Monthly Archives: August 2016


What good is a fabulous wardrobe if you don’t have somewhere fabulous to store it? This question plagued a Toronto woman, whose dark, dysfunctional walk-in closet didn’t jibe with her stylish attire. Though spacious, the frumpy pinstripe-wallpapered room was outfitted with only a few precarious rods, a single overhead shelf and some hooks, while an adjacent staircase created an awkward slanted nook at one end. To boot, the homeowner was not eager to part with her fashion funds.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Style at Home design editor Stacy Begg came on board to polish this diamond in the rough. Having stripped the room bare and freshened up the walls with warm white paint, Stacy got down to organizing. “A one-size-fits-all closet system wasn’t going to work in this nook,” she says. That’s why the designer chose IKEA’s versatile and budget-friendly Algot storage series. Stacy finished the scene with a handful of accessories, including an overdyed vintage rug, a framed print and a cool clock. “It’s easy to lose track of time in a space like this,” says Stacy. We can’t think of a better reason to arrive fashionably late!

Though spacious, the frumpy pinstripe-wallpapered walk-in closet was outfitted with only a few precarious rods, a single overhead shelf and some hooks, while an adjacent staircase created an awkward slanted nook at one end.

Beautiful and Practical Design Tips

Cork has taken a few stops on its winding journey to showstopping interior design element: From the wine industry as bottle-stoppers (its most common and most lucrative use), then to badminton shuttlecocks and bulletin boards, next to a purely functional use in architecture as sub-flooring and insulation, and finally the walls, ceilings and floors in the homes featured in AD. The woody material’s pragmatic use in architecture is well deserved because of its elastic, cellular structure, its thermal-regulating and soundproofing qualities, and its natural resistance to fire, but it’s the cork’s natural warm hue and subtly dappled texture that are the secret to its modern design success. The versatile material can be dyed or painted (and still maintain its speckled look), it can be applied to walls and ceilings, and its inherent durability make it a prime choice for floors. Here, AD explores the varied uses of cork in spaces like one of Seth Meyers’s dressing rooms, a summer house designed by Thom Filicia, and the modernist home of GQ‘s Fred Woodward.

Designed by Ashe + Leandro, a dressing room backstage at Late Night: Seth Meyers features the warm, natural texture of a cork wall covering by Wolf-Gordon. The space, which also boasts an overhead cork pendant light made by Benjamin Hubert, is livened up with a bright-red sofa, colorful artwork, and a lime green floral arrangement.

The striking black cabinetry and stainless-steel appliances are balanced with the softer, more natural tones of cork flooring by DuroDesign in this Hudson Valley home. Known as Obercreek Farm, the countryside residence has been in the family of financier Alex Reese for six generations and was renovated by his wife, architect Alison Spear.

The cork-lined walls of this bathroom bring the surrounding landscape inside at a summer retreat on New York’s Upper Saranac Lake. The woody wall covering was selected by designer Thom Filicia, who designed the home, known as Big Rock, with an aesthetic that combines classic Adirondack style with modern updates.

Apartment inspired makeover tips

“As foundation is to a face, paint is to a space.” This is the kind of wonderful proclamation Vancouver-based makeup artist India Daykin likes to make, and with good reason. The 22-year-old, who owns beauty specialty store India Rose Cosmeticary in the city’s MacKenzie Heights neighbourhood, expertly applied this analysis to her South Granville area apartment. “This is my first true grown-up space and a big change from the place I lived in before graduating last year,” she says.

While India admits that even her student digs were stylish – thanks to some cool cast-offs from her parents’ basement and help from her mom, interior designer-turned-bakery owner Rosie Daykin – she wanted the look of this apartment to be all hers. Coincidentally, India’s parents had briefly lived in the building when they were first married, so when a unit became available it seemed like fate – yet the family ties that led India here made her even more determined to create her own aesthetic. “I didn’t want to rely on my mom to decorate,” she says. “Of course she helped me, but I wanted to make my own mark.”

To remedy the 1,000-square-foot rental’s colour scheme – bright turquoise in the dining room and dingy yellow everywhere else – paint was the first tool of choice in India’s transformation kit. “I’ve always admired chic Parisian apartments and wanted to capture that vibe, but I had to be realistic,” she says. “Since this is a rental, I couldn’t redo the walls with plaster wainscotting, but I could paint them.” Her beauty aesthetic formed the makeover game plan. “When it comes to makeup, I’m drawn to interesting flourishes like winged eyeliner, but I like to keep the skin fresh and clean. I decided to take the same approach in my apartment,” explains India.