Photo Gallery: Top 25 Designers
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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.
Brian Gluckstein transformed this principal bath into an elegant retreat with quiet artwork and a blue Fortuny light. A deep ledge circling the panelled tub keeps essentials at hand. Towels and toiletries are tucked away in symmetrical floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets. Panelling and glass-front built-ins create a clean, custom look that exudes luxury.
Brian Gluckstein used ebony cabinets, brushed metal accents and warm white Calacatta marble for the counters and backsplash in this kitchen. Refusing to give up function for form, he also installed smart shelving on either side of the range for commonly-used bottles and books.
Rich tones like the cream finish on the handmade backsplash tiles and the hardwood floors give this room an innate warmth. Designer and homeowner Hlinka had the original hardware replated in unlacquered brass, and it’s now oxidizing beautifully in keeping with the hardware in the rest of the house.
A classic modern table is paired with vintage chairs reupholstered in grey vinyl. “I never get tired of looking at that piece,” says Hlinka of the large photograph of a dogwood tree, whose triptych configuration echoes the three tall windows on an adjacent wall.
A faux fireplace wall flanked by built-in shelving creates a focal point in the living room. Philip added extensive panel mouldings, deep cornices and high baseboards throughout the space to create architectural interest. The parquet flooring was stained a dark walnut for a more sophisticated look. A mix of artwork styles and quirky treasures keeps the space from appearing too stuffy.
Philip Mitchell combined traditional elements to create a cosy space for reading and entertaining. Light drapes contrast perfectly against chocolate walls. (Dark, rich paint tones create an antiquated appearance.) Skirted furniture — a classic throwback — ceiling millwork, crystal accents and tufting on the sofa complete the look.
A custom harvest table contributes to a casual dining space by Philip Mitchell. Antique lighting and textured natural fabrics add warmth to this otherwise simple room.
To accommodate proper storage for the owner’s suits and jackets, Bill Dewson, the architect working with designer Kate Zeidler, lined one full wall with white cupboards. American elm shelves along the top and side make them look less monolithic and add more book storage. A rolling ladder makes the upper cabinets accessible.
This light-filled and contemporary condo — a former Catholic high school dormitory — balances the best of new and old, thanks to Zeidler and Dewson. The playful Paul Smith rug and contemporary art, lined salon-style along the walls, provide a playful, modern touch to the space.
Zeidler made use of a guest room by creating a home office and library in one corner. For a clean and modern look, she set “grooves” into the millwork instead of the usual holes and metal plugs.
Wicker chairs and an oversized pendant lantern bring old Muskoka charm into this open-concept living/kitchen area designed by Crawford. The floors are low-key antique hemlock, keeping with the natural environs.
Floor to ceiling, damask-patterned Bisazza tiles with an opalescent sheen make a statement in this large bathroom designed by Mauran. Using a nook by a picture window for a freestanding bathtub adds more drama, while an oversized feather chandelier completes the luxe, feminine look. Top-of-the-line finishes such as these eliminate the need for any further accessories.
Watch a tour of this bathroom and connected bedroom on Online TV.
Mauran already had this beautiful antique Sheraton sideboard before she began renovations in her home. “I modernized the mood by using an overscale photograph of Versailles in a white lacquered frame,” she says. “The look is made less formal by using a crystal column lamp, a grouping of glass candlesticks and a simple white lacquered tray.”
Glass-front cabinetry matches the tone of this 1891 Toronto home. “I wanted my kitchen to be in keeping with the architecture of the Queen Anne-style house,” says Mauran. To update the style and make it functional, she included a large cooktop and range, and had the pot rack custom-made.
Bathrooms don’t have to be bland, as this one shows with its glittery marble mosaic-tiled floor, glass-droplet chandelier and pretty Schumacher wallpaper. A custom-designed vanity features double sinks and built-in storage, a marble countertop and panel moulding that smartly blends two mirrors in the insets. The low, freestanding tub makes the room, designed by Worts, feel more spacious and opulent.
