A printout of this jaw-dropping foyer by one of my favourite designers, Suzanne Kasler, has been pinned up on my inspiration board for quite a while. I’m completely enamored with Greek architectural elements — authentic or fake — so the pediment and framing around the door, along with the mouldings, flat arches, scroll brackets, soaring ceilings and white walls, makes me swoon. Add to that the glossy dark door, gold accents and harlequin marble floor, and for me, it’s a done deal.
Is it really the ultimate representation of my signature look? Hardly! I rent a small studio apartment. But I have a strong reaction to this space, and I think there is a way to bring a sense of the feeling it inspires into even my humble bachelor. I don’t mean go out and buy each of these items (my bank account sure isn't healthy enough!) but bringing just one of them home would be a boost to my décor and spirits.
Replicating ornate architectural detail often isn’t an option, but both of these mirrors suggest the look of it. The Anamaria mirror from Elte (left) has the right distressed colourway and arching at the top, while the bulbous detail at the top of John-Richard’s Walpole mirror (right) from Barrymore Furniture subtly hints at the carving on the pediment.
I love Restoration Hardware’s new collection of timeworn-looking furniture. The French Upholstered Wing Chair isn’t cheap, but it’s a much more justifiable splurge than a real-deal antique. And way easier to find!
I spotted this demi-lune table (left) on Calgary-based Domaine Furnishings’ website. It fits the theme and would make a great front hall console. Ditto for the vintage Occasional Gilt Table (right) with a marble top from Vancouver’s The Cross Décor & Design. (Scour your local antique markets and HomeSense regularly for more affordable versions.)
This drippy sconce from Ethan Allen is also a great traditional accent.
In my dreams, I live somewhere with old marble or limestone checkerboard floors. In the meantime, however, I’ll have to make do with black and white peel and stick vinyl tiles — an easy but dramatic fix-up for a rental. When I set out to do this for my own place, I assumed they would be easy to find. I hit every big box store and it turns out, they’re not readily available! I eventually did pick some up from Merit Decorating on College Street in Toronto, but check your local Home Hardware. I have since learned that if they don’t have them in stock, they can easily be ordered from their main warehouse (2560-222 is the code for white and 2560-231 for black).
So, these are my secrets for grand-theft style — achieving an antiquated look with finds from local decorating retailers.
P.S. Along with architectural detail, my apartment is also lacking cable. All of my design inspiration used to come from books and magazines but not anymore! Check out the cool new season of the House & Home Online TV show that’s right on our website!
1. Riverly Road home, designed by Suzanne Kasler
2. Anamaria mirror from Elte
3. Walpole mirror from John-Richard
4. French upholstered wing chair from Restoration Hardware
5. Domaine Furnishings
6. Occasional Gilt Table from The Cross Décor & Design
7. Sconce from Ethan Allen
8. Floor image from Amazon.com