Ask A Designer: How To Create A Chic & Cheery Home Office

In this Ask A Designer column, Stacy Begg shares her advice for breathing new life into your WFH space.

Question: With my husband and I home full time due to COVID-19, we’ve found it a challenge to work in the same room. I’d like to move my office to the back room and make it a place I look forward to spending time in. How should I set it up?  Lorraine, Kingston, Ontario

Answer: This room has great space and, thanks to two windows, lots of natural light, like designer Francesca Albertazzi’s own workspace (below). I would start by painting the walls white to take advantage of the light. I recommend Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White or Chantilly Lace in a matte finish.

To add visual interest and a pop of color, wallpaper the wall you see upon entering the room in a bright and cheerful wallpaper like Farrow & Ball’s Wisteria.

(Source: Wisteria BP 2212 Wallpaper, $295/roll,

Next, head to your local big-box store for in-stock base cabinets and storage for files. Run them down the long wall and, if you’re ready to splurge, top the cabinets with a luxe, solid-surface material.

(Source: 5151 Empira White Surface, $80/sq.ft.,

Or, for a more budget-friendly option, try laminate.

(Source: Galant Storage Combination with Filing in White, $409,

Place a large table in the center of the room; run it lengthwise in the same direction as the cabinet wall. This will give you lots of room for your laptops and monitor.

(Source: Hamburg Solid Acacia Wood Dining Table, $449,

Add a rug underneath to warm up the space and provide some texture. How about a fun plaid? Don’t be afraid to mix your patterns! Consider carpet tiles: they’re a clever way to build a custom-size rug.

(Source: Scottish Sett Carpet Floor Tile in Linen, approx. $27/tile,

I love the classic ’60s Eames office chair in leather and, today, you can find great reproductions.

(Source: Shirel Office Chair in White, $89,

For more seating and a touch of contrast, add a couple of clean-lined guest chairs in black.

(Source: Bergamo Guest Chair in Black, $265,

A simple white barn-style fixture will illuminate your desk, as well as the eye-catching wallpaper.

(Source: Helena Pendant in White with Silver by Kuzco Lighting, $242,

Then, to finish the look, hang graphic black-framed art and pin boards above the run of cabinets.

(Source: Mid-Post IV Framed Print, $179,

You’re going to love your beautifully decorated home office — and, look out, your husband may want to join you there, too!

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to

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Ask A Designer: How To Turn Your Bedroom Into A Nature-Inspired Retreat

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her easy and affordable tips for creating a relaxing respite.

Question: We’re looking to decorate our bedroom with a nature theme. What do you think of a leaf- or birch tree–print wallpaper, and what colors would you recommend?  Gen, Toronto

Answer: Wallpaper is a fantastic way to add interest in a room and address large expanses of wall. Take inspiration from this beautiful bedroom designed by Jennifer Morrison of Morrison Design House.

Here’s what I suggest to get a similar look:

Paper all the walls for an enveloping, cohesive feel. This forest-print paper by Lewis & Wood has a depth that will make your room feel more expansive, and the soothing gray and blue tones won’t overwhelm. (Wallpapering behind the bed will also help camouflage the small off-center window.)

(Source: Bosky Wallpaper in Blue Yonder, approx. $156/yd. (approx. $11.80/sq.ft.), available through Kravet Canada or

(Source: Albero Duck Egg Wallpaper, approx. $198/roll (approx. $3.50/sq.ft.),

Get a louvered shutter for the small window, and paint it the background color of your wallpaper (like Benjamin Moore’s Serenata) so it blends in to the wall. Dress up the large window with drapery that has an embroidered medallion motif. The small-scale pattern will work perfectly with tree-themed wall coverings.

(Source: Aubrey Blue Embroidered Curtain Panel, starting at $170,

Paint your ceiling and crown molding a pale blue pulled from the wallpaper and choose a bedding set in a similar tone.

(Source: Linen Duvet Covers in Mist, $330,

Add a couple of shams in a small-scale pattern…

(Source: Kiska Textiles Pillow Case in Filigree Sky/Indigo, $85,

…and layer on a cozy throw.

(Source: Nao Throw in Soft Grey, $30,

Update your nightstands with brighter, wood-toned versions. The legs will lift the furniture off the floor and make the space feel airier.

(Source: Kabbann Acacia Wood Bedside Table, $229,

Add textured, white ceramic lamps on the nightstands that play on a leaf pattern.

(Source: Textured Ceramic Table Lamp, $80,

Swap out your flush-mount light fixture (not visible) for a rattan pendant to bring in even more warmth.

(Source: Teresa Pendant Light, $102,

With these updates, you’ll have a serene bedroom retreat that’s perfect for relaxing in and catching some zzz’s.