Worts chose black honed-granite countertops with a soft matte finish that act as a foil to this kitchen’s shiny white cabinetry. Brushed-nickel faucets are warmer than traditional chrome and go well with stainless steel lights and appliances.
With its post-and-beam construction, this gazebo designed by Worts is a breezy summer dining room. A dark dining set with country charm grounds the space and contrasts nicely with the cedar. The rustic chandelier is a local find.
In this double-height loft living room by design duo Powell & Bonnell, an oak storage cabinet runs the length of the space, providing a base for a gas fireplace. With its elongated horizontal shape, the modern fireplace has the feel of a flat-screen TV.
An upholstered headboard, crisp white linens and diffused light from large windows covered with sheer curtains create a cosy boutique hotel-style atmosphere. Wall to wall carpet and built-in storage add comfort and convenience to this lovely small space.
In the living room, light cream painted walls allow the architecture to stand out. Upholstered furniture pieces with rounded lines make the space feel inviting. A crystal chandelier, silk drapes and mercury-glass lamps add shine.
Braemer’s basement renovation smartly included space for a home office with lots of room to work and store files. A classic, ergonomic chair is a good investment. A low built-in cabinet with lots of drawers and a countertop to line up file boxes from Ikea allows a table to be used as a desk, which creates the illusion of more floor space. Table lamps and overhead lighting create mood and task lighting over the desk while pot lights mounted under a shelf add to the effect. White paint keeps the space light, a rug, art, a red screen and desk tray make the office homey.
Braemer daringly used a deep charcoal-grey paint to add depth to this bedroom’s panelled walls. Crisp hotel-style bedding enhances the space’s clean, streamlined feel.
“Mansell’s kitchen, featured in our October 2009 issue, is stunning,” says House & Home editor Suzanne Dimma. “It offers a fresh take on the all-white kitchen with the light weathered wood lower cabinets, whitewashed floor and crisp white accents. I’m a fan of the low, white leather armchairs, slightly deco inspired, around the table-style island. The exaggerated custom hood is unique and the open upper shelving has graphic appeal.”
Mansell’s Euro-style family room shares the kitchen’s laid-back, modern aesthetic, ensuring a smooth transition from cocktails on the sofa to dinner at the table and back to the lounge for dessert. Reclaimed ash floors, chosen for their lovely weathered inperfections, were bleached and sealed.
A white slip-covered sofa and chair sits on a rich, dark-stained wood floor; a delicate twig side table is the perfect complement for heavier elements such as the coffee table and armoire and softens the more masculine elements in the room. Two bookcases flank an elegant, white-panelled fireplace.
In the principal bedroom, Angus painted the crown moulding a high-gloss version of the grey-green wall colour to visually extend the ceiling height. To create an air of calm and serenity, fabrics and surfaces were kept simple, free of patterns or bright colours. Crystal balustrade lamps, heavy flowing drapes and subtle gold accents make this hotel-like space luxurious.
Follow us as we tour Michael’s apartment on Online TV.
Angus selected a rich green hue to cover the walls of his home office. The dark colour is broken up by a ceiling-height gallery display of purchased artwork and paintings by his nieces. The room achieves an old world feel by pairing a antique-looking wood desk with a weathered leather chair.
A row of graphic framed prints lined up on a shelf above the sofa brings quiet harmony to an eclectic room. “I just love that Moroccan light fixture,” says Cole of Toronto’s ColeDuron Interior Design. “That’s me. I like a hint of bohemian in the mix.”
See a video tour of Karen’s boho-chic home.
Cole loves oversized vanities; they provide plenty of storage and counter space for pretty things such as a vase of roses and perfume bottles.
Louis XV-style chairs have a more relaxed appearance with cotton slipcovers, while white wood paneled walls, an elegant sideboard and dark hardwood flooring add a sense of refinement in this room by ColeDuron Interior Design.
