A coloured trim against a neutral wall will showcase a room’s unique architecture. Or consider a graphic outline effect by painting the baseboards and door trim a contrasting colour like black in a white room or hallway.”


7: Paint can be applied with any brush or roller

There are several things to consider before painting a new space including the application tools. “If you are using a water-based paint such as acrylic or latex, it is best to use a synthetic hair brush. A natural bristle brush is better for oil-based paints,” says Grech. “Rollers with a higher pile nap such as 15mm are best for lower sheen paints while glossier paints are applied more easily with a low nap roller. It’s best to check with your local Benjamin Moore paint retailer for the correct brush and product pairings.”

Benjamin Moore common misconceptions about paint 3


8: White is not appropriate for a kitchen

Although white may not seem like the most practical paint choice for the most stain prone space in the home, painting a kitchen white can instantly brighten and energize the room. White is like a blank canvas that allows homeowners to be more creative and colourful with kitchen appliances, backsplashes and countertops. “I always recommend Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa for kitchens and bathrooms as it is our most durable matte finish paint that stands up to humidity and mess-prone areas like the kitchen,” says Grech.


9: Paint and primer are one in the same

Think of primer like a protective adhesive for your paint. “Applying the appropriate primer is crucial to delivering long lasting, exceptional results,” says Grech. Design choices like the finish of a given paint colour can also be affected by preparation with a primer. “High sheen finish will highlight imperfections on a wall, so it’s critical to sand the wall smooth if necessary and prime prior to painting.” Work with your local Benjamin Moore paint retailer to ensure you are selecting the right product and finish.


10: Any good quality paint can work in a bathroom

Bathrooms are typically one of the most humid rooms in the home and can cause certain paints to break apart, resulting in surfactant leaching and accelerated mildew growth. So, traditionally, it was recommended to use a high gloss or even oil-based paint in the bathroom. “With Benjamin Moore Aura Bath and Spa, you can now enjoy a smooth, matte finish even in the bathroom. It is ideal for high-humidity environments because it’s mildew resistant and stands up to repeated washing with no colour rub-off,” says Grech.



Benjamin Moore names its Colour of the Year 2019

Benjamin Moore Announces its Colour of the Year 2018



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Decor Tips: In Living Colour

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Decor Tips: In Living Colour

When it comes to breathing life into a space, designer Kate Davidson relies on the colours of the rainbow

By Kate Davidson

As a designer, colour is among my most-used, most-loved go-to tools. Colour can be a front-andcentre focal point, or used as a complementary element to everything else that’s in a room. Colour is used to express personality, affect mood and promote well-being. Colour has the power to inspire.


The primary colours are where it all begins. That spectrum of stunning shades starts with various combinations of yellow, red and blue—the most basic of the bunch, and arguably, the most intense.


Yellow tends to produce a warming effect, and it has been known to arouse feelings of cheerfulness and stimulate mental activity. For these reasons, yellow is an ideal choice for kitchens, living areas and offices. Yellow is the colour that stands out before all other colours when placed against a black backdrop. It immediately has that “wow” factor, but when overused, yellow can have a disturbing effect. New parents be forewarned: it’s been said that babies cry more in yellow rooms!


Blue is the next primary colour, this one known for its cooling, calming effects. It may even lower blood pressure and heart rate, which is why it’s often used in bedrooms, living rooms and lounging areas. Think “serenity now.” Gentle blues also make for unconventional, yet subtle, neutral hues that go beyond your basic (and let’s face it, sometimes boring) beige. Alternately, rich blues like “peacock” can create a regal look in a space. But beware of the moody blues! Consider the ways in which you’ll use the room, who it will be used by, and how you want people to feel when they’re in it.


Last, but not least, is red. This bold, fiery and intense third primary colour is often used in measured doses, and sometimes in great big ones, too for the brave at heart. Red evokes passion and warmth, and it is right at home in both traditional and contemporary environments. But due to red’s hefty visual weight, this colour is often reserved as an accent colour in small but impactful “pops” to draw the eye.


In various combinations, and with the addition of black and white, yellow, blue and red are the colours that form every other one in the rainbow. When selecting a room’s colour palette, think about the adjoining rooms and hallways connecting them. This is particularly important in open-concept homes. Generally speaking, you want the adjoining areas to all be within the same colour family to maintain visual flow throughout your home.

Another colour-palette consideration today is fixtures. Their finishes should be incorporated into your colour plan, not left as an afterthought, as they sometimes are. A hot trend right now for light fixtures, cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures is matte black, which you’ll see dominating interiors in the year ahead. The best thing about black is that it pairs well with all colours—you could call it the ultimate neutral—and it offers a resting place for your eyes when scanning a room. Combining different finishes has become a popular design trend, and black pairs perfectly with all other colours and finishes.

Small spaces like powder rooms are an ideal place to inject some fun and be bold with colour and finishes. Kitchens are also an ideal host for pops of personality. Keep in mind that kitchens and baths are the most expensive rooms to refinish, so if you’re not all in, stick to the neutrals and consider alternate ways to get your colour fix.


