Tag Archives: Design Expert

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Shelter from the swelter, it all started with a covered entry

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Shelter from the swelter, it all started with a covered entry

• Photograhy by Gillian Jackson

In ancient times, the Greeks adorned entrances to buildings with formal roof structures supported by tall columns. Called a portico, it was seen as a sign of authority and wealth. It also raised the home’s stature and offered much needed shelter from the heat.

This covered porch features a seating area complete with fireplace and television, and an outdoor dining area. Skylights, recessed lighting, and beautiful lighting fixtures complete the look.

Since then, the portico has shed its elitist signifier and has become a staple for homes the world over. A porch, loggia, veranda, or balcony offers us protection from the elements but more than that, it’s a place to catch a breeze and chill out.

Who can resist the charm of a wraparound porch?

We still romanticize the wraparound porch where you might find a southern gentleman sipping sweet tea and gossiping with a neighbour. But, with the rise in popularity of outdoor living, we’re seeing more covered structures that offer a variety of open-air options for relaxation and entertainment.

Moving the inside – out

We want our outdoor structures (or rooms), to be multi-functional. Not only are we moving our dining rooms from the inside – out, we’re also setting up living rooms, kitchens and bars so we can enjoy as much time outside as possible. By creating these outdoor rooms, we’re not just increasing the function of the home and how we use it, we are doing it in style. Our backyards and porches are an extension of our style from within the home.

A covered cabana is a great refreshment station, change room and servery, all in one. The covered fireplace is a great wood-burning option for cooking pizzas and large barbecues.

Increase your property’s value

But it’s not just an excuse to spend money. These structures also add value, especially as we see property values rise. We want to squeeze the most use out of our property, so permanent structures like cabanas, tiki bars, sheds and pergolas are not only a great way to enjoy the yard, they’re a good investment, too.

Newly built homes are incorporating outdoor seating areas with heaters built into the ceiling for added comfort and warmth.

Hello loggia!

Functional and desirable, the loggia or porch is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Some newly built homes are featuring covered porches at the back of the home. Many clients are asking for high-quality installations such as built-in heaters radiating down from the ceiling. These three season “rooms” may also feature large stone fireplaces, TVs, wet bars, and dining and lounge areas — multiple uses in one space.

Luckily, the building and manufacturing industries are seeing this surge of interest in outdoor furnishings, accessories, fixtures and technology and are bringing new ideas and styles to the market.

Cope with a cabana

Is it a bar? A change room? Pool storage? It can be all of that and more. You don’t have to have a pool to create a unique, covered space for liquid refreshments. Electricity and plumbing added (safely, by professionals) can make even a tight space a fun, entertaining oasis.

A repurposed garden shed with a garden theme is a perfect summer getaway, right in your own backyard.

Once the sun goes down

Adding a firepit, pizza oven, or outdoor fireplace is a great idea if your municipality allows it. By adding an open-air pergola overhead and some comfy seating, you’ll have a perfect outdoor room to enjoy the evening stars by firelight, or cook that perfect pizza.

Is it a shed or a she-shed?

Wired with electricity for lighting and power, this cosy space is a perfect three-season room.

You almost have to look twice these days to see if a garden shed is being used for garden tools. Today, it’s quite on trend to convert an existing shed into a little garden retreat. In line with the small home movement, clever placement of furniture, storage solutions, and running electricity and water elevate any small space into a fully functional mini-home.

Whether it’s used as a studio, workshop, retreat or just a shed, upgrading an existing structure or building something new from scratch that will keep you outside longer is a good investment, both financially and for your health. So get outside and don’t come in until the street lights come on.

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com

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The new neutrals, blush pink and hints of gold

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The new neutrals, blush pink and hints of gold

Photography by Larry Arnal

Many newly built homes feature open-concept main floors. The kitchen, family room and dining room are visible throughout. While highly desirable, this plan leaves many new homeowners baffled when it comes to design choices. Where do you start and stop a floor pattern? Where can you add or change colour? From a design perspective, the answer is to remain calm and go neutral.

A shimmering backsplash reflects the coordinating pendant lighting and sconces from Hudson Valley Lighting.

Neutrals play well with others

Besides not taking sides in an argument: What does neutral mean? A neutral colour won’t have an effect on other colours because it doesn’t have any significant qualities of its own. Neutrals are considered colourless; like beige, ivory, grey, cream, black or white. Neutrals play well with others.

Slight touches of pink blend beautifully into the neutral palette. The punches of gold are provided by the Moen faucet, the furnishings and brushed gold accents in the lighting, knobs and drawer pulls. Jenn Air offers brushed gold bezels for the dials on their cooktop.

