Designer Aly Velji’s Top Tips For Creating Restful Rooms
You might recognize him from Celebrity Style Story, but Calgary interior designer Alykhan Velji has as much of an eye for rooms as red carpet fashion. In this case, he pulled together a home for a busy Calgary mom and her two kids in the city’s trendy Windsor Park area. “Her ask was to make it feel neutral but not boring, a space where she could come to unwind,” he says. Read on to see how he made this home a relaxing retreat.
“Sometimes neutrals can get a bit boring: blush pink accents were the perfect addition as they didn’t overwhelm the space and gave it some personality,” says Aly. Pink pillows subtly echo the tones in the artwork from Lori Harrison. “The artwork was purchased while perusing Instagram and as soon as it popped up, I knew it would be perfect for the space. I love the colors and hits of black.”
“The coffee table, even though made of wood, helps with the airy feel as it is open on the bottom. We chose not to style this space as it would clutter it up. Natural elements such as oversized plants, leather and worn woods create some contrast, while brass and gold are added in for a little hit of glam and to ground the space.”
The existing TV was made less evident by adding black accents, such as the black and white prints, which help draw focus from the screen.
“Cover your hood fans. I love the look of an integrated hood fan… it works so well to create a focal point without being overwhelming,” says Aly. His other tips include adding textural details, such as the rattan seats on the wishbone chairs. “Pendants don’t always have to be statement pieces. In this case, simple glass pendants provide light and help to create an airy and open feel (which is great for small spaces).”
Woods most definitely don’t have to match, but try and keep the tones light or dark for consistency. “I love the use of real plants in a space. It adds a great natural feel and helps to fill voids. The larger the better! Tropicals work best as they have great looking foliage.”
The artwork was stacked to create some height and a striking Carrington light fixture also draws the eye up. A live-edge table mimics the curving lines of the wallpaper. “The client didn’t want anything too overwhelming so we chose an organic print that worked well with the natural finish of the table.”
“I love the subtle ink-blot effect done in neutral colors in this Eskayel wallpaper. It is a fantastic way to add a dramatic effect to a bedroom wall, but still keep it refined enough to work in a calming space.” Burnished brass wall lamps add a sense of warmth and are perfect for keeping the tops of nightstands clear.
When working with neutrals, playing with textures and subtle patterns is key to making the space look interesting. “We used matching side tables because I do like symmetry, especially in a master bedroom. The use of more rustic end tables also helps to add another textural element to the space.”
Not every piece needs to make a statement. In the entry, a round mirror picks up on the dining room table’s wood tone and reflects the wallpaper in the dining area. “The console was kept fairly simple as I feel the mirror and stools are weighty enough. It is a nice play on scale.”