Top 10: Beth Hitchcock’s Favorite Rooms Of 2016
Discover which H&H rooms our editor-in-chief fell in love with this past year.
As I write this, House & Home’s 2017 Trends Issue is on newsstands across North America. But before we really jump into a new year, I thought I’d take a glance back at 10 of my favorite rooms from 2016. From global-inspired family rooms to lofty bedrooms, the only element these eclectic spaces have in common is wow factor.
This is a dream space no matter what your style. The lower-level family room off the kitchen of Andrea and Dave Armstrong’s Toronto home is a natural gathering spot, thanks to those two cozy sectionals. But beyond the high ceilings and great light, the room gets its impact from the patchwork-style Moroccan rug and cool black pendant lights. How do they keep it so clutter-free? Discreet built-ins on either side of the fireplace hold electronics and toys. Smart thinking!
Let’s be honest, this kitchen’s all about the stove. In deep blue with classic copper trim, the La Cornue stove is the room’s showstopper — a welcome break from all the white-and-stainless-steel kitchens we so often see. Designers Natalie Hodgins and Kate Stuart, of Sarah Richardson Design, kept the cabinets, counters and backsplash neutral to create a quiet envelope, though the runner provides a colorful complement.
There’s a lot going on in the master bath of designer Shirley Meisels’ home, yet it all comes together in the most delightful way. The first thing you notice are the glam silver waves of Bisazza tile on the walls, then your eyes take in the floating vanity, dark marble counter and groovy globe pendant light. The vanity is positioned to take advantage of the view, so a simple mirror hung to the side provides a spot for shaving or putting on makeup.
The entry of this modern-Colonial home in Windsor, Florida features french doors on both sides, so it’s extra-bright and airy. I love the creative use of paint to make a stunning but subtle statement, from the refreshing pale aqua shade on the ceiling to the brass “nailhead” detail created with bronze paint. I may be slightly biased because I have two similar faceted-glass lanterns in my front hall, but I think these add unexpected flair.
Our shoot at the home of J.Crew Menswear Director Frank Muytjens yielded too many idyllic images to count, but it was this bathroom detail that stayed with me. The creamy parchment colors of the wall and wainscoting are just so pretty against the grey vanity. The apothecary-style toiletries — likely collected from around the world, judging by the packaging — have a loose, haphazard quality, but knowing Frank’s immaculate eye, they’re deliberately styled.
Beadboard, blue-grey paint and open shelving make this cottage-fresh kitchen an instant classic. Rustic touches of wood warm up the crisp palette while antique street lanterns from Paris add patina. Who wouldn’t want to pull up a stool and enjoy a snack here after a day on the dock?
This airy Montreal bedroom made the cover of the September 2016 issue, and it’s easy to see why. The tall ceilings and bright white walls give the room lofty presence, but it’s the quirky touches I love most, from the chipped paint on the French-style casement windows to the art leaning on the sill.
OK, so it’s not quite French Blue — our trend color for 2017 — but these lacquered walls in a Manhattan den come pretty close. Canadian designer Garrow Kedigian custom mixed the shade with Fine Paints of Europe to achieve what he called “Mediterranean blue.” The oil painting over the sofa was an after-the-fact find at an antique shop. “It’s not even signed, but I thought it had real presence,” he said. I couldn’t agree more.
Risk-taking designer Connie Braemer swathed the walls (and windows!) of this chic living room in rich, deep brown — a nice departure from grey. Punctuations of white, blue and green lift the scheme and give it youthful edge. It’s a space that would look equally stunning by daylight or candlelight.
This dining room made an impression because of the modern current that pulses through its traditional envelope. Designer Betty Theodoropoulos went to town with millwork in the renovation of her circa-1910 home, bringing the paneling right up to the ceiling and adding hidden storage in the room’s curved corners. Thanks to contemporary furniture and a sculptural multi-armed chandelier, the effect is both elegant and edgy.