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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Shields


Updated: Apr 2, 2021

I'm stoked for you to see our latest room reveal design lovers!

In my last post, I showed you a kitchen refresh that looks like a reno and now we are moving from this Newmarket house's kitchen and wet bar makeover into the living room, which we renamed the Great Room and you'll see why in a minute.

In Part One of Project Ivsbridge's kitchen refresh reveal, you can see a bit of the adjacent living room a) because the transition from kitchen, bar and living area flowed beautifully and b) I admit, I wanted to tease you for this, Part Two -- the grand reveal of Project Ivsbridge's Great Room!


This family of four's home, located in a lovely residential area of Newmarket, Ontario, was in need of an update and I was thrilled they chose a local Newmarket interior designer for the job. When I saw the living room, with its lofty ceiling heights, generous space and endless potential, the creative sparks began flying and we went right to work on the design plan.



You'll see that the design board and reality are almost identical, which is a great feeling for both the interior designer and the design clients. They have two teenage boys, so the goal was to make this living room masculine and fresh, a place where they could all kick back and watch TV, but in style, now that the boys were bigger.

By painting the room white, removing the dated California shutters and raising the masculine yet airy curtains higher (one of my favourite tricks), we transformed the Newmarket home's living room into the Great Room.

Of course, many other elements pulled together this spectacular look...

I'll begin with the focal point of the room -- the dramatic wall. Like the kitchen and wet bar cabinetry, we painted the wall with Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore. Not only is the colour perfect here, it seamlessly and sophisticatedly ushers one room into the other.

Everything you see here is new, except for the wood floor, TV and fireplace. When faced, the TV and fireplace wall are also a merged focal point, but careful attention was made to ensure that wall and the statement wall were balanced instead of competing for attention.

The attractive balance of the room can also be attributed to the anchoring effect of the statement wall and large wool rug and breezy curtains, both with subtle but interesting prints.

Speaking of prints-- the family were amused to tell me this, so I'll share it with you. The art that was hanging was actually from the previous owners, so we shared a laugh and they gave me carte-blanche (and noir!) to find new art...

Mid-century modern art adorns the walls, on canvas and in glass frames. The three smaller, framed prints on the statement wall perfectly enhance it, anything large would make the wall too overpowering and the art would compete with the monochromatic drama. I could write a whole blog on pro tips for choosing art, starting with this: always mix canvas and framed pieces together; don't only go with one. You can see here how a painted canvas and framed art complement each other.

Onto the next focal point in the above photo-- the gorgeous sectional sofa. The old one was well-loved , bulky and dated; this one is sleek, modern, yet still deep and generously-sized for the family to stretch out and watch movies, play video games, or even socially distance from each other. ;)

If you're eyeing those cushions, I don't blame you -- they are from one of my favourite local Newmarket design stores, Show Cushions, which I also featured in my holiday gift guide.

All of the furniture is now to scaled to the room. This architectural and size-appropriate chestnut table is double the size of the small and unmemorable previous coffee table. The handpicked accessories bring in both personality and Zen -- as well as Tom Ford, who really gets around! By that I mean, his coffee table book is popular with designers. In this case, I was going for that masculine vibe with a book about his menswear.

We added more seating with two metal framed accent chairs. They serve to scale the furniture, add visual interest, as well as can be used when the time comes for the family to entertain once again. (The refresh of the wet bar alone screams, "we can't wait to have guests!") I liked how the stripe feature of the chairs pulled in the curtain print nicely.

I'd love to hear what you think of this transition from living room to Grand Room or better yet, book a consultation to create your own Grand Room.

Dying to see more? I'll have another Newmarket, Ontario house reveal coming up in the weeks ahead. Subscribe to the blog to be the first to see it!


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