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to

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See How A Serene Palette & Soaker Tub Create A Spa-Like Principal Bathroom

“Who doesn’t love relaxing in a big tub after a long day?” says Toronto designer Shauna Walton, who was enlisted to give this 110-square-foot principal bedroom a much-needed facelift. The young homeowners, who had just bought their forever home, wanted to update the dark space with fresh, minimalist finishes.

This spa-like space features a host of self-care amenities including a generous 94-inch-wide vanity complete with custom dividers for one client’s blow-dryer and curling iron, and a gorgeous freestanding tub. A delicate seeded eucalyptus sprig adds to the zen vibe. “We went with neutrals and natural materials to keep it calming and coordinate with the rest of the house,” says Shauna of the serene palette. “Less is more when creating timeless, restful spaces.”

She removed a huge built-in Jacuzzi tub, making room for a larger stand-alone shower, then added a stunning feature wall behind the new tub with herringbone-patterned marble tile and a ledge for art and bubble bath.

How They Did It

  • Neutral palette with hits of nickel, brass and black
  • Dramatically veined Statuario marble floor tile
  • Graphic abstract art
  • Herringbone-pattern Dolomite tile and niche in shower
  • Simple striped towels

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Take A Peek Inside This Hotel-Inspired Bathroom With Daring Design

Designers Cindy Bleeks and Erin Feasby gave this once-dated principal bathroom the hotel-style treatment their clients were craving. “It’s the perfect combination of luxurious, timeless, urban and cool,” says Erin. Not only did the designers bring in a statement shower with a wall framed in black steel, but they also shifted the doorway to make the 96-square-foot space more usable, added a built-in armoire for towel storage and sourced a furniture-inspired vanity to complement the adjoining bedroom. “The bathroom feels like an extension of the bedroom when the doors are open,” says Erin.

A Crema Delicato marble counter coordinates with white marble floor and shower tile, while a single sink and wall-mounted faucet maximize space on the counter. The end result has a cozy, curated feel, and the clients agree. “They said, ‘Everyone wants their bathroom to feel like a hotel, but I’ve yet to find a hotel bathroom as gorgeous as ours!’” reports Erin.

How They Did It

  • Graphic color palette enlivened with a colorful rug
  • Dramatic black-framed shower wall
  • Furniture-inspired vanity
  • Luxe, coordinating marble counter and floor tile
  • Additional built-in storage unit for towels

Author: Harleen Sidhu


Mark Burstyn


House & Home June 2020


Cindy Bleeks & Erin Feasby, Feasby & Bleeks Design

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You’ll Want To Wake Up Every Morning In This Pretty & Petite Bathroom

Designer Mélanie Cherrier was tasked with transforming a spare bedroom into a principal bathroom that flowed with the rest of the century-old home in Montreal West, and her plan was simple: incorporate old pieces with new accents that have timeless appeal. The 95-square-foot room she created proves that luxury can be found in even the smallest of spaces. A vintage wooden perch is ideal for keeping essentials handy while elegant new panelling gives the white envelope its Parisian flavor.

Imagine waking up to heated Carrara marble floors and starting the day with a sun-drenched shower. Its this pampered feeling that Mélanies hardworking clients wanted, and she certainly delivered. A cleverly placed window lets natural light into the shower.

A white oak vanity and cabinet reiterate the historical vibe and add warmth. “I wanted a soft and serene look that would age beautifully,” says Mélanie.

How They Did It

  • Hexagonal Carrara marble floor tiles
  • White palette warmed up with mid-tone white oak cabinets
  • Lots of natural light, thanks to two windows
  • Elegant panelling and crisp subway tile
  • Warm burnished brass fixtures and accent pieces

Author: Harleen Sidhu


Maxime Desbiens


House & Home June 2020


Melanie Cherrier, Blanc Marine Living

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Ask A Designer: How To Create A Sunny Dining Area

In this Ask A Designer column, Valérie Morisset shares her advice for sprucing up a tired dining area.

Question: I just bought a beautiful condo in Old Montreal. I’d like to have a dining area next to the window, a round table with four chairs and drapery panels instead of the blind. The previous owner had a television over the mantel, but I’d prefer a mirror for more modern Parisian style. Any suggestions?  Claudia, Montreal

Answer: You definitely have a great space to work with! To brighten up the room, start by painting your walls a soft, creamy white like Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White. Look for a tulip-shaped dining table with a black base.

(Source: Saarien Round Dining Table in Rosewood & Black, starting at $2,775,

For a bistro feel, surround it with four Hoffmann side chairs similar to the ones in the Inspiration room designed by Joel Bray (above).

