Alison and Paul Brindle wanted their new waterfront home to be designed to capture the spectacular views of Lake Ontario and their cherished gardens. They also wanted a casual environment that would give them ample time to watch their children play in the backyard snow or swimming pool. “It’s like having our own winter chalet and summer villa,” Alison says.
nterior designer Gordana Di Monte is often asked to put a fresh spin on design. But seldom is the request as literal as it was in the case of this two-bedroom condo in downtown Toronto. “Their number one must-have was a working turntable in the living area, which is not a request I get every day,” says Di Monte, creative director at Douglas Design Studio who headed the project.
The owner of Barroso Homes, who has been a builder for the past 12 years, has been putting her own unique stamp on luxury contemporary homes for the past eight years. For this Hartfield Avenue home, she made two compromises. To respect the more traditional architecture of the surrounding neighbourhood, she would tone down her usual approach, which is highly and boldly modern.
Designer Kirsten Marshall of Palmerston Design Consultants Inc. still laughs at the memory of her client’s first instructions for what was later to become a sweeping makeover of an outdated home. “This client literally emailed us through our website and told us that he wanted us to ‘make our ugly house not ugly,’ ” she recalls. “I thought it was a joke.”
The moment I arrived in the capital, Pape’ete, I could tell that I would not be disappointed by the trip that I had dreamed of for decades. Stepping off the plane, I inhaled the warm, fresh air and visually devoured the brightly coloured tropical flowers and sparkling azure-blue water.
Who has not dreamed of escaping into the lap of luxury? Of closing one’s eyes and breathing in deeply as a warm wave of sumptuous relaxation envelops one’s body? Safe, secure and detached, this is what enjoying the moment really means. But what if you could enhance this exquisite sense of timelessness, this feeling of living in the now, by having it all steeped in the style and intrigue of ancient Spain?
Its name is mud — mudroom that is. But despite the unpromising moniker, in today’s houses, mudrooms are taking on new importance and lots of style. No longer an afterthought, “Eighty per cent of the large renovations we do have mudrooms on the wish list,” says builder Dave Evans, partner at Cliff and Evans Ltd., a construction company in Toronto.
Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow. It’s time to hunker down and enjoy the warmth of the great indoors. At this time of year, there are few spaces more inviting than a well-designed bedroom, outfitted with beautiful linens, puffy duvets and fluffy throws. That goes for cozy living rooms and dens, too, where cushions and coverlets encourage us to sit a spell and warm up by a crackling fire. Here’s a selection of products to help you create rooms that shut out winter’s cold.