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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Shields


Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Design lovers, have we kept you in suspense long enough? Here you are, the last of our 3-part reveal of The Ivsbridge Project, a spacious family home in Newmarket, Ontario.

If this was a TV show, we'd begin with a voiceover saying, "Previously, on Amanda Shields Interiors",

followed by compelling scenes of earlier episodes.

Since this isn't a show, but a design blog, you're reading, we'll do it this way instead. (Besides, those kind of show snippets aren't usually pretty, unlike what I'm about to show you!)

If you missed Parts I and II of The Ivsbridge Project, here are the insider ideas used in the kitchen refresh reveal, followed by the Great Room reveal's stunning transformation.

So, let's move from the Great Room to the Grand Finale -- the reveals of the Dining & Living Rooms.



You've heard (or in this case, read!) me say it before: you don't have to spend a lot of money on a renovation if your home interior needs updated. By enlisting an interior designer's expert eye and insider tricks, you can achieve a dramatic change that mimics a reno, with a more budget-friendly refresh.

In the case of this dining & living room refresh, we kept much of the decor, swapping out all of the accessories and just select pieces to give this family of four a fresh, sophisticated place to dine and entertain.

As you scroll through these before photos, you'll see how the same dining table and chairs, as well as living room furniture, appear to be brand new with our strategic design plan and removing dated decor.

The dining room, a random mix of of furnishings and accessories, as seen through the doorway from hall.

The dining room view, from the living room.

We kept the all of the furniture except for the bookcase, and replaced all of the accessories.

I'll draw your attention to the wall panels here, so you can see how we changed their look in a fresh, contemporary way -- no messy reno required!





Firstly, we went to work priming the walls and coating them all with Simply White, by Benjamin Moore. Never underestimate the power of a perfect white paint! With a few coats of this tried and true neutral hue, the room appeared bigger, brighter and fresher -- definitely what you want when you're doing a room refresh.

If the dining room table and chairs look familiar, as well as the overhanging lighting, they should, because they were already there. And if they don't look familiar, that's totally understandable. A brand new rug, modern accessories (like that chic octagonal mirror) and mid-century modern hutch against the wall to replace the dated one, all breathe new life into the existing pieces.

We retained both sets of the existing French doors that lead into the dining room, as well as the living room from the front entrance foyer, also painted in Benjamin Moore's Simply White.

I love the size of these stylish, framed prints of leafy foliage, which replaced the framed pictures that originally adorned the walls. Instead of seemingly swallowed up by the walls, like the previous art, these bold yet subdued prints make a statement and tie in the other elements of the dining room, including the greenery in the table vase.

As you can see, the textured floor rug and assorted throw pillows, all amazing finds local Toronto design store, Tonic Living, instantly modernized the living room.

Like on the dining room table, we added a splash of green foliage here on the coffee table, as I believe every room should have some natural elements in it. The windows, which have the same blinds as before for privacy, offer natural light and a peek at the outdoor plants, and to optimize the sunlight we chose these modern, airy curtains.

The framed bison art, which gives a feel of modern farmhouse, contributes to the design aesthetic we had in mind for the family. And those wall panels I suggested you take note of earlier? We hung the art over them instead of inside them, for a fresh modern twist as well as a backdrop to make the piece pop. Cool, no?

The living room, being the first room one sees upon entering the home, is responsible for setting a welcoming tone, as well as creating a visual entry way for the rest of the rooms on the main floor and beyond. I am proud, and my wonderful clients are happy, to say, that was most certainly achieved.

To book your home renovation consultation with Amanda Shields Interiors, contact us at

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