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A functional and inspiring laundry room

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A functional and inspiring laundry room

Like other utilitarian areas in the home, the laundry room has evolved in recent years. No longer just a place to wash, dry and fold, the laundry room has taken on new life, becoming a place to indulge in “laundry therapy,” as some people call it. Indeed, something is soothing about freshly laundered linens, soft sheets and crisp collars. Whether you love it or hate it, laundry can’t be avoided, but it can be less of a chore. Here are some of our favourite tips to bring beauty and brawn, for a room you’ll actually look forward to spending time in.

First things first – location. Where you plan your laundry room in the home will affect its style, your lifestyle and your budget, so consult a design professional so you’re aware of the implications of your choices. An upper-level laundry room is a popular option for those who have some room to spare upstairs. It’s brighter than the basement and eliminates the need to lug loads up and down flights of stairs. If you’re adding a brand new laundry room, tying it into the existing plumbing from a nearby bathroom will be cheaper and easier overall. On the other hand, if you’re working with an existing laundry room or you don’t have space to spare on an upper floor, basements offer their own distinct (and completely functional) benefits. It acts as an out-of-the-way work area, a great buffer zone for machine noise, and less damage in the event of a flood (yes, it happens).

With your laundry room placed, now you can start to think about how you will use it. This room has an important job to do, so start with the appliances. Your washer and dryer are the crux of this space, and you’ll quickly find that the right ones can make your day-to-day run that much smoother. Consider drum size in addition to any special features you’d like to have: Top or front-loading, sanitizing, noise level and energy rating, programmable settings… the list goes on.

Storage is another essential element in a high-functioning laundry room. Incorporate a mix of open and closed shelves, which offer a blend of out-of-sight storage (for the messy stuff) as well as easy access and display areas that can enhance function and add visual interest.

TIP: If you’re working with limited space, a stacking set is a popular option in condos and smaller homes. Meanwhile, a side-by-side washer and dryer offer a nice, large surface for folding clothes.

My third laundry room must have is good lighting. Generally speaking, the brighter, the better. Amplify natural light in the room with semi-transparent blinds or sheers on windows and light colours on walls, cabinets and countertops. Also be sure to layer in bright ambient lighting and task lighting in key areas, such as above counters, machines, laundry sink and ironing area, as well as accent lighting for all the lovely details.

While function needs to be top of mind in the laundry room, don’t discount the importance of the aesthetic details that will bring the space to life. After all, you won’t want to spend time in a room that sucks the energy out of you. Add some fun to your laundry room through colour, pattern and texture. Tile and wallpaper are an excellent way to infuse pops of personality without compromising function or spending a lot. Choose something that makes a statement, be it subtle or bold.

Despite the laundry room’s principal role as a workspace, there’s still room to play. When planning your laundry room, be mindful of what makes you feel good, and what will make chores more comfortable. Often, it’s all about finding that balance between beauty and brawn.

WASHER DRYER PAIR – LG | FAUCET – Rubi | WALLPAPER – Metro Wallcoverings | LIGHTING – Montreal Lighting | ARTWORK – Hibou Home | BASKETS – Homesense | SHELVING & CABINETRY – Designed by Hibou Design & Co., produced by Braam’s Custom Cabinetry

Designers Eugenia Triandos and Korina Khamis are Co-Founders at Hibou Design & Co. with more than a decade of experience this Montreal-based multi-disciplinary design firm has become known for creating both stylish and well curated interiors. The firm provides complete bespoke residential design services throughout Canada & North America. hiboudesignco.com


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Home sweet home

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Home sweet home

The colder months call for a warm-up indoors. This will be more relevant than ever this winter, as we increasingly seek the cosy comforts of home, regardless of what’s happening in the world around us.

What is warmth as it relates to home, beyond the thermostat reading? To many of us, it’s family time, a sense welcome and cosy comforts at every turn. Now, pack these wonderful things between four walls, for what promises to be one of the season’s – and the foreseeable future’s – hottest trends.

So, how do you give a house a “homey” look and feel? We recently designed this family-friendly home (pictured) that is, by all accounts, “home sweet home” personified. Here’s how we brought this look home, and tips on how you can, too.

Intimate layout

Perhaps the most significant element of a family home is its layout. It defines how you live in the space and how you interact with others. An open-concept interior is conducive to social and communal activities but is also preferred for its space efficiency, making it a common denominator in many new builds and renovations.

