Read the full acticle: January 2016 issue of Style at Home Magazine
Written by: Jennifer Hughes
Photography by: Donna Griffith
"Bright and cheerful." That’s what the owner of this townhouse in Courtice, Ont., was searching for in a new home. Since her previous abode was older, larger and surrounded by mature trees, she was struck by this 1,400-square-foot space with large windows, a well-designed layout and plentiful natural light. However, at 10 years old, the home’s decor was dated, and its cheap builder-grade finishes weren’t holding up – aesthetically or otherwise.
“We started the project almost from the first day she looked at the house in 2014,” says designer Orsi Panos. And as soon as the homeowner, a retired teacher, took possession, the makeover began. Since the existing floor plan was wonderfully functional, no major construction or structural changes were necessary. “We did what was needed to update the finishes,” says Orsi.
Two bathrooms, however, required gut jobs to replace basic fixtures that showed a decade of wear. Throughout the main floor, walnut-stained oak floors were also an upgrade from poorly installed laminate and set the tone for a more sophisticated feel. In the kitchen, refacing the existing cabinets with Shaker-style doors gave the room a much-needed facelift with minimal cost. The backsplash, countertops and floors were left as is. Orsi helped the homeowner edit her belongings down to what would work in the new house – with less square footage, she definitely needed fewer possessions overall and wanted a fresh start. “We kept some family heirlooms that meant a lot to her,” Orsi explains. “And her extensive art collection was pared down to what looked great in the space.” When shopping for new pieces, “the focus was on keeping things bright, fun and cheerful,” says Orsi. “That’s when all the yellow accents came in. Yellow is the ultimate sunny hue.” Gold and brass accessories also provide a warm glow, while a generous selection of other accent colours gives the entire place a vibrant, happy persona. “The homeowner is such a busy and interesting person – her home is now a true reflection of that.”