“Details are a love language”
– Sarah Walker
Gratitude. It’s the prime emotion I feel every time I write a reveal post for the One Room Challenge, and it seems to just get deeper every time.
It is not even the tiniest bit lost on me that this whole adventure is just one big privilege. (Thank you, Linda!!)
Getting to today takes a village. (Remember the BEFORE?) The king of that village is undoubtedly my husband. I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude for my Graham. This finished space represents his tireless work ethic, his partnership with me in life and love, his commitment to living out our vows (in sickness and in health), his love for me shown in perfecting all the little details as he used his hands to create yet another space where our family can connect. That’s what you’ll really be seeing as you look at these beautiful photos.
To say that we are happy with how the paneling turned out would be a major understatement. As you can see, in the end I decided to honour my original design plan. We added an interior panel of Metrie’s Fashion Forward Scene II Panel Mould inside the Pretty Simple Scene II Panel Mould that we’ve used throughout the rest of the house. I am thrilled with the end result, especially now that it’s all painted out in Farrow & Ball‘s Wimborne White.
In one sense it’s a bit unusual that we have the most formal paneling treatment in the entire house in our basement, but as my gut instinct told me from the beginning, the space needed it. The height of the panels was determined by the two cellar doors on either side of the feature wall. In order to make all those lozenges feel visually balanced, they needed that second interior panel. The extra detail also repeats the rhythm and relief of the casing around the doors.
I love the way the feature panelled wall frames the gorgeous “Float” art photograph by Mandy Blake, printed and framed by the kind folks at PosterJack. I also love how it frames the stunning Joni Sofa from Whittington. I’m SO happy we upholstered this sofa in the pristine WHITE yet kid-and-red-wine-friendly Crypton fabric from my lovely friends at Thibaut. (This designer fabric is available to the trade only via Kravet.) Thanks to Thibaut, my white sofa dreams have finally come true, and I’m NOT afraid to live on it with my family. I’m seriously raising a glass of red wine to THAT!
The Joni Sofa herself is truly THE MOST COMFORTABLE PIECE OF FURNITURE WE HAVE IN THE HOUSE. This may seem like an overuse of all caps until you come over and sit in it. Consider this your open invitation to experience sofa heaven (and a movie) at our place. Not only can all four of us snuggle on it easily, but it’s also the best sofa in the house for stretching out and taking a nap. Not that I’ve done that yet, but it’s so on my to-do list it hurts.
LOVING OUR LOUNGE-WORTHY FLOOR
What we HAVE all done already is found ourselves lounging on the floor. Not because the seating isn’t comfortable (obvi), but because between playing with Tate, enjoying the comfort of the Karastan Leighland wool broadloom that our friends at Alexanian installed for us, and secretly stroking the super-soft tan hide rug from AllModern, there really is no reason not to get down to a toddler level and get into play time. I consider this a serious win. Any room that looks sophisticated and is a welcome home for the senses while still being kid friendly is definitely a designer success.
Speaking of success, I wasn’t entirely sure what the colour of the AllModern hide rug would be in person as I know online images can be tricky with natural hide, but in a stroke of serendipity, it is exactly the same colour as the vintage burled cubes we are using as our coffee table. I love the way they work together to anchor the seating area in this otherwise open space.
LAYERS, LAYERS AND MORE LOVELY LAYERS
How delicious is the texture of these petrified wood side tables from Bernhardt? I’m totally crazy for their rustic yet refined elegance. They are at once raw and polished (literally and figuratively) with their smooth tops and rough edges. I love the juxtaposition and poetry they represent all by themselves.
In contrast to the organic edge of the petrified wood side tables, I love the modern simplicity of the rustic copper container from my friends at Renwil (now home to a pretty little succulent from the lovely Fiori Oakville). That super yummy, so-soft-you-just-want-to-pet-it Mongolian Fur blanket you see is from the Tibetan fur experts at Fibre By Auskin, and it is truly the cure for any cold winter night. SO cozy!
As you’ll see in so many of these photos, the Karastan Leighland in Graphite Cluster is a gorgeous and graphic grounding to the space that makes it feel sophisticated and interesting while not competing with anything else in the space. I love the scale of this pattern and how it plays with all of the other patterns and details in the room, including the gorgeous Leopard Linen and Channels pillows from my lovely friend Arianna Belle. I’m pretty crazy about the pattern play and how it all came together. In the end, Arianna’s lovely blush velvet and the colour of the hide rug weren’t playing nice together (which again, can be the issue with screen-vs-reality), but I already have plans for that prettiness elsewhere in the house.
The fact that each petrified wood side table is unique quite simply makes my wood-loving heart happy, and the chic symmetry of the pair of brass Viola floor lamps from Renwil provide a counterpoint to the petrified wood pieces being slightly different in shape and height.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
Choosing to work with charcoal grey wool broadloom and a black custom built-in might seem like a bold move, especially for a basement. But as you can see, the basement actually feels big and bright. The Farrow & Ball Pitch Black paint on the media cabinet that Graham built serves to provide a dramatic focal point. In fact, it actually pushing the ceiling upwards and creating a really integrated home for the 65″ LG OLED E6 TV. It also makes for the perfect theatre-screening-like surround for movies. The Pitch Black built-in totally disappears into the background when we are watching movies and shows on the stunning LG screen.
