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3 tips to make your home chic, functional and family-friendly

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3 tips to make your home chic, functional and family-friendly

Every young family dreams of having it all – a chic home that does double duty as a kid-friendly environment. But for most bustling households, a sophisticated design aesthetic can often be overlooked in favour of elements that can survive the wear and tear of a family. It may be a daunting task to try and combine the best of both worlds – fashion and function – but it is possible to create a family-friendly living space that is sophisticated and still accommodates a range of ages, activities and interests.

How can a growing family create a sophisticated and stylish home environment that is sippy-cup friendly? Scavolini Toronto’s design team takes us through a recent redesign that is chic, liveable, and highly functional, and shares their top designer tips for replicating the look at home.

1 Consider a multi-functional open floorplan

Apart from making a home look more spacious, the benefits of an open floorplan are endless. To accommodate a bustling family’s lifestyle, an open concept kitchen and living area can serve as a multipurpose space. It’s great for weeknight cooking and dining, playing and after school homework, and can also easily transition into hosting and entertaining mode on weekends.

In order to ensure this kitchen was highly functional, two separate seating areas were designed to offer flexible dining areas for various occasions. A large island takes centre stage here, creating a place to entertain, relax and gather as a family – or for parents to sip wine while dinner simmers nearby when guests visit. A beautiful stone bench was also added to offer more casual seating, while a formal glass table is nestled along the kitchen wall to host both sit down family-style dinners, or dinner parties.

The integrated living room helps extend this transitional space, creating a nearby lounge area for TV watching or a play area for the kids, and then can transform into a cocktail or hosting space after bedtime. By bringing in design elements of the kitchen, like keeping the look of the cabinets consistent, extra storage is added so the living area can be multi-functional, while hiding clutter in a flash. Flexible, hardworking cabinetry is a great way add style and conceal mess.

Thanks to an open concept living and kitchen area, a family really can do it all in a space that is sophisticated enough to host social gatherings, yet functional enough to withstand playtime.

2 Choose a colour palette and decor that can transition and grow with you

Keeping your colour palette, furniture and decor minimal help to maintain a great looking space that is organized and clutter-free – and ensure that it can transition well as a family grows and needs change.

Deciding on your colour palette should be one of your first considerations when renovating or redecorating. From old world charm to a more modern look, a neutral colour scheme is timeless and can survive constantly evolving trends. It is also easy to retouch in the event of an occasional crayon or marker drawing incident.

Our top tip? Start with a neutral base and add in smaller colour pops through accents or accessories – like the bright yellow chairs in this dining area. These accents can be easily swapped in or out as your style needs grow and change, or as your children age. Plus, neutral walls and floors can be paired with beautiful artwork, helping to highlight favourites in your collection, or even your child’s own work.

To add in an element of old world charm, this kitchen’s backsplash and an entire wall was clad in brick, which was whitewashed to keep it feeling fresh and modern so that decor accents could take centre stage. Stainless steel accessories, including faucets and appliances, add cool factor while rich wood flooring and shelves add warmth and personality.

With accents of personal style and pops of colour, a home design can have a neutral, kid-friendly colour palette, yet still incorporate some edgy finishes. Crisp white walls reflect natural light and help make a space appear larger, while biophilic elements can provide a lively – and wellness improving – mood boost. Add in treasured accessories, like kids’ artwork or collectibles, to create stylish eye-catching accents.

3 Create smart storage solutions

Storage can make or break a family home. Not only can strategic storage solutions create a really specific and custom space, it can also ensure that clutter is non-existent. There’s no catch or loophole – it is possible to have kids and a clutter free house without going full Marie Kondo!

Struggling with where to start? Begin by taking an inventory of everything you own, especially toys, and ask yourself not only what types of things you need to store, but also how you want to live with them. What toys do you really need out in the open for easy access every day? What toys can be stored away for later use, and how much space do you need to do so?

In this particular space, a large grey and white island becomes a focal point in the kitchen, but also does double duty as a genius storage solution that clears clutter thanks to concealed shelving. The kitchen appliances are all built in, which makes for a far less bulky appearance as well. Table wears are stored in sleek drawers rather than hidden away in enclosed cabinets, and toys can be whisked away in a flash thanks to the cabinetry in the living area.

We’re big believers that having little ones doesn’t mean you have to give up your individual style – or get rid of fancy decor items (unless they have sharp corners – then you may need to compromise). Rather, it just means you may have to make some keen design decisions to create a space that’s both chic and family friendly.

By Roxane Lolos, Senior Designer at Scavolini Toronto


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The Selby

The Selby sets a new design standard for luxury rental living

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The Selby sets a new design standard for luxury rental living

Photos courtesy of Tricon Capital Group

When it comes to interior design inspiration, there are the usual go-to sources we rely on when we are thinking of renovating or renewing our living spaces. The various HGTV shows, design magazines and blogs, Pinterest, boutique hotels, or perhaps, an actual, newly renovated home of a friend or relative you just visited set the inspiration wheels in motion. There are endless resources for the homeowner, but there is one place we don’t typically consider to look when dreaming and planning our refreshed spaces: rental suites…yes, rental suites.