Use trendy colours sparingly

Most designers will treat a colour trend as just that, a trend. Used in limited amounts, you can add the latest colour to a wall and if it grows tiresome, you simply repaint. But you want to make sure fixtures (and expensive furnishings) have longevity and outlast trends. That’s where you can save money in the long term.

Create a background

By choosing flooring, tile, area rugs, large furnishings and wall colours in neutral tones that blend well together, you’re creating an “easy on the eyes” approach to your decor. That’s because there is little contrast, the eye moves through the space without stopping. Contrast makes you look.

But neutrals alone can get boring. How do you make a big impression with neutrals and pastels? We had the chance to imagine and execute a new vision for neutrals at a model home in Aurora, Ontario for Sorbara Homes. By adding layers of neutrals, a surprise blush of pink and metallic accents, we brought a restrained colour palette to life.

With each principal room visible throughout, maintaining a neutral palette and common accent colours helps create design continuity and visual harmony.

Think pink

It may not be everyone’s favourite colour, but we wanted to see if we could transform a room by adding hits of soft pink in some of the accents. The results were still soft and easy on the eyes but added a fresh element. Then, by adding lighting and furniture with accents in brass and brushed gold, the main floor was elevated to a new level of “wow.”

“By adding layers of neutrals, a surprise blush of pink and metallic accents, we brought a restrained colour palette to life.”

A calm, neutral palette benefits from hints of brushed gold and brass that frame glass tables, mirrors and the lighting. Accessorising is easy once you establish your main scheme.

Leave nothing to chance

It’s almost a seamless transition from the kitchen and pantry to the rest of the main floor. A carefully designed floor pattern of inlaid tile in the kitchen blends in tone with the quarter sawn, wire-brushed, white oak flooring throughout.

The kitchen cabinets may be white, but the island and backsplash mimic the tones in the inlaid strips of tile in the floor. The leathered granite counter is a blend of all the neutrals. The pop comes from the door handles and knobs, lighting, chairs and faucets in the kitchen and pantry. Even the bezels on the cooktop are coordinated to match.

Square-patterned tiles set into the large format tiled floor form an area “rug” around the free-standing tub.

Commit to some shine

A little bit of shine, sparkle and brightness add interest to a space, so commit to carrying it throughout an open-concept main floor. For instance, the dining room light fixture provides the gleam and only enhances the silver leaf dining table with gold inlay. Here, the only hint of pink is in the artwork.

Don’t be afraid to add a big statement light fixture in your master bedroom. A little glam is a wonderful touch, even in the private rooms of a home.

You don’t have to stop

We carried our neutral tones with pink and gold accents into the master bedroom and ensuite. The combination is alluring and restful with a touch of glam. The Macassar ebony on the custom-built bedside tables, the floral print and furniture legs provide a touch of contrast and elegance.

Heavy lifting

By using neutrals as a foundation when building a design palette, you’ll achieve a timeless, calm background. Then, when you’re ready to add some “noise,” add in the colours you love and don’t forget the shine.

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com

SOURCES KITCHEN Kitchen Main Floor TILE, Marble Moon – Onyx, 12×24, ACCENT FLOOR TILE, Regal Polished, Grey, 2×12 BACKSPLASH TILE, Tavella polished polvere, 3×6 PERIMETER COUNTER, Caesarstone – Blizzard 2141 ISLAND & SERVERY COUNTER, Leathered granite, Terra Bianca CABINETRY, Perimeter uppers – Paris Kitchens –Monet profile, Dove White painted finish PERIMETER LOWERS, island, custom table & tabletop Paris Kitchens – Monet profile, Cloud grey stained finish on maple SINK, Blanco Performa U1 Silgranit, in Truffle KITCHEN FAUCET, Moen – Align, High Arc pulldown, Brushed gold HARDWARE, Berenson ‘Subtle Surge’ – Modern brushed gold APPLIANCES, Jenn Air “Rise”, LIGHTING, Plaster No.1 Pendant, Garden City Arm Sconce, Hudson Valley Lighting FLINT COUNTER STOOL, CB2 SENECA CHAIR, in Velvet Blush, Sunpan

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Kitchen Appliances aren't what they used to be!

Kitchen appliances aren’t what they used to be!

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Kitchen appliances aren’t what they used to be!

Kitchens are and always will be the heart of any home! The kitchen has come a long way from simply being a utilitarian space, to a space that exudes personality and character while integrating beautifully with the rest of your home. The personality of your kitchen develops with the design — through your cabinetry, finishes, colours and design details. However, recently we have been seeing our appliances becoming more of a focal point and contributing to the overall aesthetics of our kitchens. Whether appliances are integrated or a stand-alone feature, they are definitely making themselves noticed – and for all the right reasons.

