Tag Archives: Jane Lockhart

Beyond a bathroom

Beyond a bathroom

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Beyond a bathroom

Photos by Larry Arnal

What used to be a mere closet in homes a century ago has now emerged as one of the most important rooms in our home. It’s the humble, functional bathroom. But, beyond sheer utility, the bathroom can also be, dare I say, beautiful. Afterall, why have a merely functional space when you can make it a “go-to” destination?

Even an upgrade in taps, faucets and towel holders can transform a bathroom beautifully. Here, all the hardware is in a burnished gold colour.
Even an upgrade in taps, faucets and towel holders can transform a bathroom beautifully. Here, all the hardware is in a burnished gold colour.

As a result of spending more time at home these days, we are taking another look at the potential of our greatest asset – the home itself. Does it work well if we’re all at home, all the time? Do we stay and renovate, move, build or just stay put? As a result, we’re seeing bathroom renovations on the rise.

Whether it’s adding a second bathroom, a powder room or renovating your main bathroom, function and accommodation are top of mind. It’s a smart idea; bathroom upgrades are a sensible investment whether you plan to stay in your home for years to come or sell. It’s the second highest return for your renovating dollar, after kitchens.

Designers have the privilege of hearing what people want in their homes, first-hand. We share our findings with new-home builders, developers and homeowners. What’s new? What are we learning? That the powder room is the first line of defense when it comes to a healthy home.

Steam showers are an upgrade many people are asking for as they bring the gym experience home.
Steam showers are an upgrade many people are asking for as they bring the gym experience home.

With today’s added emphasis on hygiene, a main floor powder room is now more important than ever. Now, when you enter your home it may be the first room you visit for a good hand-scrubbing, a quick refresh after removing your mask, or the usual reason to visit. It’s part of the routine transitioning from the outside world.

Family bathrooms have already seen changes over the past several years. Upgrades such as double sinks and larger vanities with plenty of storage are always on the request list. Two sinks can mean twice as much cleaning, but today, having two sinks can be helpful and promote good health – especially if one person spends more time outside the home.

Clients are still asking for separate showers and free-standing bathtubs. This isn’t a new idea, but now we’re seeing there are at least two notions this provides. A shower can offer quick function – get clean, get out. A free-standing tub, on the other hand, is considered a great wellness tool. A place to unwind, relax, regenerate. It speaks to how important wellness has come to the forefront in our homes today.

Stand-alone tubs make an elegant statement. Also consider larger format tile, less grout, less chance for germs and less cleaning.
Stand-alone tubs make an elegant statement. Also consider larger format tile, less grout, less chance for germs and less cleaning.

The spa experience isn’t a luxury anymore. We can incorporate multiple shower heads, wands and safety features such as thermostatic taps into most showers. Presets of different pulses offer the soothing effects of hydrotherapy. Pair that with the colour-washing and flowing LED lights of chromotherapy and you have potential mood-boosting for mind, body and spirit.

As most Finns know, steam is a great stress reliever. It’s also known to improve circulation, help you breathe better, sooth sore muscles and relax joints. With the help of professional renovators, a new digital control panel and new doors, most showers can be converted to steam showers.

Your bathroom serves you in many ways, and let’s face it, we spend a fair bit of time in there. Why not make it beautiful?

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

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Refresh and reset, a masterfully designed master makeover

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Refresh and reset, a masterfully designed master makeover

It wasn’t the easy access that enticed my clients to buy their home on a busy west end street, it was what was behind the house that sealed the deal. They instantly fell in love with the beauty of the seemingly endless backyard. The deep, west-facing lot was filled with mature greenery and connected to a well-established golf course. With no fence between them, and the course, they could enjoy the park-like setting beyond their own property.

Good intentions

The house was in good form and required only minor updates. However, the second-storey master bedroom was disappointing. It should have commanded the best views of the garden and the yard below, but the layout and window placement didn’t take advantage of it. The south wall featured a large window, but it limited the options for furniture placement.

The client decided to add a Juliette balcony with French doors that opened to the view, as well as a fireplace on the windowless interior wall to create a cosy seating area. We also beefed up the trim and added detail to the ceiling to emphasize the room’s height. Lastly, it was decided that the the south window was hand-cuffing us to one layout, so it was replaced with a transom window. This option allowed us to position the bed under it, while still benefiting from the southern sunlight.

