When Wondering Leads to Great Design

June 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Design Space

I think it starts with desire; for something new, for something different, for something that will be a true reflection of you, and that is when the magic begins. You begin to Wonder, ‘What if I took a chance and switched things up around here?”

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you took all the colour out of a room, and decided to live in pure and simple white? What if you decided that you needed a room that belonged just to you, and made sure the boys would keep out by adding a lot of pink? Here are just a few examples of designers whose wondering lead to great design.

hB1In this wonderful kitchen, Interior Designer Suzanne Kazler added a rustic dining table paired with formal antique dining chairs to step up this kitchen to traditional opulence. The contrast between old and new, dark and light is enchanting. It is a simple switch up that pays off tremendously.

HB3There is colour, and then there is depth. Gray continues to be a really popular colour trend this season, and it’s easy to pick out some great shades out of the inspiration books. But just how deep of a shade are you willing to go? In this formal dining room by Barbara Westbrook, the dark walls are perfectly paired with antiques and gold gilding. The result has great impact, elegant and dramatic and perfect for formal or informal entertaining.

HB4 crown wallI have to say I wonder about wallpaper all the time. I would love to create an exciting feature wall, in my bedroom or living room. At first glance of the swatch of the wallpaper above, you may say a big “NO” to the colourful botanicals and birds. But look at the finished result here. The graphic blue chairs draw attention to the lovely shade of blue in the paper. The floors, window coverings and wall panels are crisp white, they act to balance the punches of colour throughout. If you get tired of blues, you can slip cover chairs in greens or earthy tones.

hB5Yup – it’s a spa inspired bathroom. Get rid of all that colour and keep it pure and simple with whites, and soft watery blues. How about adding a tray with flowers, fine soaps and linens? You might think a colourless environment lacks a little inspiration, but it’s perfect for a bathroom retreat. There is a reason why many spas use this palette. It’s not just for the clean aesthetic, but also because of the calm and clarity a distraction free environment provides. So you can focus on the one thing that matters, you.

hb6I know this space is filled with feminine touches, from ruffles to flowers and pink. Interior designer, Susan Zises Green needed a place to retreat to when she designed her bedroom, especially since she has six children. I am certain my husband wouldn’t want to retreat to a room like this. Likewise, I wouldn’t want to retreat to a room that was strong and masculine either. Wouldn’t it be great to have at least one place in your home that was just for you to enjoy. Maybe a guest room or an office, where pinks and ruffles aren’t off limits, a place you decorate with just you in mind. You might think you need a palace to ensure everyone has a space of their own, but not necessarily. Sometimes even creating a little vignette in a room can make it your own. All you need is a little corner, add your favorite pillow and throw, some artwork, photos you love, and of course a flower arrangement to keep it feeling fresh.

HB7Looking to expand your home? Don’t forget about all that incredible living space that sits outside your door. Over the last few years we have seen a huge trend in outdoor rooms. Some include beds, sofas, canopies, and even open fire kitchens. And even though I wonder if I’ll ever get my outdoor wood-burning oven for the best pizza and pasta of my life, all I really need is a small space to lounge and soak up the fresh air. Interior Designer Ty Larkins created this peaceful patio, with a set of four comfortable chairs, a bistro table for refreshments, and a small fountain with character and romance.

Now if you are wondering whether or not you can have the home of your dreams, let me tell you, you absolutely can. It takes time and patience, a little experimentation and some compromise. It will grow and change just like you do, as long as you let yourself wonder.

Photos all sourced from: House Beautiful


11 Responses to “When Wondering Leads to Great Design”
  1. I love all the white. It feels so calm, healing and restorative. The photos are gorgeous too!

  2. Bo Mackison says:

    Love the botanical wall paper. In a room of mostly white — what a great combo!

  3. Vitania says:

    Angela and Bo,
    thanks for your comments. It’s funny but I used to think white was so boring.. Now I realize how calm and restorative it really is .. As well as versatile, how easy is it to switch up the mood in a room by changing up the colours of some accents…


  4. Love this post! I do love to change up my own rooms and I have a whole “other” home in my head full of rooms that cater to my personal taste (without considering the needs of DH).

  5. All gorgeous pictures,,,That gray dining room with the medium wood tones really looks great! I love the fabric also in the SK Kitchen in the first Picture…Anybody know what it is?????Maryanne xo

  6. Vitania says:

    Jane, we think alike.. I love my family, but my home would be something else if I didn’t have to design around kids and hubby.. Sometimes I think it’s such a pain, but I believe when you overcome those challenges, the result is truly specatcular.

  7. Vitania says:

    thanks for your comment – Here is some info for you on SK kitchen.

    Formal Louis XV-style dining chairs — played down in Donghia’s Relaxed Linen in Storm — Roman shade in Galbraith & Paul’s Zinnia in Sky.

  8. Anne Maybus says:

    How beautiful and serene those rooms are. So elegant yet so ‘unstarchy’.

  9. Colleen says:

    In our last two homes we had completely renovated the kitchens and both times opted for white kitchens. I miss those kitchens (as much as I love my honey colored kitchen now – that I did not choose).

  10. Vitania says:

    Anne – definitely “unstarchy” just very relaxed…

    Colleen, I have yet to experience the all white kitchen, which is why I think I am so drawn to them. Right now my honey colour cabinets are quite nice – but I am itching to paint them…really itching….

  11. Pangaea says:

    Four years ago I painted my walls throughout my home in deep, deep shades of warm stony gray, every bit as dark as the dining room above – although my look is contemporary, not traditional. I still LOVE them! I’ll be changing up the accent colors, but keeping the gray. And Vitania – paint those cabinets, sooner rather than later. Anytime I have done that, I’ve never been sorry. Your husband will object of course — men are more drawn to the masculine feel of wood. But I am betting you’ll wonder what took you so long.