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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Beth of designPOST Interiors said...

These lamps are a little different in style but could maybe still work with the look of the room:



The room design is awesome! Love the maps!

Kerry said...

Love all of these ideas. All of the pieces are gorgeous... and I would put them all in my home as well! :)

What a fun space to work with!

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

I love where you're going with this space. I see I came by at a good time. I'm just back from a very lengthy break in blogging. It gave me enough time to completely refocus and re-energize. I hope it does the same for you. Best of luck with all your projects and I definitely look forward to hearing from you when you're able to post. xo

Carissa @ the Fabulous Design File said...

Love your inspiration board. That rug is perfect. The map prints are brilliant! I might have to get one for my own house!

Holly said...

This looks like it's going to be a really fun project Anne-Marie! Thanks for taking us along :)

I love the custom city maps idea - thanks for the link!

fashion-meets-art said...

wow- great inspiration. sounds good.
lovely greets and kisses
maren anita


Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

I really like your ideas and think versatile pieces are key. Its an odd piece that sticks with me but that umbrella stand won't be one I forget soon. I love the classic design and muted colors on it.
Do you share sources for stuff like that?

hong kong property said...

can't wait to see the outcome

Kellie Collis said...

Beautiful inspirations! Loving the fabulous mirror. Have a wonderful start of the week, Kellie xx


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