Green is in

The chosen colour palette for the bedroom was inspired by the gardens below. My clients weren’t afraid of colour, so we went with various shades of green to create a calming, and restful, bedroom. Green is also associated with new growth and new beginnings. It’s a colour that’s full of life – just like them.

Tonal values

It might seem like a disparate selection of mixed greens, but each tone helps to consolidate the look when it’s repeated throughout. This brings harmony to the overall design. Don’t be hesitant to mix shades of the same colour, as it takes the pressure off of trying to match exact colours.

Contrasting textures

Mixing textures also helps to harmonize a well-designed room. I like to add at least four textures to any space. You might want a deep, plush carpet for a cosy feel. For a traditional look, crisp is the way to go with linens. Or, you may prefer the opposite. If you use natural linens for your bedding, add the crispness elsewhere, such as metal drawer pulls or mirrored bedside tables. Create an airy element by adding sheers that billow in the breeze. Black trim and dark wood tones help to ground a space.

We chose textures and patterns to add depth and animation to the green palette by using fabric, pillows, carpets, a bench seat, and the fireplace surround in stone and walnut. The mid-century modern, walnut-over-ply curves of the shell chairs add earthy sophistication to the seating area.

BEFORE

The extras

The design of the trim on the ceiling now emphasizes this often-neglected surface. Rather than the two original windows, the French doors provide fresh air and spectacular views. A new soft, ripple-fold window treatment was added to give the impression of an expansive glass wall. Now the master bedroom makes the most of its entitled position, and fully embraces the garden view. And, it feels as fresh as it looks.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. Jane Lockhart Interior Design 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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Measuring up, contractor renovates a home for his parents

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Measuring up, contractor renovates a home for his parents

At a stage where many empty nesters choose to downsize from a house to a condo, Chris O’Hanlon’s parents did the opposite. They left their modern penthouse and moved in with him. The length of their stay would be dependent upon how long it would take him to renovate his parents newly purchased 1980s suburban house. However, it wasn’t just about the length of time it would take, it had to be a high-quality renovation, because his dad is renowned community developer and builder, Patrick O’Hanlon.

Liking the easy life

Mom, Sheri, was getting used to the maintenance-free lifestyle of condo living, so when she first saw the house, she laughed. She wasn’t sure that she wanted to be looking after a yard again, or clearing a driveway of winter snow. But, the family cockapoo, Mindy, would have easy access to a backyard. Plus, this wasn’t the family’s first rodeo. They knew what was in store for them with a major renovation project.

Together, they created a vision for a warm, nature-inspired palette, with clean lines and soft textures.

And so it began

Out came the crowbars and hammers. The main floor was opened up to modernize the space and create a continuous flow throughout. Once the walls came down, a powder room was discreetly relocated beside an existing den, which was now the office.

A curved staircase dominated the foyer and the main hall. It terminated on the second floor onto a landing (unusable space), which lead to the master bedroom. A new, reconfigured staircase changed the traffic flow and made room for a second storey laundry room.

The footprint of the master bedroom was decreased to add more room to the master bathroom and to include a walk-in closet – accessed from the bathroom.

Dealing with limitations

There were aspects of the house that couldn’t be changed. For instance, the ceiling height. The standard height in the 80’s was eight feet. They got rid of the popcorn (stucco) ceiling, updated the recessed lighting and added built-in speakers throughout the main floor. They used a solid sawn white oak to update the flooring throughout the entire house. The seven-inch planks added warmth and a contemporary look.

They also opted to remove two existing gas fireplaces on the main floor. In their condo, they enjoyed the electric fireplace, because they could add heat, when needed, or just enjoy it as a cosy focal point. They nestled one into a Marmorea Series porcelain wall, surrounded by a custom-built wall unit in walnut.

Transformation completed

The original kitchen was entirely changed. A post stood right in the middle, it lacked storage and was blocked off by an awkward peninsula. The modifications were dramatic. The eat-in kitchen by the bay window was replaced by a functional island. Cabinetry was extended to the back wall, where a new window provided a view to the backyard. A 12-foot beam allowed them to get rid of the unsightly post.

Like the gas fireplaces, the gas stove was replaced with a Monogram induction cooktop and wall oven, which was reconfigured as a regular oven. Gold accents injected an upscale look in to the welcoming room.

The servery, by the new lounge area, replicated the kitchen cabinetry and provided a central area with comfy seating – designed for conversation and relaxation. Decorative trim work on the ceiling added interest and delineated the lounge area. It’s now Sheri’s favourite place to kick back and read.