(Source: Hoffmann Side Chair in Black, $530,

Your existing rug is very nice; try placing it parallel to the mantel. Consider installing a pendant fixture above the dining table to cast a warm glow. The Nolan pendant in vintage brass and dark bronze would add a contemporary touch.

(Source: Large Nolan Pendant by Arteriors Home, approx. $1,965,

And hanging a mirror in lieu of the television is a great idea. For a Parisian vibe, I suggest an oversized version with a polished brass frame. Have it hung so it rests on the mantel and looks like it’s leaning.

(Source: Todd Mirror in Polished Brass Metal, price available upon request,

French pinch-pleat panels in a gorgeous yellow silk would be an elegant upgrade from your current blind.

(Source: Ultrasuede Green Fabric in Canary, pricing available upon request,

Choose a black drapery rod with simple finials for a classic look.

(Source: Umbra Curtain Rod Set in Black Steel, $60,

As a final touch, set a clear vase on the table and fill it with seasonal branches.

(Source: Glass Bottle Vase, $60,

Enjoy your new dining area!

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to

Author: Valérie Morisset


Maxime Desbiens (Portrait); Valerie Wilcox (Inspiration)


House & Home May 2020


Joel Bray (Inspiration); Research by Natacha Nasset

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How To Style Luxe Chairs In Your Family Home

Presented by:

Take a moment and look at the spaces in your home. Where do you spend the most time with your family?

Whether you’re lounging in the living room for a movie night or soaking up the sun in your own outdoor oasis, the perfect chair is the one piece that can tie any of these rooms together, and is definitely worth the splurge. A comfortable, luxe chair can easily transform any room while adding a touch of your own style. While you’re at home, you may consider reviving certain spaces to make the most of the extra family time you have and prepare these spaces for future get-togethers. offers high-quality, luxury furniture and accessories that you can shop from the comfort of your home.

We’ve curated four luxe chairs, each offering a distinct style to compliment your space. Browse through our curated looks, featuring chairs and complimentary pieces from, and be inspired by four beautifully unique spaces you can enjoy year-round with your loved ones.

Evere II Lounge Chair, Aanjar Coffee Table, Karaoli V Area Rug, Josie Floor Lamp.

If there’s one place we find ourselves each day, it’s certainly the living room. This space should be functional for your family without compromising effortless style. We’ve curated a luxe spot that has it all – this olive lounge chair is perfect for curling up with a good book, while the glam, circular table provides enough space for drinks, the latest coffee table books and family photos.

Tip: Try matching a colorful chair with complementary metal accents and dark, grounded pieces for a dramatic, yet personal space you’ll love to spend time in with your family.

Jendral Outdoor Accent Chair, Lagoon Floral Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug, Evening Retreat Lines Stool, Arnita Stainless Steel Tapered Lantern.

With summer quickly approaching, your outdoor space is about to become the hot spot for you and your loved ones to spend time together. Whether you have a balcony or poolside area, elevating your outdoor living will help you make the most of the warmer months. This classic chair gives you the option to play up a bold look or keep things neutral. Versatility and durability are great benefits to these chairs – use them for lounging or dining and without worry about wearing them out.

Tip: This rug is available in both a circular and rectangular shape, making it a great option no matter the layout of your space. Plus, neutral accents are perfect for optimal function and style!

Halma Dining Chair, Perrault Light Chandelier, Moccia Marble Dining Table, Avia Bar Cart.

Sitting down to enjoy a meal with your family is perhaps the most important part of the day – catch up with everyone, FaceTime friends and family, and enjoy a home cooked meal! Elevate the experience by adding striking items to the dining room that everyone will love. These chairs exude sleek comfort, so your family will want to stay to chat long after dessert is served. Plus, they offer the flexibility to stick with a subtle grey palette, or incorporate glam pieces thanks to the bronze legs.

Tip: If you want to keep big pieces neutral in this space, then go for a modern chandelier and statement bar cart to create an impact in the new hotspot in your home!

Nihei Accent Chair, Portree II Floor Lamp, Intervolve Decorative Cushion, Beacon Street Mirror.

This traditional accent chair is a timeless staple worth investing in for your home office, basement or library – offering a luxe look with optimal comfort. Enjoy time for yourself with a glass of wine and seamlessly transition into game night with the family in this effortlessly stylish room that is perfectly yours. Paired with neutral tones, your space will be the epitome of classy and cozy.

Tip: Subtle patterns on the throw pillows and mirror add texture and depth to the room, without straying too far from the traditional vibe you’ve created.

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See The Results Of Our Dream Bedroom Makeover Contest!