The appliances alone cannot create a beautiful kitchen. However, they are critical to the overall design and function of your space, and when well-selected can deliver large on aesthetics. Appliances are colourful, bold, streamlined and impactful. They can elevate your kitchen while delivering the “restaurant-quality” professional-grade features that many of us desire. Whether large or small, they are meant to be seen and are inspirational to kitchen design.

The selections these days are endless. French door refrigerators or door-in-door refrigerators, gas range or induction, double ovens or perhaps French door ovens, dishwasher drawers, undercounter microwaves, refrigerator drawers, warming drawers, built-in coffee centres — the list can go on and on. All have their own benefits, whether it’s space accommodating, ease of access or luxury features, the appliances of today deliver large on all fronts. They are being outfitted with Bluetooth capabilities to easily integrate into our Smart-Home systems to make our lives just a little easier; and some are bypassing the traditional “knobs” for the sleek look of “touch and swipe” controls that are inspired by our smart phones.

When you are looking to purchase new appliances, it’s really best to do your research and have a good understanding of what is available, what works for your budget and what features you will actually require, or use. Small appliances have also made huge strides in design, professional-grade features and, most excitingly, in colours. Fun coloured Kitchen-Aid stand mixers or Breville barista stations are a fantastic complement to any kitchen counter. Not only functional, they add a great pop of colour to any kitchen. Also, we have seen the emergence of exciting new small appliances such as a countertop beer brewing station.

Stainless appliances still have their popularity. However, white appliance are coming back in full force. The modernized white appliances feature stainless accents and fit beautifully with many design styles. Matte black stainless is also a great finish for kitchen appliances, offering a sleek and modern alternative to the traditional stainless appliances. Truth be told, the colours and finishes of some appliances are downright amazing and offer a great deal of “design inspo.” Custom finished range hoods that create a focal point in your kitchen can be a great design touch, but so can a fun vintage-inspired retro pink fridge. Highlights of antique brass for the knobs and handle on your range might be just enough of a detail for you, or a bright fun orange for your range is more in line with the inspiration for your new kitchen. Whichever way you decide to go, the options are available and the inspirations are countless.

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.

@LindaMazurGroup


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Design Expert: Mood Makers

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Design Expert: Mood Makers

How colour and decor styles can change the feeling in a space

A home’s decor affects your mood. Why do you sit up so straight in some rooms and feel like you can put your feet up in others? Some of that has to do with furniture but mainly, colour and lighting create the mood in your home. Dimmers allow you to control and alter the mood in a space.

STRIKE A BALANCE

People often refer to deep colours being “dark,” however, dark really refers to the amount of light in a room vs. the colour on the walls. When the wall colour is deep and rich, it absorbs more light than colours like white or light pastels. The more light absorbed, the more we feel a sense of sonority and sombreness in the room. We refer to moods as “beaming with happiness,” or feeling “bright, up and happy,” all of which use “light” to describe mood. Conversely, we talk of “dark times” feeling “gloomy” or travelling with a “dark cloud.” The combination of paint colour, the quantity of light and the colour of the light can create feelings from danger to productivity, medical sterility to romance, intimacy and safety.

NATURE RULES

Have you ever wondered why most homes have white ceilings, warmer coloured walls and darker hardwood floors? This combination is the one that makes people feel most comfortable. It’s the same combination as the sky, the trees and the earth, as you walk through a forest. Once you know that rule, you can start to play with it by having painted ceilings, light-wood floors, etc. These combinations change the mood of the room because it is different than normal. Very deep colours on the walls also create a feeling of intimacy and sonority because the walls feel closer to you. The deep colours absorb most of the light. Without getting into the physics, the room feels more like “night” and we lose our ability to fully determine the dimensions of the room.

LIGHT CONTROL

In order to play with mood, we adjust the amount of light and the light’s colour temperature. We are all now familiar with the labels on light bulbs that say “warm white, soft white, daylight” etc. These words refer to the colour temperature measured in “degrees Kelvin” All you really need to know is that the lower the number, the “warmer” the colour. 2700-3000 is normal residential light while 5000K is more suited to jewelry stores and museums. The warmer the light the more like a “candle” it is. If the lighting is low, the more intimate the room feels. A kitchen, for example, needs to go from “meal preparation work space” to “romantic dinner date.” This is why most designers insist on dimmers everywhere. The dimmers allow you to alter the mood, by altering the light.

Everyone has a slightly different response to colour and light. It’s important you organize the lighting plan for your home to make sure there is light on every square foot of the floor, and then you can play with the mood to suit the people in the room.