A successful, six-month turnaround ensured that his parents didn’t wear out their welcome, and Chris now has his home back. That is, until they get the urge to start a new project.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. Jane Lockhart Interior Design janelockhart.com

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Bringing an old home back to life

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Bringing an old home back to life

When my clients purchased an older Craftsman-style house, they had no interest in razing the property and replacing it with an infill. They loved the bones of the home and planned to update and improve upon what was already there.

AFTER – The custom vent hood, backsplash and cabinetry are all in white to keep the visual space light and airy.

The chopped-up floor plan had been partially addressed in a previous renovation. An addition in the back created a sunken family room with skylights and a patio door to the backyard. This was the main access directly into the house from the driveway and garage.

BEFORE

THE CONS

The kitchen, perched over the family room, was dated and lacked storage.

Original Craftsman-style gum wood trim and built-in cabinetry preserved at the front of the house, and the open — but dated — back part of the home, conjured up images of a bad ’80s haircut, a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back.

To preserve the original charm and increase the useful square footage, they debated how to work around what they had. Even the dated skylights above the addition negated a second storey extension unless they were removed. Did they want to preserve an older addition or start from scratch?

The new open-concept kitchen moved to the south side of the house to take advantage of the light.

EFFICIENCY RULES

Scratch being the operative word. As soon as they looked behind the walls, the scope of work exploded. Although the plan was to maximize the floor space without harming the integrity of the home, they knew to make the home efficient, they needed to start over. Sadly, that meant most of the original features, like windows, would need to be replaced.

The new mudroom lets in plenty of light and increased the storage 100 per cent from the previous layout.

THE PROS

After gutting the house, they expanded the second floor, adding a master ensuite and walk-in closet to the master. The main floor was levelled out, the floor plan reworked, which also helped gain ceiling height below in the basement for a new laundry room.

They added a bright, open mudroom at the back of the house to access the garage and driveway. This bright, well-organized space is a welcoming entry with heated floors and plenty of storage.

The new family room, located at the back of the house, benefits from being on the same level as the rest of the main floor.
The reconfigured staircase and an overhead skylight brightened up the entry.
The master bedroom suite now expands across the back of the house and includes an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet.

IMPROVED FLOW & FUNCTION

The family room, now at the back of the house, still feels connected to the now-open main floor. The kitchen, which is in the centre of the home, was kept purposefully light. Although there are few upper cabinets, the kitchen plan functions more efficiently with the added floor-to-ceiling pantry behind the reclaimed, custom-made barn door. A bold swath of navy on the island adds personality without overwhelming the space, it’s also an accent colour throughout the home.

AFTER – The dining room, now at the front of the house, is a perfect place to feature panel moulding. Here it flanks the fireplace and adds interest.

The dining room, now at the front of the home, was made cosy with a new electric fireplace. The marble-like porcelain slab was an indulgence the homeowners couldn’t resist and makes a big statement in blue. The built-in window bench offers extra seating.

BEFORE

CUSTOM STAIRCASE

Upstairs, the staircase was moved to add two new bedrooms with full-sized closets at the front of the house. Unable to preserve the original, my clients vowed to find a beautiful custom solution so the staircase would still be an outstanding feature.

The layout is more practical now and an abundance of custom cabinetry discourages clutter. It’s a testament to the homeowner’s passion for the past that this updated home now offers more space but feels as cozy as it was originally meant to be.

Jane Lockhart

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:

FLOORING, throughout White Oak Nautilus Vintage Flooring TILES, throughout Cercan Tile CABINETRY, HANDLES, kitchen, bathroom, pantry, mudroom Aya Kitchens STAIRCASE, Deluxe Stair and Railing WINDOWS, Anderson Windows PANEL MOULDING, Estate Interiors CEILING TRIM, Mouldex Mouldings PAINT, Collingwood OC-28 Benjamin Moore KITCHEN COUNTERTOP, Calcutta Gold, Silestone Counter STOOLS, Wayfair LIGHTING, Kitchen and dining room pendants, “Rotterdam” Savoy House MASTER BEDROOM: BEDDING, Pottery Barn.ca SIDE TABLES, Wayfair.ca Lamps and RUG, Homesense DINING ROOM: TABLE, Wayfair CHAIRS, Structube FAMILY ROOM: SOFA AND CHAIRS, Pottery Barn PILLOWS, COFFEE TABLE, SIDE TABLE, Carpet Urban Barn MUDROOM: ACCESSORIES, Homesense

 

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Christmas in every room

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Christmas in every room

Photography by Gillian Jackson

The family room features another glorious tree. The built-ins and fireplace offer the perfect display area for holiday decor. Even the outside storage building has a wreath on the door!

