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Big Style, Small Spaces

Transform an empty space into something fabulous

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Transform an empty space into something fabulous

When I was tasked with designing the Kingsway Village Square suites, a stunning new eight-storey luxury rental building in Etobicoke by Dunpar Homes, I knew I wanted to optimize the square footage as much as I could.

Although the specific suites I was asked to design are some of the smaller ones in the building, that doesn’t mean I had to scrimp on style or functionality. In fact, with the right eye and employing smart strategies, I was able to transform each unit into something spectacular and spacious.

Whether you’re downsizing from a home into a suite, or you’re looking for inventive ways to transform an existing room or small space, these tips are some of my best-laid plans.

Paint your walls white

The effect of colour in a home can be huge, and it plays a big part in how you dress a small space. Just like fashion, it’s a rather simple rule of thumb: Lighter colours will make you or the room look more prominent, whereas darker colours will make you or the room appear smaller.

With the Kingsway Village Square units, I kept the main living areas a beautiful neutral white – my constant, go-to colour – to give the feeling of freshness, airiness, and space. If I were to paint those walls dark, say a navy blue or anything more saturated, you’d feel a bit crowded in, and that’s not going to help make the space feel roomy. Plus, that leaves very little room to switch things up in my decor: A white palette on the walls gives me the freedom and flexibility to change my furnishings around if I so desire. The same can’t be said if I have to work with a different colour.

If you are a fan of colour, don’t feel like you have to reject it entirely, either. Use it elsewhere in your home, such as a powder room or a bedroom. Both could work really well, especially as a feature wall, or use it in your artwork or soft finishes, such as pillows, throws, and blankets.

Don’t fight with your furniture

When I walk into a room, I want my eye to wander around the entire space and not get stuck on the particular furniture I have in the area. So I used legs on the furniture. Elte Markets, a more affordable sister brand of Elte, has some fantastic pieces this season, most of which I used to furnish the model suites at Kingsway Village Square. I wanted people to walk into the suite where your eye is tricked into seeing through and under everything, because every piece is propped by some legs. No furniture is flush and heavy on the floor, each is “lifted” to create good flow and harmony in each room. There’s no heavy, massive couch that dominates the living room and goes down to the floor with a skirt. No, thank you! Each of my bedside tables in the bedroom have legs, the chairs have legs, everything has legs. It’s a small trick, but one that I promise will yield the most significant impact. Your room will instantly feel larger because of it.

Keep your overall colour palette neutral, nix all those acccessories

Whether in the kitchen, dining room or bedroom, I always steer clear of too much clutter as well as too bold colour choices, unless I’m playing around with the soft furnishings. Again, the lighter you go, and the less stuff you have, the more open your room will feel. I’m not a minimalist by any means, but I do think there is something to be said for having a few, choice accessories in a room as opposed to bombarding it with every one of your favourite knick-knacks. My general rule of thumb is always, for every one thing you put out, put something away.

Keep calm and carry on

I wanted to keep the kitchen as neutral as possible so it could blend seamlessly into the overall design and feel of the space, so I removed all the hardware and handles from all the cabinets. I wanted lovely, clean lines and with handles. You don’t get that, all you get is busyness. To me, it doesn’t give the impression of an inviting space. Now, I’m no modernist, but there’s something about this look that inspires the exact feeling I want: Calmness.

The same sentiment applies for the bedroom: I opted for mesh roller blinds (you could go either white or black) because the fabrication is very effervescent. They frame and balance the room well, so it isn’t too busy, and your eye isn’t drawn to fussy curtains. The black-bronze curtain rods and silver grommets help to keep the look elegant, while also not weighing down the space.

Pump up your colour with soft finishes and furnishings

For bigger pieces, whether it is a couch, bed frame or dining table, I work with lighter fabrics and lighter shades. However, one area I do play with colour is in my soft finishes and furnishings, such as artwork, duvet covers, pillows, throw blankets, accessories, and even big coffee table books. This is where you can have some fun, and it also doesn’t cost a lot. If the mood strikes where I want to switch up my space, I can do it with my soft furnishings quite easily. Williams Sonoma, IKEA, and Pottery Barn all have beautiful selections.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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National Homes - The Forest Phase 2

National Homes’ The Forest Phase 2 is a spectacular sequel in Bradford

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National Homes’ The Forest Phase 2 is a spectacular sequel in Bradford

The second and final phase is coming to The Forest, completing a community that has come to represent the very best of Bradford. But you’ll have to be swift to call The Forest Phase 2 home.