A challenge with open-concept interiors is a lack of intimacy and focus. Transform that vast, vacant shell by highlighting function and style within defined zones. Typically, these include a kitchen, sitting/conversation area, office/homework space, a dining/entertaining area, and hopefully a reading/resting corner to put your feet up at the end of a long day. If you’re limited on space, take note that our zones are multi-purpose. Keep this in mind when balancing your needs with the realities of your workable area.

Layered lighting

Lighting is that looming background element that can strengthen (or weaken) all your other design efforts. Ambience begins with lighting, so if your goal is to create a warm, family friendly environment, your lighting must reflect that. Opt for bulbs that lean to the warmer side of the spectrum. And dimmers are a must.

There are three types of lighting in every lighting plan. Ambient lighting is the overall light in a room, in the form of natural and overhead lighting. Task lighting is functional and is intended to illuminate specific activities, such as a reading corner, desktop and countertop. Last but not least, accent lighting is purely decorative and acts as a highlighter, such as spotlights focused on artwork, wall sconces or track lighting.

Mixed finishes

Building on the layering strategy above, mixing materials, textures, and finishes is an effective way to achieve warmth and a casual vibe. Combine wood, leather, concrete and natural weaves to bring depth to an otherwise neutral space. Finish the look with a burst of colour, such as a vibrant piece of artwork or a rug, which can unify these various elements.

Textiles are a natural way to crank the heat when the winter comes. The patterns and materials are easy to swap with the seasons and they make a big visual and tactile impact. The best part? It is an affordable change!

Final focus

Choose an impactful focal point. If you have a fireplace, we have three words for you. Do. It. Up. This is a physically warming feature that brings together family and friends as a focal point for warm conversation, if not to temper those winter-time chills.

We recently brought new life to an old fireplace by cladding it with a beautiful Compac Unique Calcatta slab that we then echoed in the adjoining dining room bar. The fireplace became an instant focal point to anchor the eye and attract the fireflies of the family.

“Home” is as much a feeling as it is a place. With thoughtful design, you will feel a warm embrace every time you walk through the door.

Designers Eugenia Triandos and Korina Khamis, are Co-Founders at Hibou Design & Co. Collectively with more than a decade of experience this Montreal based multi-disciplinary design firm has become known and focused on creating both stylish and well curated interiors. The firm provides complete bespoke residential design services throughout Canada & North America. hiboudesignco.com


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The hotel look at home

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The hotel look at home

Even though travel may be limited, you can still have the look and feel of your favourite hotel bathroom at home. Hibou Design & Co. shows you how

One of the best parts of travelling is the stay at a chic hotel, but you shouldn’t have to leave home in order to feel pampered. Travel can lend some great inspiration for your own sumptuous retreat right at home, and since you start and finish each day in your bathroom, it only makes sense to show this room a little extra love. Aside from kitchen renovations, bathroom renos also give you the best return on your investment, so your payoff will be two-fold.

Here are some of our favourite tips:

Indulge a little… Ok, a lot

Bathrooms have taken on new meaning in the modern home, and even more so with people spending more time at home these days. These once-utilitarian rooms have evolved with exotic finishes and exceptional details that make them as unique as their owners. Allow yourself to splurge. You use your bathroom multiple times, so thoughtful upgrades will be well worth it.

Inspired Design:

Choose a theme and run with it. In this space, we opted for a hotel-chic theme featuring a classic black and white penny-tile floor with a custom motif that literally greets you every morning, en Francais. The matte black faucets and hardware provide punctuation to this crisp white palette. This high-contrast colour scheme is warmed up with a natural wood cabinet-style vanity. Modern-industrial lighting rounds out this cool look.

If you’re a shower person, consider expanding the shower enclosure if space allows, or upgrade to a steam shower. If you’re partial to baths, treat yourself to that sculptural freestanding tub you’ve been admiring in the showroom window. Heated floors and towel racks, a make-up counter or mani-pedi bar, meditation zone, mini fridge… this space is all about you. If you’re renovating, this is an opportune time to build some custom elements right into the design.

Get smart

Our quest to stay connected transcends every room – yes, even the bathroom. Connected and voice-activated technologies have disrupted interiors as much as they have our daily lives, and they have become an essential luxury by all accounts. Commanding your Google Assistant or Alexa to hit the lights, turn on the tap and deliver the news of the day is only one benefit. Hands-free technology is also touted as the cleaner, germ-free option for these traditionally high-touch surfaces – and less scrubbing means more time to relax and enjoy it all.