Designer and boutique owner Charbonneau’s dining room is perfect for entertaining. Spacious and minimally decorated, it’s almost like a showroom. Julie keeps it simple with a white and green floral arrangement on the table and two rustic doors, found at a Paris market, for drama.
Charbonneau chose an oversized mirror and floating marble vanity to create an instant focal point. The mirror reflects both light and the fireplace situated opposite it. Rich details, such as the gorgeous fixtures, hardware, and plush seating, emphasize the sense of refinement and grandeur.
An unused bedroom was transformed into a regal home office during Charbonneau’s major renovation. A furniture arrangement with a sitting area that features a large, comfortable rolled arm chair makes it inviting. Decorating with antiques like the gold sconce and old iron gate keep with the sophisticated French style in the rest of her house.
“This modern kitchen exemplifies the richness of natural materials we like using that age well in time, such as marble, leather, wood combined with integrated stainless steel appliances,” says 3rd Uncle principal Arriz Hassam. “The design and composition of the materials strike a balance of functionality and beauty without compromise. The storage is hidden, allowing the focus to be on the display of simple and beautiful everyday objects.”
3rd Uncle designed this modern home for a busy family of five, and the pool offers a serene escape year-round. The 16-foot saltwater reef tank to the left is visible from the living room as well, and casts a soft glow from the pool back into the house at night.
Paul Sinclaire, a fashion industry veteran, enlisted 3rd Uncle design to achieve the clean palette he envisioned for his new home. He refers to the kitchen’s zebrawood built-ins, white glass backsplash and CeasarStone counters as “shades of crème fraîche”. The luxurious colours and rich textures create an inviting atmosphere.
Mimran chose a kitchen lighting system that layers an antique chandelier, antique wall sconces, pot lights mounted under the cabinets and a candelabra with taper candles. Herringbone patterned hardwood floors only add to the European country, luxe look. Framed French doors and leaded glass cabinet doors elevate the kitchen’s high style even more while milk stools used as seating around the harvest table keep it casual and comfortable.
Mesh front doors were added onto the built-ins flanking the fireplace. New crown moulding enhances the overall look of the space. Niches for firewood were carved out on either side of the new window seat. Herringbone oak floors with a high gloss finish create a glamorous effect.
Mimran placed a stunning Murano glass chandelier above her elegant black upholstered dining chairs with contrasting piping for this effortlessly chic and modern look.
See more of Sharon Mimran’s elegant home through our online video tour.
A smoked-glass backsplash and marble counter add glamour to this room designed by Calgary’s McIntyre Bills design firm. Sculptural pendants and oversized topiaries highlight an island that was redesigned with a streamlined silhouette to accommodate more seating.
James McIntyre loves lots of soft throw pillows to add a cosy bohemian vibe. The colourful bookcase vignettes complement the warm earthy colours of the sectional, elevating the cosy tone-on-tone palette. Existing built-ins were restyled to better organize books and showcase special pieces.
“You can never go wrong with embracing basics for practicality and longevity. White denim, twill and natural linen are available for $10/yard or less, and make any upholstered piece look crisp and tailored,” says designer and HGTV host Richardson. “If you’re on a budget and won’t be able to splurge on reupholstery any time soon, forget about going for bold prints and daring colours, and stick with a timeless classic. Dress it up with exciting accents, and you’ll be able to reinterpret your look whenever the mood strikes!” she adds. Here, the chairs’ piping ties in with the vertical banding on the drapery, which adds a sense of height.
Stately mouldings reinforce a refined aesthetic, and lush florals bloom as accents in this home decorated by Richardson.
In her Collingwood country house, Sarah Richardson painted a salvaged clawfoot tub yellow to coordinate with the country-chic drapes. The vanity is also a reclaimed find that blends well with the feel of the old home.