Starting from only $699,990, these are the lowest priced detached homes in the Bradford and Newmarket area. Furthermore, this is a limited release of fully detached homes up to 3,473 sq. ft. that check all the boxes on every wish list and more.

The Forest Phase 2 is full of bright ideas. Once again, National Homes has raised the bar, offering buyers a truly state-of-the-art new-home buying experience at the company’s Blueprint Design Lab and a home they will be proud of, with advanced energy-efficient and smart home technology. The future has come to The Forest Phase 2.

Lush surroundings

As its eponymous name suggests, The Forest Phase 2 is surrounded by lush forest. Elegant detached homes with up to five bedrooms on 36- and 40-ft. lots boast gracious elevations of stone, stucco and classic brick. Buyers will move into an established National community as Phase 1 is completed and families are already enjoying their new homes.

With 25 years of experience, scores of inspired communities and more than 15,000 homes built, National Homes has become one of the GTA’s most celebrated names. But to National, it’s only ever been all about the homebuyer. The team at National has really leaned into their core philosophy and longtime tagline: You are the Blueprint. The company has initiated a series of Blueprint Workshops where homebuyers are invited to participate. Its R&D department regularly tests products, materials and techniques. A new Bright Ideas initiative offers advanced tools and technology such as smart ventilation, built-in recycling areas, smart thermostats, and more that make National homes smarter, more responsive and more energy-efficient.

Planning for The Forest Phase 2 included a Blueprint Workshop with potential Bradford buyers to discuss which Bright Ideas would be of most value for growing families here. As a result, residents at The Forest Phase 2 will enjoy optional and standard features such as a WiFi video doorbell, main door Smart lock, a family drop zone with storage shelves and hanging hooks, and a family allocated smart centre with desk. This exciting Bright Idea has a hidden charging station, whiteboard and shelving to store and display the family calendar, mail, messages, and school forms, all those odds and ends with no place to go in a typical home.

In addition, a range of dreamy comforts are offered as options, such as a closet organizer with revolving shoe rack in the dressing room, and a voice-activated Smart shower in the spa ensuite that controls on/off, water temperature and flow. Laundry rooms can be fitted with a convenient pull-down drying rack, kitchens with pull-down cupboards and motion sensor faucets, and more.

National Homes has teamed up with Pottery Barn to bring home its trademark style in the exquisite model home at The Forest Phase 2 designed by David Nosella. On display is an eclectic fusion of traditional style mixed with striking accents and contemporary aesthetics. All the Bright Ideas are built into the model as well, for visitors to see and experience. Pottery Barn stylists have designed beautiful spaces that appeal to the lifestyles and tastes of a wide range of customers. Purchasers at The Forest will receive 20 per cent off at Pottery Barn plus free professional design consultation from Pottery Barn and West Elm.

Homebuyer Portal

Buyers can also take advantage of the builder’s new customer service initiative. National’s Homeowner Portal connects you to the design and construction of your home, from the moment you decide to buy until long after you move in. It also makes the decor selection process at the Blueprint Design Lab more fun and much faster, using their Virtual Interior Design Tool.

Residents will delight in the views of rolling farmland and forests right across the street, Lake Simcoe 20 minutes up the road, and all the conveniences nearby. A large, modern, multi-use leisure centre, new library, high school and elementary schools are within walking distance. There’s ample choice in shopping, including Tanger Outlet Mall and Upper Canada Mall only minutes away. A short commute on the GO Train whisks you into Union Station, or take Hwy. 400 to the GTA in 20 minutes. A proposed 16.2-km connecting link between Hwy. 404 at Queensville to Hwy. 400 at Bradford is in early planning.

NATIONAL HOMES
The Forest Phase 2

If you’re looking for the charm of a real forest community with the comfort and amenities of modern living, National’s latest release of elegant and innovative homes in Bradford is for you. Register online to preview.


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