The gorgeous brushed brass hardware from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware makes for a strong and modern statement, and also makes all of those drawers as pretty as they are practical. They represent a whole new world of toy storage entering our lives, another reason this room is as kid-friendly as it is adult-friendly.
KID FRIENDLY ROOMS CAN MAKE GROWN-UPS HAPPY, TOO
I don’t believe kid-friendly rooms have to look like a toy store threw up in them. It’s all about strategic storage, and built-ins are your best friend on that front. I am SO happy we managed to fit so much customized storage into this room. It will keep the space feeling open and organized which for me also translates into sane and happy.
The charcoal colour of the Karastan Leighland broadloom is also SUPER kid friendly, as is the pattern. Pattern is always more forgiving of spills and stains, and the naturally stain-repellent qualities of the New Zealand wool in this carpeting just take the kid-friendly-factor up another notch. The darker colour is grounding and warm without making the room feel small. As I said with the title for this section, don’t be afraid of the dark. In fact, I believe every well balanced room needs at least a bit of black (or dark) to create contrast and grounding.
Another sophisticated and surprisingly kid-friendly element in the room is the beautiful Cohen Chair from Bernhardt. This beauty’s Deco-inspired lines pair so beautifully with Whittington & Co’s Joni Sofa that I wish I’d opted for two of them instead of just one. That said, this one chair is perfect for the small piece of wall we have flanking the entry into the laundry room. I love how the soft and welcoming polish of the Park Blvd. Tibet Lambskin pillow looks nestled into the Cohen Chair. The hair-on-hide upholstery on the chair makes it surprisingly kid-friendly while adding an air of liveable luxury.
REPEAT DESIGN ELEMENTS TO CREATE COHESION BETWEEN ROOMS
As you can see right next to the chair, we chose to repeat the amazing Metrie Very Square Rift Cut White Oak doors that hide our furnace and water heater in the laundry room as the entry door to that space. I love the warm welcome and sophistication the simple rift cut oak door offers, especially mounted on this simple and modern sliding door hardware from Upper Canada Specialty Hardware. The soft close stoppers on the sliding door hardware are a particularly elegant touch, and the solid wood door from Metrie totally blocks out the sounds of the washer and dryer when closed.
Just as a reminder, here’s another peek at the laundry room (my first One Room Challenge space!):
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH BEAUTY WHEREVER YOU ARE
I have been longing for an inspiring exercise space in our house since we moved in, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that that space finally exists. For me, beauty inspires and motivates, so it is entirely fitting that my exercise room looks almost as much like an art gallery as it does an at-home Pilates studio. I love that the combination of Minted’s Redwood Morning layered with Amy Friend’s Into Dreams I (via Citizen Atelier). Amy’s piece is finished with the perfect Framed & Matted frame, and I chose to work with an oversized matte to give it both space and presence (something I’m aiming for in my own body as I work on myself in this space).
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
– Marcus Aurelius
CHOOSE ART THAT TELLS YOUR STORY
The Jaime Derringer for Minted piece on the opposite wall (also finished with a classic Framed & Matted frame) for me represents the layers of work and struggle, pain and discovery, triumph and overcoming that I have already uncovered and still have yet to grasp in my health journey. Exercise is no longer about achieving a dress size for me, and hasn’t been for years. It’s about achieving freedom in my own body – freedom from pain, freedom to move, freedom to be spontaneous, to play, to express myself, to live with unencumbered joy. I look forward to the steps I’ll take toward that kind of freedom in this sacred little space in my home.
It honestly makes perfect sense that the most health-oriented appliance in our house – the LG Styler – is also in this corner of the house. Be sure to pop back to my Week Four update to find out why I’m so appliance-happy over this little wonder. We’ve already used it a half a dozen times or more, and I think it’s safe to say it will be one of the most well-used and well-loved appliances we own.
EMBRACING THE CONTENTMENT OF MY CURATED HOUSE
And that, my friends, is the last floor of our multi-level home complete! I have to tell you, it makes a huge difference to know that we no longer have a seriously rough and unfinished space awaiting our attention. No more designer room of shame in the house!
There is something significant to be said for the psychology of environment and the comfort that comes from a home that supports your life on every level. That’s always my goal with the homes I design for my clients, and I’m so grateful we have a home with an interior that is finished to function beautifully and inspire our own little family. We still have a master bedroom that could use some decorating love and an exterior that is in serious need of a curb appeal makeover, but the interior of our home feels like just that – home – and I could not be more thankful for that.
TAKE TIME TO SAVOUR ALL THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE REVEALS!
I am also incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to link arms with my fellow design daredevils throughout this One Room Challenge. There are some SPECTACULAR spaces to be seen in this round, so be sure to check out all of these links!
HUGE thanks to Larry Arnal for the beautiful photos capturing this “one floor challenge” as he calls it. Thank you as well to Fiori Oakville for all of the beautiful flowers you see in these images. And my most heartfelt thanks to all of the brands who trusted me enough to tell their story by partnering with me on this project. You are the village that makes this possible, and I’m humbled and honoured to work with you.
Can’t get enough of all this ORC goodness? Be sure to pop back next Wednesday when I’ll share my favourite spaces from this edition of the One Room Challenge, along with the design lessons we can learn from each of them. And until then, remember,
“It’s not what you look at that matters,
it’s what you see.”
PS: If you are preparing for a renovation of your own and want to know my secrets to success, be sure to get your free copy of the Designer Insider guide I created just for you! Just click the image below to download your copy now.