Most people love to add decorative touches to their home at Christmas, but then there are those who just can’t stop at one room. For my clients, Val Geldart and Dave Dalton, no room remains untouched by holiday decor. Even the bathrooms and laundry room get a festive touch. “My mother is a Christmas nut,” says Geldar, so perhaps it’s genetic.

Sprigs of boxwood or holly, (real or not), linked with mini-lights and a few holly berries is a delicate touch on a stairwell.

East coast spirit

A storybook upbringing in the Maritimes instilled a love for family, community and Christmas — an important holiday where everyone can slow down and spend time together. Geldart remembers big family dinners, Santa parades, the Christmas concert at church, and driving around to admire the Christmas lights. She says friends and family would drop by unannounced (a perfectly acceptable part of life in Atlantic Canada!) and reconnect. It was an important time to celebrate and be thankful.

The dining room tree almost touches the 10’ ceiling. The decorations are all natural tones. The natural gas fireplace adds a soft glow as does the glassed-in wine room.

It happened one Christmas…

Geldart’s mom grew up in the countryside where the Christmas tree was decorated with homemade ornaments and strings of popcorn and cranberries. With her own family, she began a tradition of putting an ornament in her stocking every Christmas. This began a lifetime of collecting.

Beautifully made stockings in lush, earthy tones in a variety of fabric are the perfect complement to the oak mantel.

O Tannenbaum

From Newfoundland to Yellowknife, Geldart collects Christmas ornaments and decor on her travels whenever the opportunity arises. This spring she picked up a snowman during a trip to Iceland. Over the years, the family has had to add trees to accommodate all the ornaments, creating themes for each one.

A real tree is decorated in traditional red and green in basement room. Bright, colourful lights add a modern glow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Every year the family makes sure to pick up one real tree that they decorate in red and green with colourful lights, because that’s what her sons liked when they were little. Geldart confesses the rest of the trees are for her!

“I like to be able to see a tree no matter what room I spend time in. I am now up to four full-size trees and three small ones (one in the hall and one for each of the boys’ rooms). I like to have Christmas all around me!”

The tree in the master bedroom gets a romantic sparkle of light. From the chair and snowflake-motif pillows, to the delicate little tree and candles, which add a sweet holiday air.

So, with a veritable storehouse of trees, where does it all go at the end of the season? One of the most important features in their newly built home is the storage room. It takes a lot of space to store all those trees, not to mention full sets of dishes and towels — all Christmas- themed, of course!

No room is left untouched, which also means every room gets a little bit more love added to it, even the laundry room and bathrooms. So, if it’s about being a Christmas nut, I say we should all be so lucky to spread love and cheer throughout the home at Christmas, and always.

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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No-rules holiday decor

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No-rules holiday decor

Photography, Gillian Jackson

Decorating for the holidays is very personal. Some people really couldn’t care one way or the other, and then there are those who can’t wait for the season to arrive. Apparently, it says a lot about who you are if you put your decorations up early.

Decorate early, be happy

The New York Post reported that people are happier if they put up holiday decorations, earlier than most, outside their home. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology backs this up. We make associations with things that make us happy, and Christmas is, generally, a happy time. By putting up outdoor decorations evokes social cues to our neighbours, and suggests that we are friendly.

If this describes you, then chances are you’ve already brought out the boxes from storage, and you’re living in a Christmas wonderland.

Once upon a time

There was a time when the traditional colour themes included red, green and white, with a touch of gold or silver for sparkle. Today, there aren’t any colour limits and you can be as creative as you want to be. Visit any big box store after the 31st of October and you’ll be inundated with possibilities.

If you’re a person who prefers to decorate to a theme each year, then you’ll know that new ornaments (and themes) are constantly being introduced to the market. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, then make it. Home-made touches always add a special element.

