How often have we examined a room in our home and wondered: How do I decorate it? Do I want modern, classic or maybe something in between? Or, more importantly, how do I make it mine?
Our home is our sanctuary, a safe place where we define ourselves and create a space of beauty and comfort, a spot to both entertain and to retreat. And it can be overwhelming if we don’t know exactly what we want.
Jean Disnaire of Niche Décor in Aurora assures clients there are no hard and fast rules about what can and cannot go together in design, but there are some simple steps to follow when attempting to achieve a traditional or contemporary space. Keep in mind, the way you decorate your home should reflect the home’s character and your personality. Some people like to wear shoes in the house and imagine themselves mixing a cocktail in the kitchen, whereas others see themselves wearing slippers and holding a coffee, Disnaire explains. It’s about finding a design that suits your lifestyle.
If you have a traditional or more formal home, Disnaire suggests supporting that look with rich, classic materials featuring a more tailored finish to help add a layer of sophistication. He advises choosing elegant, high contrast furniture to make a bold statement. “It’s kind of like the Hugo Boss jacket; it doesn’t necessarily have a lot of wow factor, but it fits well, it’s classy,” he says.
In a more contemporary space Disnaire suggests using natural elements to keep it current and fresh. “You can’t go wrong with Mother Nature,” he says. Accents go a long way in contemporary design. The trends are always changing, and it can get expensive if you are looking to change your couch every three years. Instead, Disnaire suggests focusing on light fixtures, pillows and rugs. “Light fixtures can totally change the feel of a room,” he says. “A woman may buy a nice dress, but the accessories are what set the tone. Light fixtures are the accessories.”
Whatever you do, don’t neglect the paint on the walls. “Colour is crucial,” says Michelle Major of Foxglove Design in Aurora. While cooler grey tones work well in contemporary homes, traditional settings often require warmer earth tones to achieve a cozy feel. Colour also helps to create a consistent flow throughout the home, she says. If you have a prominent red in the living room, for example, Major suggests tying it in through an accessory or piece of artwork in other rooms – perhaps even a decorative bowl on the countertop in the kitchen.
When it comes to choosing furniture for a traditional room, Major says she would employ a sofa with large and loose cushions to add curvy, soft lines to the space. Texture also plays a role – consider a fringe or border detail on the draperies, with a large, detailed finial to top off the look.
For the contemporary client, Major would use an armless chair with sleek, clean lines. For lighting, pair pot lights with a polished floor lamp for a clean, minimal design. When accessorizing, look to add full canvas artwork, or black-bordered frames. Keep it simple. “Less is more in contemporary design,” says Major.
Whatever style you end up embracing for your particular room, know that you can mix and match while still maintaining the overall look you desire. Designers are there to help you make the best choices, colour and style-wise, but in the end, whatever you like best and whatever evokes your personal style and makes you feel like you’re at home is what really matters.
Written by Allison Dempsey and Charlotte Ottaway
Foxglove Design, Aurora
Niche Décor, Aurora
Worth Interior Design