If you’re looking to incorporate colour without the commitment, I advise my clients to think accessories. Liven up a neutral room with unexpected pops of the trendiest hues. Be brave and bold, and have fun! When Pantone’s Colour Of The Year makes its annual exit in favour of the next hottest hue, you’ll be able to stay on trend without breaking the bank. From bigger-ticket pieces like vibrant window treatments to accent furnishings and small appliances, to low-cost items like pillows, picture frames and a rug, the level of investment—and commitment—is totally up to you.

Colour truly has the power to bring your interiors to life, and is limited only by your imagination.

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. kateandcodesign.com @KateDavidson_


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Decor Tips – The High Life

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Decor Tips – The High Life

A luxury suite claims its own personal style amidst dominant architecture and competing views.

Photography By Sarjoun Faour

Standing taller than any other tower in the city, the Shangri-La in Vancouver boasts impressive architectural features and is amongst the city’s most prestigious buildings. Luxuriously styled and modern minimalistic, this structure provides incomparable views of the bustling west coast metropolitan.

Adopting reflective elements is a great way to enhance and add light to any space.

LUX Design approached the interior design of their client’s suite within the Shangri-La with intent and purpose. Carefully balancing the client’s style with the character of the building and riveting scenery, a remarkably striking interior space was created.


Crisp white walls, rich hardwood floors and tall baseboards help set the scene in this high-end, high-rise suite. Floor-to-ceiling windows invite views of downtown skyscrapers, and offer a contemporary quality of construction.


Looking to create a masculine interior that would complement the space as opposed to competing with it, we were deliberate in selecting pieces with refined lines and unique elements with sophisticated finishes.

The selection of furniture also played a critical role in accentuating the space while maintaining a welcoming environment.

In a tight space, a great way to create the illusion of openness and grandeur is to utilize glass; this will allow your sightline to continue through the room without stopping.


In the living room, two lavish grey armchairs sit across from a modern chaise lounge. The low backs of these pieces invite accentuated views of the city from across the room to the windows. Echoing the clean lines of the architecture, a unique buffet in this area adds character, flair and premium storage space, borrowing elements in the style of mid-century modern.

While fewer pieces of furniture are required in smaller spaces like condos, ensure they are the most impactful in both function and style.

A custom-wood feature wall and fireplace— conceptualized and created by LUX Design—injects a tactile quality to the space and adds natural warmth. Continuing the linearity of the vertical wood wall, a textured area rug adds visual interest and overall comfort to the room.


Adding some weight to a space is important, however, in smaller areas it is important to do so in a way that does not visually overtake the room. An example of this is seen in the dining area. The sculptural table base creates a powerful yet subtle statement below the glass table top and globe light fixture above—a nod to the contemporary vibe of the Shangri-La.

The weightless contour of each dining room chair—inspired by classic 1960s silhouettes—helps balance the rich dark-brown leather seat. Playing within the scale and proportions of the dining room, a long console fills out the space perfectly, while not visually dominating the small area.

Not drawing too much attention away from the views outside of the adjacent window, a simple and exquisite piece of art hangs above the console, helping to complete the space and leaves a lasting impression for guests while reflecting the homeowner’s style.


The clean lines throughout the suite carry through to the bedroom area, where they can be seen in the bed linens and tables. Utilizing mirroredbedside tables not only provides storage, but helps to visually expand the room.

In alignment with the homeowner’s esthetic, we selected solid black lamps, which are balanced by their soft curvilinear shape and brightwhite shades.


To create a masculine palette in the family room, we integrated earthtone textiles, leather accents and hints of blue. A dark-metal table is nestled in closely to the plush sofa, allowing the homeowner to put his feet up at the end of a busy work day.

Using a warm-toned textural wallpaper assists in elevating and refining a room while still keeping it comfortable and casual.


So…how can you define your style and make a space your own amid dominant architecture and competing views? As shown in this Shangri-La suite, it is a careful balance between key elements and characteristics.

Choose finishes and furniture pieces that complement one another without competing against each other. Create visual interest through texture that echoes the architecture of the space and choose pieces that play up its style. Use reflective surfaces to create brightness and openness throughout, allowing for unobstructed views and ensuring that no single element dominates the space or feels too heavy. Finally, inject your own style in bold but subtle ways, like a large piece of art against a stark white wall or a hint of your favourite colour throughout.

SOURCES – LIVING ROOM: CHAISE: Van Gogh, Ginger custom chaise; WALLPAPER: Metro brown grasscloth, vinyl DINING ROOM: DINING TABLE: Suite 22, Cattelan Italia Skorpio round dining table CEILING LIGHT ABOVE TABLE: Sescolite, 14U51 9-globe sculpture pendant BEDROOM: BED: Van Gogh, Skyler custom double bed with velvet upholstery BEDSIDE TABLE LAMPS: Surya, BRY-341 black textured mid-century base with white shade

Isabelle Boba is the Principal and Founder of LUX Design specializing in creating award-winning, luxurious residential spaces for clients within Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. luxdesign.ca


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