DRAW THE EYE TO ART

The light and wall colour also allow us to feature works of art that adorn the walls. A white wall with white painting is very subtle, while a black painting on a white wall is very dramatic. The lighting plan allows you to feature the art in the room by adding specific “art lights.” Essentially, the lighting plan tells people entering the room where to look first by providing that element with more light. The featured art or sculpture also affects the mood of the room. Think about your mood when you look at art that is bright coloured and “cartoon-like” vs. a battlefield as night falls. Art is an expression of the artist to evoke a feeling or mood.

You can play with colour, art accessories and light level throughout the year and stay in control of the mood your home evokes. If nature is affecting your mood outside, you can control your mood once you come inside!

Extensive experience in residential, commercial and hospitality design. Principal of design firm Grafus Design Build, Glen Peloso is frequently in the media as design expert on the Marilyn Denis Show, and CHCH Morning Live, a contributor to Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, past series with HGTV and the Food Network, along with Radio and Blogs. Reporting on design trends from around the world, his work has been featured in various print publications throughout North America. Twitter: glenpeloso Instagram: glenpelosodesigner

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Design Expert: The WOW Factor

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Design Expert: The WOW Factor

Photography By LARRY ARNAL

The smallest space in the home is the perfect place to unleash your most daring design desires

When I design a powder room, I think of the “pow” factor. Homeowners often are worried it is going to be “too much!” Fortunately, it is the one place in the house that you are allowed to take your design ideas to the edge, and then go a little farther, with complete success.

ONCE UPON A POWDER

The term powder room, apparently was coined in the 18th century, and described a small interior closet where people would go to have their wigs and faces re-powdered. The term survived through the Victorian period and ultimately became a euphemism for using the toilet, as the English frowned upon anything related to healthy bodily functions. The term has survived through to the present.

SMALL & SALIENT

There is no question that adding a powder room during a renovation adds value to a home. Located on the main floor, powder rooms are often mentioned on real estate listing sheets as one of the benefits of the house. It’s possible to squeeze them into a three-foot by five-foot space with room for only the toilet and a small sink. Ideally you want to keep them close to existing sewage and water source. In very tight spaces, you may have to use a corner sink or something very narrow. If you have ever gone to the “powder room” in a restaurant in Europe, you will recall that sinks can be incredibly small while still being functional. You may need specialty plumbing shops like Watermarks or Porcelanosa to pull it off, but it is completely doable.

BOLD IS BETTER

Now you get to create a room that is fun and interesting. You have to remember that unlike any other room in the house, the powder room is intended to be used completely alone every time. It’s great when the design is unlike any other part of the house. Think of it as a break from everything and everyone in the house where you have your own experience before returning to the group. Push the envelope in terms of colour, pattern and details.

Don’t be afraid of a deep colour or complex pattern in the powder room. It’s visually interesting and the darker or more complex patterns actually make the room seem larger. The drama makes it difficult to perceive the dimensions of the room. Wallpaper is a great choice for the powder room, then use the darkest colour in the wallpaper to paint out the other details of the room, such as the trim mouldings, ceiling and doors. The final experience of the room will be magical.

EVERY LIGHT SOURCE UNDER THE SUN

You also want to layer the lighting in the room. Overhead lighting like a chandelier or pot lights combined with a wall sconce is perfect. As a general rule, flank the mirror with a sconce on each side, but if you’re tight on space, a single light fixture above the mirror will suffice. Use a large-sized, detailed mirror if possible. Besides enlarging the space, the added details like bevels and mirror-on-mirror layers reflect and refract the light like a jewel. And if it’s one thing I insist on: install a dimmer! Guests can decide on light intensity on their own. I typically pre-set the light level before a party so that guests don’t have to fumble for the light switch. Also, add a candle for a little romance along with a pleasing scent.

Even if you don’t need to powder your nose in the powder room, there isn’t any reason why the room can’t pack a Pow.

Powder Room CHECKLIST

  • Can be created in a 3’x5’ space, 5’x7’ is better!
  • If you’re adding one, keep it close to existing plumbing to save costs
  • Specialty plumbing stores can help you find spacesaving sinks and toilets
  • Use dark colours and complex patterns on the wall to enlarge the look of the space
  • Layer the lighting in the room for visual interest
  • Sconces around a mirror offer the best light
  • Choose a mirror that has an interesting frame or shape
  • Boldly use large art work

Glen Peloso has worked in the design industry for 20 years. He is co-founder of Peloso Alexander Interiors, and is a regular design expert on The Marilyn Denis Show and Morning Live. Contact him at pelosoalexander.com and/or follow him on social media. Twitter: glenpeloso Instagram: glenpelosodesigner

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