When designers deck a tree

In our office we hold a tree decorating competition. One year our theme was A Wine-derful Christmas, which included wine glass, bottle ornaments and hand-made cork garland. For our Nordic Noel Tree, we used light-toned wood ornaments, hand cut white paper snowflakes, and played up a red, white and silver theme. Last year we did the the Tree of Misfit Fabrics. You guessed it – we used leftover fabric pieces, shaped them into bows, and complemented it with black, white and silver ornaments. It’s always the homemade touches that get the most love.

When to let loose

Even it you tend to be a more restrained decorator when it comes to your home environment, you may show your playful side come Christmas. You don’t have to go overboard (like we did), but by introducing the right lighting and holiday decor it can further elevate the moods of your family and friends.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules for decorating your home for the holidays. Some (and you know who you are) go as far as to replace their dishes, serving ware, towels and bedding, and they decorate every room in the house. And, they do it faithfully every year. If you love to do it, then do it. However, if it’s stressing you out, don’t become a slave to a theme, as your family and friends would prefer to see you relaxed and happy.

When to show restraint

If you’re really gung-ho about getting the holiday started early, please remember that although we are surrounded by retailers pushing it earlier and earlier, we can still show a bit of restraint. Many feel that it’s best to wait until after Remembrance Day, out of respect for those who fought for our freedom. It still leaves more than 40 days of letting the neighbours know that you’re friendly and happy.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. Jane Lockhart Interior Design janelockhart.com

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Storybrook by Sorbara Group

Storybrook by Sorbara Group of Companies

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Storybrook by Sorbara Group of Companies

The town of Fergus is a beautiful town, filled with historical charm and modern convenience. When designing the Belsyde at Storybrook, a master-planned community of 40- and 50-ft. homes and townhomes, the builder, Sorbara, was thinking of how a family would live while loving country life but still perhaps commuting to the neighbouring cities of Guelph and Brampton. The builder thought this family would appreciate a home filled with comfort, charm and lasting beauty… something special to come home to. The style of fixtures, finishes, and furnishings are timeless, not trendy, to evoke comfort and offer colour, because life at Storybook is not restrained, or neutral; it’s charming and serene, but never colourless.

Project Name: Storybrook

Location: Fergus

Model Name: Belsyde

Product: 40-ft. detached home

Designer: Jane Lockhart Interior Design

Website: mystorybrook.com

Model Row: Features six model homes including two 50-ft. homes, two 40-ft. homes and two townhomes


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Summer lovin and the livin’ is easy

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Summer lovin and the livin’ is easy

Since the beginning of time, humans have been cooking food over an open fire. There’s nothing like the taste of a freshly grilled steak or salmon smoked to perfection. The fire sources that we now congregate around have been tailored to fit in urban living environments, as well as for ease of operation.

Seasonal sensations

And while our seasons may be short, we Canadians know how to make the best of each, and every, one of them. Come summer, we’re not only firing up the grill, but we’re fixing feasts in fully loaded outdoor kitchens, paired with incredible furniture. From impromptu picnics to appetizers on the patio, we’re eking out every possible warm weather moment, which is why outdoor furnishings and appliances are the fastest growing categories in the home improvement industry.

Do it in style

Outdoor kitchens can be as functional, and as impressive, as you want them to be with cocktail prep areas, built-in grills, weather-resistant cabinetry and refrigerators. Gone are the fold-up chairs and the wobbly table. Instead, cosy seating areas are not only comfortable, but well designed for group gatherings and conversation. Add an outdoor carpet and you have an alfresco vignette that may be more appealing than your living room.

Photography, Gillian Jackson

Design details

Similar to planning an indoor kitchen, you’ll want to customize an outdoor one that suits your cooking preferences and entertaining needs. As an extension of your indoor living environment, consider an outdoor layout that will complement your landscaped backyard or a rooftop patio.

Bells and whistles

As part of the outdoor plan, consider where you’ll require running water, gas lines and electrical wiring. Multiple stove top elements and varied grill levels can help to facilitate cooking different food items at once. Cabinetry options are stylish, functional and weather resistant. Counter tops come in natural or man-made materials, and can be designed to include smokers or other specialty appliances. Refrigerator drawers, and separate, temperature controlled bar fridges, eliminate the need to run back and forth into the house.

Photography, (right top and middle) courtesy of Outdoor Kitchens and Cabinetry

European influences

Our mood is boosted when we’re outdoors. As soon as the weather warms up, restaurants set up their patios, and patrons spend leisurely hours soaking up the sunshine. When we envision outdoor dining, we conjure up visions of a long wooden table in Tuscany ladened with fresh food, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. With Italy in mind, consider an outdoor brick oven, complete with chimney, to make handcrafted pizzas.

