Create the streamlined home of your dreams
The heart of every fabulous home is a thoughtful storage system. Cabinets and cubbies may not be the first thing you notice from an aesthetic perspective, but good storage is the basis of a beautiful home, giving thoughtfully designed interiors room to shine. Leave it to a designer to turn something functional into a vanity point, right? In fact, that’s precisely what professional designers – and practical storage systems – do.
With this in mind, West of Main, in collaboration with Glenview Homes, designed the Blakely Project as a warm, inviting family home, where stylish storage makes way for quiet sophistication. Our firm was engaged in this project from the initial interior architectural plans and material selections, to the final furniture installation. This afforded the opportunity to incorporate organizational elements into the bones of the home, rather than adding them after the fact – which can compromise the overall aesthetic.
This home was designed for family life, and called for an eat-in kitchen. The area is spacious, so instead of typical bar-style seating, we designed an extended, wider island with a seating area that feels more like a table. The island is double the depth of a standard island, so we added storage on the front, artfully concealed behind clean-faced, push-to-open doors for a sleek look. This kitchen has ample cabinet space, so rather than adding uppers the whole way, we flanked the hood range with floating shelves as a decorative feature.
The kitchen is sleek and modern, with flat-panel cabinet doors and a paneled hood range. The oak features a prominent grain that shows through the ebony stain, creating a stunning texture. We pulled the quartz countertops up onto the backsplash and right to the ceiling for a clean, continuous look with the subtle movement of the marble veining.
As is the case in many modern homes, this kitchen opens onto an open-concept living and dining area, making flow and continuity essential, while still delineating between the cooking, dining and living zones. The home’s intended vibe was lived-in and comfortable, yet sophisticated and classic. We achieved this with furniture featuring classic silhouettes, with natural and warm materials and colours.
The fireplace became a dynamic focal point, finished in a bold, black-and- ivory eight-by-eight-in. cement tile installed in a pattern resembling a labyrinth. The tile is framed with a simple, warm wood mantle, and linen drapery on either side to soften the straight lines of the fireplace.
The furniture pieces in the living room are an eclectic ensemble; a blend of modern, rustic and vintage, with the common theme of black, white and ochre. The rug adds richness to the room, featuring navy blue that complements the room’s colour palette beautifully.
The adjoining dining room follows the black and white colour palette, with simple, black-on-black furnishings that serve to open up this small area by eliminating visual clutter. The trick to pulling off this look is adding texture. The storage needs of the space are served by the sideboard– a hand-carved item that ties in beautifully with the organic materials and artistic elements, such as the fireplace, that characterize the main floor.
TIP: The oval dining table features rounded corners to promote easy flow around it, which is key considering this dining area is within the main path of traffic through the home. The dining chairs feature rounded backs that mimic the soft, inviting curve of the tabletop.
While the mudroom may not be the “sexiest” room in the home, it’s a key functional zone as the catch-all for dirty boots, wet coats, hats and bags, backpacks, sports equipment, pet gear and anything else that’s coming or going. However, as an entry point, the aesthetic impression you make in this space is important to your overall interior experience. We echoed the simplicity of the kitchen cabinetry in this mudroom, with flat-panel, ebony-stained uppers offering contemporary, well-concealed storage. We added warmth with a wood bench and a vintage-style rug, echoing the vibe of the living area.
This home is down-to-earth, which we achieved with furniture featuring classic silhouettes, organic and warm materials, and natural colours, available through westofmain.com . The result is a home that’s rooted in timeless, classic and traditional elements, coupled with high-functioning pieces that make it work for busy lives with a penchant for style.
Sascha Lafleur is the Co-Founder and Principal Designer at West of Main Design. This international award-winning Ottawa-based firm provides complete residential and commercial design services throughout North America, and is known for creating thoughtfully layered, travelled designs that complement clients’ lifestyles. westofmaindesign.com , @westofmain