Photo Gallery: Michelle Lloyd Bermann Designs
Michelle Lloyd Bermann has always created standout, sexy spaces in her trademark white and black palette, whether she is designing with partner Christine Lloyd for Lloyd Ralphs Design, or working on her own homes. Michelle (a former Club Monaco alum) gives her interiors the drama of an eye-catching and expertly curated shop window. It’s one of the reasons both Michelle and Christine were included in House & Home’s A list of designers in our 30th anniversary issue. Click through for a retrospective of Michelle’s dreamy projects.
Whether it’s a Muskoka cottage, Miami condo, or Texas mansion, Michelle Lloyd Bermann’s fresh designs always manage to stand to the test of time.
Michelle’s Toronto home first graced our December 1995/January 1996 issue and what makes it so unique is its eclecticism: the juxtaposition of old with new, inexpensive with antique and found objects with family mementoes. In the breakfast area, sunlight streams through a wall of French doors opening onto the garden. “You feel like you’re in a French café in the morning,” she says. Shallow kitchen cupboards built by Michelle’s husband, decorating contractor David Bermann, were fitted with pigeon wire and brass hardware for an authentic French country look.
Although Michelle maintained the footprint of their original boathouse on Snake Island, she raised the entire structure, adding three feet to the lower level to accommodate David’s sails and boards. To capture the views french doors were installed on the lower level and reasonably priced stock siding doors facing north and west on the upper level.
The stylish lakeside retreat of Michelle and her husband, wicker, raffia and rattan accents offer texture and a casual, beachy note. Carved lanterns, Pucci-style printed pillows and seashells add pattern and texture to the cottage’s all-white space. Because this cottage only has one bedroom, multifunctional pieces in the living room make sense. Painted bamboo daybeds can be pulled apart to create two beds, while the “coffee table” is actually a camp cot. White terrycloth upholstery is easy to clean and swimsuit-friendly.
Michelle’s cottage is dubbed Caprice by her daughter, Olympia, which means eccentricity or folly and reflects Michell’s playful approach to decor here. Beach mats were tacked to the wall in the bathroom to conceal imperfections. The mats are more textural than grasscloth wallpaper, and cost a fraction of the price to create a fun, tropical feel, emphasized by the capiz shell blind. “I don’t want to take decorating too seriously up here,” she says. “It’s all about mixing things that are precious and simple with things that are rough and unexpected.”
Michelle and David chose sleek, minimalist furniture for their boathouse deck, letting the lush green surroundings take center-stage. Two lounge chairs are paired with tray tables for sun-soaked afternoons by the lake.
A sea of white creates the perfect casual retreat in this boathouse’s narrow upper-level bedroom, Michelle installed floating ledges flanking the bed. “Having no tables or table lamps lends ease to a tight space,” she explains. The antique French sconces, which the couple had owned for years, were painted white and capped with elongated contemporary shades. (See more lakeside spaces in our Charming Boathouses Photo Gallery.)
A wall of glass doors, low cushions on a wood deck and a mix of contemporary and ornate furniture give this backyard a unique, laid-back style. A textured raffia umbrella, carved side tables and oversized floor pillows grant this outdoor living room on a cottage deck Moroccan flair, while the furniture’s symmetrical arrangement keeps the look sophisticated and clean.
Vintage finds and big mirrors give Michelle’s airy Miami living room a glam beach aesthetic.
Michelle and Christine Christine Ralphs picked out a statement-making console from Patina Antiques for dermatologist Sandy Skotnicki’s Toronto living room. “My love of ’50s Hollywood antiques was a natural fit with the Palm Beach stores Christine and Michelle frequent,” says Skotnicki. The gallery wall includes pieces by Francesco Scavullo and Edward Burtynsky.
In the home office designed by Lloyd Ralphs for Sandy Skotnicki, the white cabinetry breaks apart to display collected sculpture and art books.
A backgammon style runner was top of Sandy’s decor wish list, the same one appears in Kelly Wearstler’s L.A. home. A Buddha seems to float on the Plexi pedestal while a zebra print cowhide add exoticism.
Lloyd Ralphs Design decorated the Dallas home of retired two-time NHL All-Star Jason Arnott and his wife, Dina. The vibe was described by Dina as “rock star … with family. A Mick Jagger-style Brit estate with lush English gardens, floral wallpaper and contemporary art.” Two arched windows frame the fireplace and a painting by Terrell James, and set the stage for the perfect symmetry of the living room. Extra-long 10′ sofas are deep enough to host a crowd of athletes.
Hand-painted Gracie paper is an elegant nod to the wallpaper’s popularity in the South. The floating vanity is built into the window well for maximum daylight when applying makeup, while toiletries are stored in Dina’s “mini Sephora” floating cabinet to the right.
In the kitchen, luxurious Himalayan white marble backsplash return wraps around the cooking area and contrasts the black hood.
This covered, open-air seating area overlooking the pool (and equipped with hidden, motorized mosquito screens) is Jason’s go-to spot to catch the game, or to review hockey footage while scouting for the St. Louis Blues.
For fashion personality Lisa Rogers, Lloyd Ralphs Design played up the beach proximity of her west-end Toronto townhouse on the deck. Modern teak furniture and feathery exotic plants give this outdoor dining area a distinctly tropical air, even though it overlooks Lake Ontario, not the Caribbean.
The inspiration for this deck overlooking the lake came from a potted palm. Lloyd Ralphs Design appointed the 625-square-foot space with beachy raffia-look furniture, resort-style umbrellas and curtains (which conceal another sitting area).
In this cottage living room, Michelle and Christine channeled a bohemian vibe with a mix of pattern, graphic rug, raffia stool and vibrant vintage Indian fabrics on the throw pillows.
In the cottage’s principal bedroom, a raffia headboard from John & Chris Interiors adds warmth to the airy space while the iconic ladderback chair and rush-seated bench came with the home and reference traditional cottage style. A glamorous oil portrait of Elizabeth Taylor — a housewarming gift — is pops against the white palette, one of Michelle’s trademark hues.
A Moroccan stool and hammam towels add global glamor to the Zen principal bathroom in a client’s Muskoka cottage. A contemporary freestanding tub and a glassed-in shower create a spa-like atmosphere. Centring the vanity on the window and framing that with mirrors is a playful, view-friendly move, and the extrawide vanity offers loads of storage.