We revamp a dated bedroom for the lucky winners of our Hudson’s Bay Makeover contest.



The Winners

“It was a hodgepodge of stuff and a mix of styles,” says Kelly Martin of her principal bedroom. Moving in with her partner, Phillip Hemans, in 2015 meant blending their two families and three houses (including a cottage) full of furniture. With busy careers in finance and three kids, the couple needed their bedroom to be a sanctuary. But it felt uncoordinated, boring and “more functional than restful,” says Kelly.

What They Wanted

  • More color and texture
  • Furniture that works together
  • Visual integration of the existing built-ins

The Decorating

H&H’s own Stacy Begg began by picking a grasscloth wallpaper that would wrap the room in understated pattern and soft texture. The grey of the wallpaper is close to the greyed wood built-ins, and a new dresser and nightstands continue the calming palette. Pops of color, courtesy of throw pillows and a soft blue bench, plus black and white art make the space feel pulled together.

The End Result

“It’s like we’re going to a hotel every night,” says Kelly. “It’s so restful and comforting, and it feels very luxurious. Now we can close the door and it becomes our solace.”

Get The Look

  • Patterned grasscloth wallpaper
  • Neutral drapes
  • New blue-grey painted ceiling and cove moulding
  • Graphic gallery wall and offset mirror

Learn more about this dreamy bedroom on H&H TV. Plus, browse five bedroom escapes that will inspire you to transform your own space!

The post See The Results Of Our Dream Bedroom Makeover Contest! appeared first on House & Home.

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House & Home

For an artist’s family of three in Westmount, Quebec, their storied home (the family had been living in it for 60 years) needed an update. The kitchen was stark and drafty and lacked efficient counters space, so, they called upon architect Andrew Curtis of RobitailleCurtis to get the job done. “Our client requested a streamlined, efficient white kitchen, which can sometimes feel too sleek and cold, but, here, it’s balanced by the warmth that the natural wood brings,” he says.

A floating vent hood over the island and plenty of cabinets and appliances deliver a modern eat-in kitchen with lots of work surfaces. Andrew created more workspace by moving the cooktop to a new island, and added a pantry underneath the home’s main stairway, instead of underneath the wood staircase (shown).

The cabinets and countertops are made of the same solid matte surface (Italian laminate-like material called Fenix) for a seamless look, and chamfered doors pull open, so there’s no hardware to break up the sight lines.

“Our goal was to update the old parts of the house while respecting the existing character and integrity,” says Andrew (pictured). “The traditional wood panelling played off the modern design nicely, so we were certain to keep it.”

The existing blackboard paint wall creates a dramatic backdrop to highlight a new light fixture. A red credenza was a lucky Kijiji find. “They wanted the dining area to be open and connected to the kitchen but still feel separate,” says Andrew.

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Ask A Designer: How To Make The Most Of A Compact Family Room

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her tips for designing a functional gathering place.

Jennifer KoperQuestion: How do I lay out my narrow family room? Should I do built-ins on either side of the fireplace? I’ve already ordered a sofa and I’m looking for a coffee table — what else do I need to make the space great?  S.S., Toronto

Answer:  Since your family room is adjacent to the kitchen with its eating counter, and you have a separate dining room, I suggest you ditch your small round table and chairs. Then you’ll have room for a conversation area that includes two new armchairs in a fabric that complements your new sofa. They’ll look great placed side by side to the left of the fireplace, like in this sophisticated room designed by Workstead (below).

Thanks for sharing your choice of sofa (below); I love how sleek and modern it is.

(Source: Rye Channel Sofa, $2,015,

Opt for a round or square coffee table (instead of a rectangle) for the best fit.

(Source: Plateau Coffee Table, $1,169,

I recommend adding a larger rug that runs the length of the room. It should be big enough that the sofa and armchairs sit on it, but not so big that it interferes with the counter stools.

(Source: Serac Rug in Natural, Blue and Rust, starting at $314,

(Source: Arcade Ollie Chair in Camry Orange by Arren Williams, $1,099,

To keep the look airy, I would forgo built-ins. Instead, replace your current mirrored chest with a larger, more robust piece and move it over to the left side of the fireplace, and place a generously sized potted plant on the right side.

(Source: East Hampton Hall Chest in Cerused Linen, price available upon request,

For color and personality, lean a couple of pieces of art on the chest (they should stop short of the window above) and, to soften the look of the windows flanking the fireplace, consider having slouchy roman blinds made in natural linen.

(Source: Deia Linen in Sand by Alexa Hampton, price available upon request,

Enjoy your new family room!

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to

The post <span class="title_highlight">Ask A Designer:</span> How To Make The Most Of A Compact Family Room appeared first on House & Home.

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