Let there be fire

In the centre of it all is the fire pit. This, too, has evolved from a circle of rocks to a design feature. No matter how it’s fuelled, people naturally gather around a fire. Its hypnotic dance is comforting and meditative. Intimate conversations and story telling are natural conclusions to a perfect summer evening.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. janelockhart.com

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A stately estate

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A stately estate

A contemporary outdoor colour palette blends seamlessly with a garden rooted in history

Photography By Gillian Jackson

Since the beginning of time, humans have toiled to impose order over the terrain and create art from the landscape. Formal gardens have a long history; from the Middle Ages, English country manors borrowed from the jardin à la française (literally, garden in the French manner) who learned horticultural pursuits from Italian Renaissance gardeners. Before that, planned gardens can be traced back centuries to the Middle East.

But some present-day residential lots defy order, and pose a dilemma to new homebuilders, especially when the lot is on a corner; it’s curve-shaped and it’s not level. Where do you situate the house so it will embrace the terrain?

When realty and history collide

For these homeowners, building a stately, French chateau-style home on an irregular lot wasn’t the only plan. In spite of the curves, they also wanted lush formal gardens. David Small Designs, located in Mississauga, created the home – reflecting the best of French Renaissance architecture, which embraces the irregularly-shaped lot. The hardscaping, landscaping and pool design was entrusted to ProScape Land Design Inc. in Oakville who formalized the exterior plan.

“THE FORMALITY OF THE STONE PATHWAY GIVES WAY TO a wonderful mix of contemporary, traditional and cottage-style elements THAT WORK BEAUTIFULLY TOGETHER ON THE ENTERTAINING SIDE OF THE YARD. “

Making a formal, first impression

The large gables, bold, steeply-pitched rooflines and warm, light-coloured stone on the entire exterior of the home set the tone. The landscapers replicated those warm tones in stone pillars, walls and raised garden beds. The placement of the gated entry with ornate wrought ironwork was carefully considered to preserve the mature trees on the property. Boxwood hedges, natural stone pavers and symmetrical plantings were added to give a formal air to the public side of the house.

Layered and lush

The formality of the stone pathway gives way to a wonderful mix of contemporary, traditional and cottage-style elements that work beautifully together on the entertaining side of the yard.

Here, symmetry and balance add a contemporary element poolside; graduated steps lead you from the ankle-deep shallow end to the deep end; gas-operated fire bowls flank the pool and three modern, bronze waterfall features spill from the expansive stone wall.

Traditional plantings

Like a traditional garden, boxwood hedges and cedars frame beds of Chanticleer pear trees, Hosta plants and Japanese and native grasses. Even the white hydrangeas seem to pay homage to historical English Rose gardens, while adding to the understated green-and-white scheme. However, a jolt of electric teal, blues and lime green in the lounges, chairs and ottoman fabric remind us this is where we have fun!

The stone path continues to lead us to a stone wall and pergola-framed lounge area with lots of cosy seating around a large, gas firepit. It’s perfect for roasting marshmallows on a long summer night.

Loggia-style outdoor, covered deck

With entertaining in mind, the homeowners wanted an outdoor living and dining room with a wood-burning fireplace, large table for dining and an unobstructed view of the pool. A medium stained, bead-board ceiling adds a cottage feel, even at 11-feet high! Surprisingly, the curved, wicker seating arrangement by the grand, stone fireplace and the glassed-in balcony work harmoniously together. Stone steps that connect the deck to the pool level offer yet another place to perch and enjoy the view.

So, where is the lawn?

Instead of grass, the homeowners opted for artificial turf for the rest of the yard, now a large dog park devoted to their two Portuguese water dogs. Can you say, “spoiled”?

Contemporary or traditional, formal or wild, gardens are meant to be enjoyed; after all, they are our little piece of paradise.

SOURCES HOUSE, designed by David Small Designs, Built including covered porch, CMA Group POOL, Gib-san Pools LANDSCAPE designed & executed ProScape Land Design Inc. (front yard, dog yard, pergola & pool side) FIRE BOWLS, Grand Effects OUTDOOR FURNITURE, Southport Outdoor Living DECOR, Home Sense & Pier 1 COVERED PORCH LIGHTING Pottery Barn

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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