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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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