Looking to add some drama to your next decorating or renovation project? The
Silverhorn development showhome, built by Maillot Homes in Bearspaw, northwest of Calgary, provides plenty of inspiration. We asked designers Reena Sotropa and Alanna Dunn of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group to pull back the curtain and reveal where they saved and splurged in each of the stunning rooms, from the chevron floors to the coffered ceilings. Scroll down and take notes!
The Wow Moment: “The entry was so bright that we wanted to create contrast with a dramatic, dark dining room,” says Reena. “For visitors, it’s one of the most talked about features of the showhome.”
The Big Save: Because the butler’s pantry is adjacent to the dining room, there was no need for storage pieces such as buffets. And since the walls and ceiling are quite dark, drapery was also omitted to maximize natural light. The ceiling pendants and dining chairs were budget-friendly finds.
The Wow Moment: “A lot of the budget went toward finishes and details in this space. The custom vent hood is hand-finished brass and steel, and the scalloped backsplash is a graceful transition to the hood, as opposed to a horizontal backsplash,” says Alanna. “Because we wanted to make it a feature of the showhome, this kitchen was a splurge.”
The Big Save: In a custom kitchen, stools from CB2 and accessories from HomeSense are easy on the wallet.
The Wow Moment: Because the living room is open to the kitchen, the designers matched the millwork to the island. To ensure the fireplace had enough visual heft to balance the bookshelves, the surround was custom designed using flat slabs of mitred marble.
The Big Save: “Instead of commissioning a large custom area rug, we selected an animal print broadloom carpet and finished the edges to resemble an area rug for a fraction of the cost,” says Alanna. For the furnishings, in-stock fabrics were selected rather than opting for custom upholstery.
The Wow Moment: “Any time you curve a staircase or a wall, the costs add up,” says Reena. “This spiral staircase was a year in the making; it’s designed as a showpiece, almost like a sculpture at the end of the hall — even the newel posts are custom.” The applied moulding continues on the staircase walls from the top floor down to the basement.
The Big Save: To help offset the expense of the staircase, the underside of the stairwell has no applied moulding.
The Wow Moment: A graphic cement tile backsplash is memorable. “The neutral tile colorway differentiates this room but harmonizes with the rest of the house,” says Alanna.
The Big Save: A sculptural pendant light delivers big impact without the corresponding price tag.
The Wow Moment: Doubling up on stacked washers and dryers cuts laundry time in half.
The Big Save: This hex tile was inexpensive, which helped offset the cost of the labour to install the chevron detail. A basic white subway tile on the walls allows the floors to stand out.
The Wow Moment: Tall, custom-made headboards in green velvet upholstery are visually arresting and luxe. “Pops of emerald are a consistent accent throughout the house,” says Reena. “We wanted symmetry and balance in this bedroom, so we had to purchase two of everything.”
The Big Save: Custom headboards are paired with inexpensive bed frames (concealed by the linens), while a shared console serves as a nightstand for the twin beds. Patterned accent pillows and adjustable table lamps are affordable extras.
The Wow Moment: “Almost everything in this walk-in closet is custom — it even features a packing peninsula — making it one of the priciest areas of the home,” says Alanna.
The Big Save: An inexpensive pendant and hardware (the space required 40 pulls and 81 knobs) were both economies.