Photo Gallery: Designers’ Style Secrets
Top decorators share their tips!
Toronto designer Brian Gluckstein makes this elegant and modern Georgian home unfussy and livable, thanks to closed cabinets and hidden storage. The kitchen balances style with practicality: panelling on the fridge keeps it discreet while honed granite countertops hide fingerprints. In the bathroom, quiet artwork and serene colours transform the room into a luxury retreat. Towels and toiletries are tucked away, giving the beautiful architectural details the attention they deserve.
English bureaus flank the fireplace, corralling clutter in this formal yet cosy space. Timeless silhouettes upholstered in family-friendly fabrics meet the demands of everyday use.
Karen Cole — interior designer for ColeDuron Interior Design — has a bold and eclectic personal style. Her advice for an organized home: “Have dual-functioning pieces so everything has a proper resting place.” She also organizes furniture to work with the space’s natural lighting, creating cosy reading nooks and welcoming, well-lit entertaining areas.
In Karen’s bedroom, two mismatched tall found cabinets stand on either side of the bed and act as storage units for socks and delicates. A large kilim-upholstered ottoman, layered atop a graphic Madeline Weinrib area rug, brings the home’s exotic feel upstairs.
Designer Christine Ralphs of Lloyd Ralphs Design is well known for her signature monochromatic colour scheme paired with bold zebra prints. She prefers a streamlined black, white and neutral palette with classic furniture and a few glamorous accent pieces, such as the gold kitchen faucet and an oversized, ornate mirror. Clear side tables maximize space and keep the eye focused on the surrounding artwork.
See more trendy interiors by Lloyd Ralphs Design.
For Christine, symmetry is key in the layout of this dining area. A pair of floor lamps sit on either side of a black and white photography display. Two white bird sculptures are perched atop the table, which is surrounded by casual, Eames style chairs. The delicate lines of the glass dining table make the room look even more more spacious.
The ET Canada host’s modern condo dining room, designed by Allen Chan, Anwar Mukhayesh and Matt Davis of HGTV’s Designer Guys, has a touch of country. The designers like to juxtapose old and new. Here, a rustic harvest table made by Cheryl’s dad is paired with sleek, modern chairs in two contrasting colours. Three light fixtures — odd numbers always look good — add an unexpected bohemian touch.
Toss pillows and a fur throw add a luxurious touch to a modern linen sectional in Cheryl’s living room. The Designer Guys chose to keep the seating low, creating the illusion of higher ceilings in the space.
CityLine Design/Build Contractor Ramsin Khachi and his team opened up a 1960’s bungalow to create an airy living space. Engineered materials, such as the wide-plank flooring and a travertine kitchen island create a natural look, which contrasts nicely with the modern-industrial space. His motto: “Be creative. Not everything needs to cost a lot.”
Watch a video tour of this bungalow.
Ramsin took down a few walls that blocked natural light, therefore creating a lovely flow between rooms. Using a rustic-looking flooring adds richness and warmth to an otherwise industrial space. Mixing and matching natural and industrialized materials is a great trick to keeping the look fresh and chic, as well as under budget.
See an Online TV tour of this dramatic bungalow makeover.
The Toronto-based designer, and host of shows like HGTV’s Sarah’s House and Sarah 101, combines a horizontal stripe wallpaper with similarly striped Olivia chairs. Introducing patterned furniture in a room with patterned walls seems risky, but the neutral colour palette keeps it sleek and simple. A pair of chairs in a pretty colour are a good investment, too. Choose a colour and fabric you absolutely love, as it will not suffer from the same wear and tear as a couch.
A mirrored wall extends sight lines and brightens the space in this small dining area. An eye-catching light fixture adds drama to the room while a Zebrano-wood table base grounds the room.
See more of Sarah’s designs in our photo gallery.
Always on trend, the HGTV host uses an unconventional mix of patterns to give classic silhouettes contemporary flair, just like designers do on the runway. The abstract leopard print on this chair works with the bold stripes on the rug and throw pillow — an unexpected yet fun combination. To get Tommy’s look, add warm metals to the mix, too.
Tommy loves mixing modern and vintage. In this living room, he created a lovely mantel display using contemporary art and vintage collectibles. Crisp colours and shapes keep the look fresh.
Toronto designer Anne Hepfer loves bold hues for today’s interiors. Whimsical patterns and graphic wallpaper and fabric are always easy ways to create striking spaces. This converted den hits all the right notes — a bold suzani, daring red wallpaper, and patterned furniture for a graphic punch.
To add height and dramatic flair to a bedroom, Anne suggests adding a ceiling mounted canopy made of the same fabric as the bed skirt. For a uniform look, she carried the same shade of green throughout the room.