The tables have turned

The Selby by Tricon House, is the first in a series of upscale, purpose-built rental apartment buildings that will spatter across Toronto’s downtown core. There are a few in the works, (57 Spadina Avenue in the city’s fashion district and Scrivener Square in Rosedale/Summerhill), with The Selby debuting in The Six last year in late November. Located at 25 Selby, it is set to redefine rental living with luxury apartments bordering the neighbourhoods of South Rosedale and Cabbagetown. Up until now, renters may have looked longingly to the various design options offered to homeowners (budget-permitting, of course) to totally transform their interiors. But now homeowners who are ready to upgrade their abodes, can find inspiration by the sophisticated design of this unique rental property in the heart of the city.

Raising the bar

The 50-storey tower offers suites featuring high-end finishes and appliances. “Thoughtfully designed and appointed purpose-built rental apartments have been a mainstay housing option in U.S. cities for years, says Gary Berman, president and CEO of Tricon Capital Group. “We are leveraging our experience in the U.S. and Canada to bring a new type of rental offering to Toronto. Our goal is to create communities that reflect the changing needs of a world-class city, to deliver buildings of exceptional quality, and to set the bar for a new type of city living.” All 502 apartments are meticulously edited to maximize space, curated with high-quality materials, which provide both a sumptuous and comforting feel. They partnered with notable brands and talented designers to offer this unparalleled environment with impeccable artistic details to bring their vision to fruition.

It takes a village

Starting with the kitchens and bathrooms, The Selby set their sights on a beloved lifestyle brand from Italy. “Tricon House paid very special attention to the design details and who they partnered with, and they chose to partner with Scavolini,” says Horia Gruia, president of Scavolini Toronto. The family-run, Italy-based company is the leader in kitchen design for over 50 years, and the company has been in Toronto for 15 years. It was the natural choice to build the luxury kitchens for all of The Selby’s one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, which also feature quartz countertops from Caesarstone. A household name in Italy, where houses are sold without a kitchen, and homeowners must furnish all the cabinets and appliances in their home, “this is the first foray in the rental market for Scavolini,” confirms Gruia, and the modular nature of the design allows for easy installation as well.

The Sax kitchen reveal

The Scavolini Sax kitchen was personalized and premiered in Canada at The Selby. It comes in two colour palettes: one light and one dark. The light scheme is comprised of Batista Oak and Mist Grey; the darker scheme is Calicoat Oak and Graphite Grey. The Sax is a combination of cross-wood texture in a matte finish, a modern, minimalist design with hardware on base cabinets only, not on the upper cabinets. The colour scheme was selected to reflect a distinctive, yet cohesive design esthetic from floor to floor of the building. “There are five or six layout kitchen designs in the building, but one floor has one colour scheme and the next floor will have the other,” informs Gruia. Sounds like a checkerboard or the perfect Instagram feed. All kitchens include a breakfast bar, stainless-steel appliances, induction stove, dishwasher, (and a wine fridge!), a stunning wall unit and matching accessories.

Preserving history

Award-winning and internationally recognized Toronto designer, Johnson Chou, was Tricon’s pick to design the suites, main lobby, including the common spaces for residents housed in the exquisite 150-year-old Gooderham mansion, which once was the dwelling of Ernest Hemingway when he wrote for the Toronto Star. This historical Toronto treasure was moved and lovingly restored for the project, and it now stands adjacent to the building for residents to enjoy the building’s amenities, which among others, include a 3,500-square-foot fitness centre, spa, and bistro, bar and lounge by Oliver & Bonacini.

Design authority

“We worked very hard to give designer Johnson Chou a profound understanding of what Tricon House meant and he successfully translated our brand esthetic in design,” says Chief Marketing Officer at Tricon House, Alexandra Blum. “For The Selby, it was a mixture of the vibrant geographical area, honouring the past and incorporating a very layered interior design, like rich caramel leather sofas in the mansion, cow-hide back chairs and a stunning copper chandelier in the lobby.”

Elevated lifestyle

The suites include oversized windows, which allow for plenty of sunlight, and walk-in closets with organizers that are conveniently located in between the master bedroom and bathroom. But beyond the design considerations, The Selby is about creating communites and mixed-use spaces. Blum believes that the design is just part of the formula that elevates lifestyle. “We put people first, and creating a sense of belonging is needed more than ever in this technology-obsessed, always-connected world.

As homeowners, I won’t elaborate on the impressive amenities and amazing city views of the Rosedale Valley for residents, we don’t want to incite rental envy as we busy ourselves with that unrelenting house maintenance checklist. It is nice to know though if life circumstances change, we can trade in our property for a rental suite without sacrificing high-quality design, and an added sense of community to bout!

Pièce de resistance

Back to design. Blum extols the importance of art, as a collector and as an experience. Seen as an essential element to enhance spaces, Tricon House partnered with EyeBuyArt, a local initiative, which offers residents access to a curated collection of beautiful works of art at accessible prices. They start at $250. “Tricon invested in art pieces for the lobby, mansion and spa, and we wanted to extend that to our residents at an affordable price point for their homes,” says Blum. A budget-conscious initiative in luxury rental is a nice touch. So perhaps for your next renovation or home improvement project, you can tear a page from the latest Toronto luxury rental suites for some design inspiration. Tried-and-true design, quality materials mixed in with some save-splurge decisions are what reno dreams are made of — no matter where you live.

Inspired by beauty in all its forms, Toronto-based RENO & DECOR editor Silvana Longo loves exploring current and upcoming design trends, or planning her next trip to Europe for more inspiration. writerbydesign.ca


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