Making a house a home

With warmer weather on the way, home-owners are starting to plan, shop and budget for the upcoming renovation season. Interior design specialists are reminding homeowners that structural renovations are not the only way to change the look and feel of a house.

Making a house a home“Improving the design of your home can be as simple as uncluttering the living room and adding a bold accent colour to the dining room wall,” says Pam Tower, owner of Tower Interiors. “This year is about making a statement in every room and maximizing functionality.”

Tower explains that neutral tones, clean lines and modern furniture are the foundation of a bold room. The second step is to add a focal point of bright colour or large-print wallpaper as an accent.

If a room does not offer the architectural capabilities of creating an accent wall, another option is to choose a dramatic window covering with bold pattern, textured fabric or lively colour to contrast the simplicity of the space says Janet Tait, owner of Blindsource in Burnside.

“In the past years, interiors tended to be more traditional with somber colours and muted tones on the windows,” explains Tait. “But as the economy improves, there is a definite move to coloured and patterned curtains. The key is to find balance with the rest of the space.”

Tower and her design team agree that minimalism in design and décor with a bold accent piece is the new direction in modern homes.

The added wow factor comes from the statement piece or statement colour – which should be well thought out and strategically placed in each room, says Tower who swears by purple, blue, yellow and grey as the colours for 2011. In the bathroom for example, an above counter vessel sink paired with a designer faucet can create a serene spa-like atmosphere and create a dramatic focal point.

Continuing throughout the house with the contemporary idea that less is more reduces clutter and brings focus to each space.

“Dark woods, heavy fabrics and embellished décor is out,” says Tower. “Bright, relaxing and truly livable is in.”

Transforming a space into something enjoyable, child and pet-friendly can be difficult. But Tait suggests choosing convenient items like motorized blinds that completely eliminate cords and function battery-operated, requiring no electrical work.

Investing in customized built-in storage units with dual function is another way of enhancing an existing space rather than undergoing a renovation or addition to the house. A simple bench built under a bay window adds seating space and double as a storage unit. Likewise in the kitchen, a popular option is an island that functions as a storage space or wine cooler and provides additional work surface.

Contemporary home design is becoming more about maximizing on space and simplifying a room rather than achieving an ornate and complex look.

“Knowing the true purpose of the room will help choose an appropriate focal point,” says Tower. “With a clean, neutral canvas – anything is possible.”

Mari Suyama

Mari Suyama

With a degree in Journalism and Spanish from the University of King’s College, Mari has turned her passion for writing, languages and travel into a career she loves. Diving into the world of freelance after university, she moved to Latin America

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