“I love things that are old, made by hand, inspiring and happy,” says Toronto textile designer Virginia Johnson. A look inside her home reveals just that. Filled with whimsical pattern, pops of color and playful accessories, Virginia’s home perfectly reflects her work in the textile industry. Her designs have been used on everything from vibrant wool shawls and breezy shifts, to throw pillows and scented candles, and are carried around the world in stores like Barneys in New York and Liberty’s in London. Click through to see inside the talented textile designer’s family home.
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Layers of casual florals and geometrics liven up the quiet spaces in Virginia’s home. She stumbled on the chintz-covered sofas in a secondhand store. In another space, they might have looked fusty, but set against the simple drywalled chimney breast and bold black window frames, they feel like the perfect counterpoint to the room’s modernity.
In the family room, a sweeping bookcase built by Louis holds a huge book collection as well as easy-to-reach toys on lower shelves.
Layers of table linens bring Virginia’s fashion ethos home. The Art Deco-era table and wooden thrift-shop chairs are juxtaposed by mod white captain’s chairs.
In the sitting room at the back of the main floor, loosely arranged artwork above the sofa features two of Virginia’s favorite subjects: “I love portraits, and I love chairs, so I just put the things I like together, and somehow they work!”
Soft pattern play and a white backdrop make Virginia and Louis’s bedroom feel calm and serene, while patinated antiques add gravitas and warmth. The pale green drapes fall behind the bed for a headboard effect.
The principal bath has a bohemian vibe: Moroccan and Indian elements are paired with mid-century modern geometric prints and a hit of Colonial style from an antique slipper chair. A glaze gives the hand-cut Moroccan tiles a slight glimmer, and John Derian plates hung on the wall riff on the fiddle-leaf fig tree.
A perfect mash-up of styles and hues, Virginia’s daughter’s room incorporates an antique four-poster bed from the Ontario hamlet of Caledon, antique kantha-quilt bedding from India and a cheery polka-dot bunting.
Vibrant tile in the kids’ bath sets the tone for play. Art feels fun stuck up with washi tape, and an old ladder-back chair is a warm foil for the crisp palette.
The newly added third floor holds the home office and art studio. (Virginia’s head office is also a quick walk from the house.) “Having lots of light and lots of storage helps,” she says. “And having a large desk area and big, open space are conducive to creativity and quiet.” Throughout the house, white walls and simple trim keep the look bright and clean.
Find more inspiration and ideas in our Playful Design & Decorating Guide.