Aside from convenience, technology also allows for a level of customization that even the most luxurious hotels can’t match (unless they are accompanied by a butler). Your smart tech can learn your behaviours and preferences, from the perfect lighting levels, to just the right speaker volume, and the perfect bathwater temperature, right down to the degree. It won’t be long before your every whim is being accommodated, even before you get the chance to ask.

For all to love

When it comes to finishes, think “mass appeal” and opt for a minimal aesthetic and neutral choices. Hotel designers aim to appeal to wide range of users, and since bathroom renovations can be pricey, those neutral choices will prove to be money well-spent.

Neutral choices also tend to promote rest and relaxation. The look is clean, crisp and fresh, not to mention very versatile – which bodes well for those pricey elements such as tile and fixtures that won’t soon be replaced.

Make it memorable

As we well know in the interiors industry, good design is all in the details. Collectively, it’s all those seemingly small things that make all the difference to the overall look and feel of a space. Regardless of the room you’re renovating, you want it to make the right impression on you and your guests.

We often look to the world’s hotels in search of some well-placed interior inspiration, but our homes need to be so much more than a few luxurious nights between 800-threadcount sheets. Our homes have to pamper us while delivering on our functional needs and aesthetic desires. Working with a design professional can bring all your dreams to life.

Designers Eugenia Triandos and Korina Khamis, are co-founders for Hibou Design & Co. The company provides complete bespoke residential design services throughout Canada and North America. hiboudesignco.com


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Three easy ways to maximize productivity while working from home

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Three easy ways to maximize productivity while working from home

How’s your work-from-home set-up? Do you find your mind wandering? Your focus wavering? Your productivity suffering? Perhaps you’re new to the whole work from home thing, or maybe your space doesn’t meet your needs. Whatever the issue, a good home office environment can yield rich results! Here are some tips to make the most of your home office so that you can get down to business.

Put those unused nooks and corners to work

Two major challenges homeowners are facing right now are working from home and finding the room for a dedicated office space. You don’t need a big space to have a good set-up. All you need is some peace and quiet, a little storage and work surface, and a lot of creativity. We’ve seen some fabulous home offices occupying a home’s basement, an empty corner, the spare closet, built into a kitchen or tucked into the nook under the stairs. Remember, it needs to be quiet. The rest, like lighting and furniture, will make it comfortable and functional.

Think multi-purpose

Now before we dig into double-duty, let’s be clear – a multi-purpose home office is counterproductive. Regardless of where you set up your home office, however big or small, ensure your home office doesn’t double as the laundry folding table or kids’ craft zone. Instead, the multi-purpose factor comes into play when it comes to your furniture. Always opt for multi-functional pieces that can serve another purpose – a top priority if your space is limited. An ottoman or table with hidden storage underneath, an efficient filing system (if you haven’t gone digital yet) or a sitting-to-standing desk are an excellent investment and available for purchase and delivery online.

Get lit

No one functions well while squinting and suffering eye strain. Ensure your home office area is well lit with a layered lighting plan. If natural lighting via windows is an option, go for it. Your eyes will thank you. If you don’t have a window at your immediate disposal, ambient lighting is your saving grace. This is the room’s overall illumination, like overhead or pot lights. Next, task lighting comes into play to illuminate your tabletop, desk or reading nook. Regardless of where you like to hunker down, ensure the area is lit accordingly. Last but not least, accent lighting is decorative, but it can add ambience and emphasis to inspiring items, such as your prized collection of books, art or samples of your best work.

TIP: If you don’t have a window nearby, opt for a mirror. A properly-sized and strategically placed mirror can create the illusion of a window with a view, while visually doubling the size of the space and amplifying its light!

Even when working remotely, ensure that you feel comfortable and at home in your environment. Surround yourself with things that inspire you, and the tools to succeed. You’ll feel more relaxed, more motivated and up to any task.

Need more help with your home office? We’re here to help. Connect with us to schedule a free 20-minute discovery call; we can help you with our virtual design services.

Eugenia Triandos

Eugenia Triandos
Korina Khamis

Korina Khamis

Designers Eugenia Triandos and Korina Khamis are co-founders for Hibou Design & Co. With more than a decade of experience, this Montreal-based design firm provides complete bespoke residential design services throughout North America. hiboudesignco.com


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