MAX OUT STORAGE
Wherever possible, incorporate extra storage. Even
where there are just a few inches to spare, secret nooks,
like those on either side of the stove and both sides of
the island, can be added to house trays or little-used
countertop appliances. And don’t forget to use a ceiling’s
full height: stack upper cupboards above the main ones.
Stools, Joan Eiley; ice bucket, Angus & Company.
WARM IT UP
Add textural elements to an all-white space to provide
warmth and interest. While this vintage-look cabinetry
is extremely handsome (even the range hood is panelled
to match), the kitchen might have looked cold and clinical
were it not for its rich hardwood floors, natural rope
stools and glossy subway tile backsplash. Keep practicality
in mind too: the stools boast wipe-clean vinyl seat
cushions that weather spills and stains with ease. The
tile backsplash and durable enamel paint on the cabinetry
are similarly scrubbable.
TUNE UP TONE-ON-TONE
Keep a monochromatic palette intriguing by layering in an
array of subtle variations. Here, finishes in earthy chocolate,
taupe and moleskin set against putty-coloured walls add up
to a cosy living room. Elements like texture and shine — a
tripod lamp in nickel, a marble tabletop, velvet upholstery,
fringe on the ottoman — offer interest in lieu of bold colour.
Art by Sharon Thompson, Art Interiors; drapes, Tara Fingold Interiors.
THE BACK STORY
When Shelley Sonshine and her husband and three small
children moved into this home in 2008, it was beautiful in
every way except the most crucial: it lacked life. The newly
built, four-bedroom house in midtown Toronto had all the
right details — a traditional Georgian-style centre-hall plan,
high ceilings with crown mouldings, gleaming hardwood
floors and plenty of natural light — but none of the personality
that makes a home livable.
So Shelley enlisted designer Tara Fingold to inject character
and colour into the home, and make it functional for a busy
household of five. “The key was to make it work for the
family,” explains Fingold, “without sacrificing style for kid-friendliness. The house was lovely but impersonal — it cried
out for texture and interest.” She prescribed a soft and subtle
palette of predominantly neutral colours and grown-up pieces
to suit the elegant architecture, made practical with durable,
washable fabrics and touchable textures. Throughout the
decorating process, Fingold exercised restraint in order to
let the house’s innate airiness shine through. The result is
a sophisticated space that provides a quietly chic backdrop
for the personality and life the family has brought with them.