Design duo Christine Ralphs and Michelle Lloyd-Bermann grounded this glamorous black and white living room with a graphic patterned rug. A chunky wooden side table adds warmth and a visual break from the bold palette. Curvy bergere chairs are an opulent antique counterpoint and the large pencil drawing of the homeowner’s children adds a personal tone.
Panelled walls, abundant natural lighting and original pegged beech plank floors make a definite statement in this entrance by Lloyd Ralphs Design. A Mission-style pedestal table set on a modern zebra-print rug greets visitors. The glossy black stairs and railing stand out against the crisp white walls.
Symmetry is key in the layout of this dining area by Lloyd Ralphs Design. 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.
Glowing mirrored Moooi pendants make a dramatic statement hung over the 12-foot long marble-topped eating table. Custom low-backed chairs are especially comfortable and their height allows for uninterrupted sight lines.
Decked out with the latest stainless steel appliances, the kitchen of the 2010 Princess Margaret Hospital Showhome — designed by Reeves and Trish Johnston — is any homeowner’s dream. Marble countertops and a white beadboard ceiling balance cool grey walls and cabinets. Crystal lamps and a hanging lantern add a decorative layer and sparkle. A rustic farmhouse table replaces the ubiquitous island and the floor’s Bluestone pavers evoke the charm of a cobblestone street.
Watch Lynda Reeves tour the house on Online TV.
One of many guest rooms in the 2009 Princess Margaret Showhome, Lynda Reeves chose to design this cosy space around House & Home’s Rustico bedding in soft tan, rust and cream. A stunning uphostered bed topped with plush linens and throw pillows makes guests feels like royalty.
This Quebec country home — designed by Yetman — has expansive views to the greenery outside, and he designated this veranda for casual dining. Pairing casual folding chairs with weighty armchairs allows the space to function as both an eating and reading area.
A dark countertop grounds the vanity of this softly coloured main-floor powder room designed by Yetman. Chrome accents sparkle without overwhelming the space.
A large mirror makes the small room feel larger while adding sparkle. Elegant dark wood furniture stands out in the refined, ivory space.
Brisset chose soft creams and blue-greens to set the stage for a two-sided fireplace — an architectural focal point in the already stately room. Completing the mood are formal accessories, like the urns on the mantel, gold Chippendale mirror and formal silk drapes.
The painted wood table and chairs enhance the lightness of this dining room by Brisset, while classic gingham seat upholstery lends a casual note. The table expands to seat up to 20 guests, creating the perfect space for grand dinner parties.
The owners of this Ayer’s Cliff, Que. country home enlisted Brisset to design their space. The beautiful veranda leads from the kitchen out onto the generously sized deck, and the lattice ceiling and heated stone floor eases the transition from indoors to out. It features windows on three sides, offering views around the wooded property. It’s the perfect place to dine or relax in rainy weather, while still feeling alfresco.
Vancouver-based Watt chose tailored lines and a high contrast palette to create a stunning eating nook adjacent to the kitchen. For a cosy touch, an antique love seat and matching chairs were slipcovered in white and paired with two Carrara marble-topped bistro tables.
This dining room’s navy banquette was inspired by a Parisian café and is perfect for dinner parties or lounging with the Sunday paper. Built-ins provide ample storage and decorative brass-grilled doors hide radiators and unsightly wires and cables.
Hepfer went with floor-to-ceiling watery blue drapes hung on a brass rod to add opulence to comfortable pieces, such as a caramel leather ottoman. The TV is hung over a limestone fireplace flanked by bookshelves. A miniature striped chair was designed for the homeowners’ four-year-old daughter.
“Every layer adds a dimension,” explains Hepfer. In her library, seagrass walls are layered with an antique suzani that Anne picked up in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
This great room — designed by Hepfer — has two sitting areas, an ideal setup for weekends spent entertaining. The huge mirror (custom-made in Bali with tiny seashells) balances the fireplace at the other end of the room. The ottoman is made of antique mats from Borneo. Keeping the backdrop and major pieces neutral means the owner can add bold colour and pattern in easy-to-update accessories.
