HOME: Renew by Design

What do you do when a beloved family home no longer suits your life style? Do you sell up and find a new place, or do you choose to redesign?

These homeowners chose to reinvent their home, with some expert help.

Like many older homes, this family house was outdated, with some awkward spaces on the main floor, boxed-in areas and a chopped up floor plan. It no longer worked for a modern family. But homeowners Mary and Peter loved the neighbourhood, minutes from where they both worked and within walking distance of the waterfront.”¨

The couple turned to Georgian Custom Renovations & Décor to perform an extensive design and build renovation under the direction of Georgian's senior designer Michelene Segodnia, and designer Chantal Miller. Together they completed the main floor make-over and put the finishing touches on the updated space.”¨

The couple are widely travelled and had been inspired by a recent trip to New York. Mary wanted the feel of a luxury New York hotel but with the comfort of her more casual lifestyle. A busy school teacher extremely involved in her community, Mary initially wanted to stand back and let the designer “just do it.” But after the initial consultation and exchanging of inspirational photos, designer Miller booked a “Shop Day” for the two of them in Toronto's design district.

The experience was a revelation ““ and Mary discovered that decorating is a process, and one she wanted to be intimately involved in. She was hooked.

Decorating is a process, and a good decorator takes the time to get to know her client, ensuring they are hands on, and remain involved every step of the way. Mary discovered that many things she loved in photos just didn't suit her lifestyle, and together she and Miller used their “Shop Days” trolling through the Castlefield area to find the key pieces to match her design goals.

Mary wanted all key pieces to be of exceptionally high quality to last the test of time. The small pieces, like pillows and accessories, were sourced at local retail décor shops to ensure that budget targets were kept.”¨

One of the first key pieces was the new living room sofa, with decorative nail heads and a high grade fabric, placed facing the fireplace and anchoring the open concept room.”¨The sofa was paired with the soft curves of a unique cowhide and bone occasional chair.”¨The primary palette of white and grey on the walls was warmed by the addition of brass in the accessories.”¨

The large windows on every wall flooded the room with glorious light, but left little room for art pieces. Miller solved this problem by using the floor as a “˜fifth wall', adding a hand woven silk and wool Indian rug that was as colourful and spectacular as a painting. It adds both warm texture and a punch of teal to the colour scheme. Lucite occasional tables were selected to keep the view of the carpet unimpeded.

A round dining table with a hammered metal top was intimate enough for a family of three, but subtle enough to not overwhelm the impact of the grey and white granite countertops and backsplash.”¨Together with the team from Georgian Custom Renovations, this couple transformed their outdated family home into the home they had dreamed of, a contemporary, modern, spacious and yet warm place to stay in ““ their forever home.