It’s a well-worn cliché that a fresh coat of paint can work wonders for a space. After our first site visit to the townhome featured in our September 2014 issue, it was clear that paint would be the first step in this dramatic makeover.
To keep the painters on time and budget, I chose to paint the walls, ceilings and trim in the same creamy white — Behr Swiss Coffee. This instantly lightened the interior and gave us a blank slate to work with.
Since the home was void of architectural interest, I selectively used black paint to create the missing drama. We painted the front door, stair railing and interior doors in Behr Beluga (one of my favourite shades of black for its plum undertones). Adding black was a great way to modernize the entry while staying true to the age and style of the home.
The key to using black paint is to thoughtfully select what you’d like to highlight. The foyer, for example, was too small for a hall table, so the black doors and railing add interest and contrast while keeping it open. Similarly, the bathroom was too small to add an interesting piece of furniture, like a stool or runner, so I painted the window trim in the same Beluga black, which framed the window and made it feel larger.
Throughout the home, I used a variety of drapery tricks to give the look of full, custom draperies without the made-to-order price tag.
The living room window was already outfitted with classic white shutters, so non-functioning panels were the perfect solution (they cannot be closed for privacy).
This beautiful cotton print from Tonic Living is graphic and bold.
Lining the drapes with cotton and interlining gives them the fullness of a functioning drape.
Mia’s bedroom window was completely bare, so we needed a solution that offered privacy and softness.
Using the same concept from the living room, we lined an inexpensive cotton print to create non-functioning drapery panels.
We then made the window look larger by hanging the drapery rod as close to the ceiling as possible, allowing the rod to run the length of the wall. For privacy, the perfect solution was Lowes’ white faux wood blinds, which are cut to size in store.
The family room features a window and patio door, and I wanted to create the illusion of one continuous window.
West Elm’s stocked drapery panels were the perfect shade of ivory with our Swiss Coffee wall colour, and a steal at only $89 per panel. I try to avoid extending drapery rods, as they often look cheap and flimsy. For a small upgrade, we ordered custom hardware that fills the wall and feels much more substantial.
Mia was interested in updating her small main bath, but it wasn’t until our site visit that I realized how tired and dated this room really was. With only a month until move-in, we transformed this bathroom using a few budget-friendly tricks:
Note what needs to go: Virtually every fixture in this bathroom made the list, but the existing layout worked. By keeping all of the fixtures exactly where they were, we saved thousands of dollars.
Choose the best fixtures you can afford: The bathroom’s small size meant that there was little space for extras, like a decorative stool or shelf. So the vanity, toilet and faucets all needed to offer great quality and function, as well as style. We chose pieces from the DXV Collection by American Standard — the designs are classic and timeless, making them a worthy investment. Toilet shopping has never felt so glamorous!
Look for ceramic tile: Despite this bathroom’s small square footage, I avoided costly marble and stone mosaics and opted for ceramic. We saved hundreds by using a spiral black and white mosaic on the floor, and classic white subway tile inside the shower.
Here's a full breakdown of our makeover purchases:
Sofa, $720, HomeSense; Sweep armchair, 2 at $779 each, West Elm; Souk wool rug, $899, West Elm; Vittsjo bookshelp, $50 each, Ikea; Origami coffee table, $479, West Elm; side table $130, HomeSense; rattan stool, $145, Bacon Basketware; brass sconces, $495, Black Rooster Décor; console table, $995, RH Restoration Hardware; drapery fabric, 9 yards at $14.95 each, Tonic Living; sewing and installation, $1,030; toss pillows, $917, ELTE, West Elm and Indigo; accessories, $725, ELTE, HomeSense and Indigo; throw, $49.50, Indigo.
Table, $1,469, BLVD Interiors; throw pillows, 4 at $45 each, Indigo; pendant, $249, CB2; floor lamp, $599, Mobilia; bar cart, $249.99, HomeSense; tray, $245, ELTE; dining chairs, $680, Frontier Sales; chair fabric, 5.5 yards at $22.95, Tonic Living; chair, painting and reupholstery, $943.
Stools, 3 at $99 each, RH Restoration Hardware; pendant light, $119, West Elm; accessories, $80, HomeSense.
Sectional, $1,710, Crate and Barrel; sheepskin, $39.99, Ikea; Parsons Square coffee table, $699, Crate and Barrel; Morgan Black sconce, 2 at $199 each, Crate and Barrel; bookshelf, $299, HomeSense; area rug, $189, Ikea; side table, $59.99, HomeSense; fram, $149.99, Pottery Barn; drapery panels, 4 at $69 each, West Elm; drapery hardware and installation, $340; Andanza green allpaper, 2 rolls at $125 each, Hygge & West; pillows, $270, Pehr and HomeSense; rattan lounge chair, $299, Bacon Basketware; tree, $149, Valleyview Gardens; plant basket, $40, HomeSense; wallpaper installation, $160; accessories, $460, HomeSense.
Headboard, $350, HomeSense; bedside lamps, 2 at $129.99 each, HomeSense; Leksvik desk, $149, Ikea; pillow, $58, Crate and Barrel; side table, $416, RH Restoration Hardware; retro chair, $289, Bacon Basketware; rug, $315, eCarpet Gallery; drapery fabric, 10 yards at $23.95, Tonic Living; sewing and installation, $920; wallpaper, 7 double rolls at $160 each, Walls Republic; wallpaper installation, $600; throw, $255, ELTE; custom-cut white blinds, $110, Lowes.
Rug, $189, eCarpet Gallery; You Make It Chandelier, $145 US, lindseyadelman.com; closet system, $900, Ikea; bench, $99.99, Target; mirror, $70, Ikea; drapery panels, 2 at $63.20 each, West Elm; drapery hardware, $39.97, Home Depot; closet installation and electrical services, $450.
Bed, $549, Restoration Hardware Baby and Child; Vintage Locker desk, $699, Restoration Hardware Baby and Child; Vintage Schoolhouse desk chair, $199, Restoration Hardware Baby and Child; Academy Task table lamp, $129, Restoration Hardware Baby and Child; bedding, $858, Restoration Hardware Baby and Child; Reef Jute Rug, $500, West Elm; custom posters framed, $800, Art.com and Pottery Barn Kids, Custom Framing by Deserres; drapery panels, $39.99, Ikea; drapery hardware, $99, West Elm.
Princeton Bathtub, $641, DXV American Standard; Wyatt Pedestal Lavatory, $495, DXV American Standard; Percy Widespread Faucet, $655, DXV American Standard; Wyatt Toilet, $910, DXV American Standard; Percy Multifunction Showerhead, $255, DXV American Standard; Percy Pressure Balance Tub and Shower Trim, $282, DXV American Standard; Percy Wall Tub Spout, $185, DXV American Standard;roller blind, $17, Home Depot; ceramic floor tile, $200, The Tile Shoppe; shower curtain, $49, West Elm; accessories, $170, Ginger’s; mirror, $59.99, Ikea; toilet paper holder, $14.99, Ikea; light, $218, Home Depot; labour and electrical, $3,150.
Dresser, $395, Vintage Fine Objects; vintage chair, $550, Tonic Living; artwork, $230, HomeSense; Ranarp floor lamp, $50, Ikea; table lamp, $60, HomeSense; bedding, $260, HomeSense; mirror, $279, Crate and Barrel; area rug, $189, Ikea; sheepskin, $39.99, Ikea; custom pillows, $583, Tonic Living; accessories, $50, Target.
Prices may vary.