Project Brownstone: Boards for The Darlings

Hello, hello!  It's been far too long, lovelies... after the pause I've taken, if any of you are still dropping by I'd like to share the boards for the rooms for my clients two wee darlings with you :)

Their son is just a year, and such a little heartbreaker. His room on the smallish side - why do builders still create bedrooms that are 9' x 12' and then have these enormous hallway spaces connecting them? I will never understand. In any case, he is still in a crib, so that leaves a little more room, but we also have a very large built-in, that the previous renter installed, to accommodate. Here are a couple of pics...

The built-in's have a dark black-brown walnut finish, and the furniture is much warmer orange-based woods, but this is something we cannot change, and that is one of the challenges of living in a rental. I have chosen to put the focus on the other elements of the room by using colour and pattern to distract the eye from this contrast in woods. We are adding a West Elm carpet with bold stripes to tie together the existing pale blue bed linens and the navy accents, and the stripes will draw the eye across the narrowest part of the space, making it feel wider than it actually is. The client has some adorable sports inspired prints that we will be framing and placing above the bed, and some RH letters as additional art. I found a metal faux bois polyhedron light at Homesense for a steal - it's gorgeous!  Bold navy curtains will accentuate the height of the room and make the space feel larger, and a throw and pillow for the existing chair will bring the navy over to that side of the room. Perfect for a growing boy, yes?

Their daughter is four, and in the dreamy princess, pink and sparkly stage. She is a doll! Here again we have built-in's to work with, and they are dark and heavy, so we need to bring in a little softness to contrast all these hard edges. The client's chose a really luxe bed frame, dark charcoal velvet, prior to me being on the scene. I am so lucky they have great taste!

We decided on a pink (of course!) and grey colour scheme. The client's travel frequently, and we are working with a loose Parisan theme -  I say loose because I am not a huge fan of overly themed spaces, I find them too contrived. We started with the bed linens, a classic brocade.

From there we added a chair, one that will match a different desk in the future, when they have re-located and this little girl does not have this built-in desk in her room. Some additional fabrics will be added to the backs of her shelves and her bulletin board, and that will break up all the dark wood. A snuggly bean bag chair provides a spot to curl up and read a book in, a pretty light adds some of sparkle. The art is from Etsy, by ShellSherree - don't you love it? It brings exactly the right amount of whimsy and lightness to this room. The mirror art will hang over her bed, a cute reference to the princess element without going completely disney!

 I think it is a darling space for a darling girl :)   What do you think?

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Project Brownstone - part one

So you know I'm working with some unique clients right now, right? I love it when a space challenges me, because it leads to all kinds of creative solutions! This family moves almost yearly for the husband's work, and so their permanent residence back in the US only gets used during summer months, and the rest of the year they live in rental homes. Moving so frequently means that they are constantly trying to re-configure their furnishing to work in their current space. The last transition to Toronto proved to be one too many, and they decided to have someone come in and help them to create a cohesive look in their current home.

Now when you think rentals, you tend to think apartment, but this is no apartment. It's a gorgeous four level brownstone in one of the cities best neighbourhoods! If I was to move back to the city, this home would be on my wish list! Thus, from now on this home will be known as "Project Brownstone", because I love the way that BROWNSTONE drips off my tongue....

I think the key to making not only Project Brownstone work, but also the next home, and the next again, is to invest in flexible pieces that can go from room-to-room, and bring a consistent design style and colour palette through the home.  We already have a lot of furniture to work with, and so the old must mesh with the new.  We are going with a modern classic feel, and bringing in some lighter, greyer woods to balance out all the darker browns already present. The family prefers neutrals, quiet prints and a home that offers respite from a hectic life, and also entertaining options. In terms of colour we are using blue-grays, from light to dark, warm neutrals and white. The landlord painted out the entire home in Dune White by BM, so we have a nice warm envelope to work with.

Over the next weeks I'm going to show you a few pics, and the design boards that have evolved from our emails thus far. Today we will start with the foyer.  I love foyers. Really love. They are one of my favourite spaces in every home, no matter how small, because this is where your home introduces itself to the world!

Note - these pictures were taken the day after they moved in - so no judging!!! They were still in chaos phase.

There isn't a LOT of light present here, so we definitely want to add accessories that bring some light to the space. Their chippendale style console is staying, so we are looking for a way to reference the paler wood tones that will be added to the rest of the main floor here. I chose this wool carpet from Pottery Barn as a way to bring together all the different tones. The pattern adds another dimension to this space.

Although there is a closet further down the hall, we still need to catch mittens and the bits that fill pockets. Simple baskets add storage for all the "stuff" that comes with little ones, stacking boxes offer a place for keys and change to land, and some extra layers fill in the shelves.

Since this family moves often, art that references some cities that have special meaning to them is a quirky, personal touch. I found these amazing modern city maps on Etsy - if they don't have the city you want they will custom make it for you!! We have decided on a grid of six, as shown below. 

I added the lamp below to the board, but my source no longer carries it - any suggestions?!! 
I'd love to find a table lamp with a geometric base something like this...

A large leaning mirror placed opposite the table will bounce some daylight around the hall. We have discussed a wood frame, although I could also go for a metal window style like this...

An umbrella stand like that would be cute tucked in beside the console, wouldn't it?
We are considering re-working an armchair they currently own to nestle in to the stair corner. I think a striped linen upholstery would lead nicely towards the rest of the home... which I will show you soon!

So what do you think of this space?

(Before I sign off, I would really like to thank you all - after my last post, and reading your comments and emails,  I realized that whether I blog or not we will stay in touch - thanks for all your encouragement and support :) Love you guys!! x am)

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