Calgary designer Cridland offset this living room’s sleek lines with warm, inviting colours and plenty of light. A built-in cherry cabinet bedside the fireplace comlements its contemporary design.
“This home’s boldness gives it a real western Canadian feel,” says homeowner and designer Cridland. From his Calgary home’s coffered walnut ceiling and arched windows, to its olivewood built-ins and honed black granite floor, the luxe materials reflect his well-travelled tastes.
Artwork, shelves and full-length drapes draw the eye upward, making this space appear larger. Interior designer El-Abdallah, of Mazen Studio, designed his 900-square foot rowhouse to feel like a chic New York townhouse.
El-Abdallah wanted to create a room that was meaningful, useful and beautiful. Wall-to-wall sisal carpet throughout the second floor is a cosy option that also dulls the sound of footsteps. A narrow daybed — a housewarming gift from friend Suzanne Dimma — is the perfect option for an overnight guest. Details such as the large mirror and credenza are practical pieces for a guest room, yet do not look out of place when the space functions as a den.
Watch a video tour of this house
Mazen El-Abdallah started with layers of organic linen and burlap fabric to use as tablecloths. To avoid a gaudy Tex-Mex look, he stuck with subtle and natural materials: aqua-blue glassware, wooden bowls and serving plates create an authentic feel.
Designer Dang-Mitchell’s soft contemporary style is reflected in this tailored living room. Warm blush-toned drapes are paired with roman blinds for a feminine look. A vase filled with tall branches adds height to the pretty sitting nook.
When architect Zacharko and partner Yustin conceived their initial concept for their waterfront holiday home, they drew on their travels to California, Hawaii and Southeast Asia. “In those places, walls don’t exist between the outside and inside,” Zacharko explains. They don’t seem to exist in this home, either — a breathtaking structure that seems to float on water or air, depending on where you stand.
Not for the easily distracted, Zacharko’s office design features panoramic views of the waterfront. A glass waterfall desk disappears against the window, keeping with the ethereal feel of the holiday home.
With full-height windows framing ruggedly beautiful views, it’s as though no walls exist in Yustin and Zacharko’s home. In the living room, a neutral palette and natural materials make the interior almost recede into the leafy landscape.
Purdy dressed up an inexpensive fixture with pliable young twigs, which she tied at the top and around each light with thin black wire to form organic-looking branches. The bulbs were dipped in silicone for a softer, aged effect. You can also spray paint your entire chandelier white for an on-trend look.
Purdy wanted to spruce up her Parry Sound cottage on a budget. She opted for custom linen slipcovers to cover her old furniture instead of buying a new sofa, installed pine built-ins in lieu of hardwood bookcases, and hung several bamboo blinds instead of splurging on custom window coverings. The result? A warm and inviting space with a customized look and loads of storage.
The high-gloss white mantel pops against a grey feature wall, which Purdy painted one shade darker than the rest of the room to create depth. On-trend decorating touches, such as the zebra ottoman, vintage lamps with black shades and book-stuffed fireplace, add character.
This remote house situated near the St. Lawrence River needs no window coverings; in the dining room, the view acts as a large scale living mural. Owners Richard Ouellette and Maxime Vandal — reknowned designers behind Quebec firm Les Ensembliers — chose trellis-back chairs to elevate a humble barnboard table. An oversized raw-wood chandelier strikes a rustic note in an otherwise formal setting.
The home’s only bedroom illustrates Ouellette and Vandal’s approach to decor: nothing matches yet it melds together effortlessly. Bird-print wallpaper acts as a neutral backdrop for modern ikat pillows and weathered-wood pieces.
Pale blue tiles set in a diamond pattern add texture to the kitchen’s crisp white cabinetry. “I know the rug looks like something you’d find in your grandmother’s home,” says Ouellette. “But I think it’s fun — it doesn’t take itself too seriously.”