There’s A New Blonde In Town…

Hint, hint: and she’s a bit of a nut!

There is a new blonde that has arrived in our decorating world and its here to stay a while! After many years of blonde maple (think 1990’s) furnishings and then dark espresso wood tones. A new lighter wood tone had emerged in the home decor market and is kicking espresso and dark wood tones away.

photo: Crate & Barrel’s Monarch Natural Solid Walnut Credenza.

Natural walnut wood is the biggest rage in wood tones. From flooring to furniture and home accessories, its ‘lightening up’ the world again. Right now you’ll find it in mid-century modern inspired furnishings but just you wait… it will trickle in the more traditional side of decorating too. Is it a short-lived trend? I am predicting it will stick around for about 10-15 years (or as long as espresso-brown hung around).

Chevron-patterned floors can make long narrow spaces appear wider. Natural walnut wood looks timeless and adds such character to new, boring spaces.

A simple walnut wood accessories (like this natural walnut wood hanging lampshade) adds the perfect warmth of wood to a space. Photo: HABITAT UK

From dark to light, the pendulum is constantly swinging on wood floor tones. The constant that always holds true seems to be an OAK wood with a medium-dark WALNUT stain. It seems to be the designer’s favourite as it offers up enough grain for visual effect and the colour of walnut stain is one of the truest warm-browns that just seems to go with everything.

Tried and true… walnut stain colour on oak wood is the perfect combination for many interior styles… a designer fave!

WOODY RULES TO LIVE BY:

There should be no more that 3 different wood colours in any space.

Good design is darker on bottom; lighter on top. Keep that in mind when layering wood in a room (wood floors, furnishings, kitchen cupboards, trims, etc.)

The colour and tone of your wood flooring should compliment the architectural style of the house you live in. For instance, if you live in an Arts/Crafts home, cherry should be your wood choice. Live in a modern boxy condo? A lighter wood like maple is a better choice.

Darker wood tones help to create masculine, sophisticated or traditional interior. Lighter wood tones help to create casual or modern spaces.

Wood ceilings can be very dramatic; just make sure it does not accompany wood floors or walls otherwise it will be overkill!

Enjoy! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at karl_lohnes; there lots more there!

A Trendsetting Deja Vu…

I am always amazed at how quickly home decor trends can get into the mainstream market. It used to be that fashion introduced us to certain colours, moods and styles; then the high-end home decor stores adopted similar trends a year or two later… those trends then slowly trickled into the mainstream decorating retailers. Perhaps its the age of technology that keeps everyone on a similar scale of forecasting trends but I believe now owning the latest trends have nothing to do with high prices but more to do with the ‘eye’ that the retailer-buyers are using.

I was scrolling through social media today and noticed a fabulous blog post by Bergdorf Goodman, one of the world’s most luxurious department stores. They were celebrating the launch of House Of Hackney on their 7th floor at the NYC store. They transformed the entrance hall to reflect the unique interior from the luxury British interiors and lifestyle brand’s flagship store in London. The exhibition is the House of Hackney’s first venture into the U.S. market. The space is dressed with House of Hackney printed wallpaper, vintage furniture that has been re-upholstered, and accent pieces like Flamingo lamp stands and signature brass pineapple book ends. The display is on for a limited time and inspires a very current decor trend style.

Top three photos: The Hackney display on the 7th floor entrance at Bergdorf Goodman, NYC. Pineapples, leafy prints, rattan, textured glass and sunburst motifs dominate this classic look that has become one of the summer’s hottest trends. Photos: Griffin Lipson/BFA.com

As I glazed over many images of the decor I felt deja vu coming over me. I had seen this look in recent look books for spring 2017 but just couldn’t put my finger on where I had seen this look. Then. It. Hit. Me… Walmart. Yup! I had recently been to a summer product preview for Walmart Canada and saw many similar iconic trends that were similar to the iconic designs of House of Hackney; for prices that will be unbeatable in any other trend-setting store. From green palm leaves, pineapples, textured glassware to rattan charger plates… the hottest summer trends are all for the taking at Walmart Canada! Check out some of their trend-wares:

Top 5 pictures: Walmart Canada.

Keep your eyes open… you just never know where you will find the latest trends of the season!

Please enjoy responsibly; be a responsible shopper. (This blog post was not sponsored). KL

My makeover made it onto Martha Stewart’s website!!!

What a thrill to have worked with the Martha Stewart and The Home Depot teams to re-design my dining area at my downtown Toronto townhouse! You can scroll to the bottom of this post to view a list of sources and see the story on Martha’s website.

A ‘before’ picture of the space. This picture was taken years before I moved in. The former owners were using a very small space as their front living room located on the main floor of the townhouse.

Martha and I first met about 10 years ago. I was the on-air home expert for CTV’s Canada AM and she made a special appearance on the morning show; introducing her then line of garden products at The Home Depot Canada. We  have met many times since (but can’t you tell how much she fell in love with me -just look at her gazing!) :)

After I moved into my townhouse I remodelled the front space of the main floor as a dinette area off my kitchen. As you can see, storage was lacking and I have lots of things to display!

I designed a wall of cabinetry at my local Home Depot. They have very knowledgeable and creative designers on staff that are will to help turn your ideas into reality. This was the initial 3-d drawing to help me realize how the cabinetry would look onto the wall.

Six weeks later… boxes arrived! The nice thing about ordering pre-made cabinets is that the assembly is quite easy- everything comes ready to assemble- even the doors are pre-hung. This is particularly great for people living in their homes during their remodel as the mess is lessened.

Here are the cabinets in place! I had an installer from The Home Depot help with the installation in order to ensure everything looked perfect at the end. Now all I have to do is choose a servery counter and back splash… and handles… paint the wall and trims and… and… and… trying to get a custom look can be a lot of work!

Here is the handle style I chose. I wanted the burnished brass finish to match the light fixture which I bought years ago. I also wanted the handles installed horizontally; being lined up made the cabinets appear almost bistro-like (French bistros often have long, horizontal rails to hang towels on).

The servery was topped with a Silestone quartz countertop called Lyra. I asked that it be wrapped up the sides and across the top of the servery. This helped give this area a clean, contemporary feel.

Then on to the windows. I drew a picture as to the style and proportion I wanted, then my custom drapery sewer did the rest!

I chose a traditional fabric for the windows; drapes are a big investment so i wanted to make sure they would last a long time.

I covered the seat pads of my dining chairs myself. I chose a contemporary pattern in a heavy upholstery weight for durability. Notice the hints of brassy yellow in my fabrics? I did this to match the cabinetry handles and the light fixture.

A fun picture of Martha and I back in 2013. I designed a special green room for Martha and her team to hang out in while they attended a food show in Toronto in which she was a special guest.

SOURCES: Here are the sources of all the products used in my makeover:

Cabinetry: Maidstone Cabinets, Sharkey Gray, Martha Stewart, homedepot.ca.
Cabinet hardware: Richelieu #795192-AE, richelieu.com.
Stone tabletop, counter and console: silestone.com.
Wall paint: Sharkey Grey, behr.com.
Ceiling paint: Blue Bird Day, behr.com.
Elegant glide curtain rod: ECM8107 brass, http://www.jffabrics.com.
Chair fabric: Wedgwood’s Intaglio3, http://www.jffabrics.com.
Drapery fabric: Wedgwood’s Fabled Crane, http://www.jffabrics.com.
Grey Clarkson armchairs, casalife.com.
Bottom-up silhouette window shade, hunterdouglas.ca.
Dishes, tealight holder, grey vase, urbanbarn.com.
Tablecloth, sandwich platters, placemats: homesense.ca.
Zodiac pendant Light CHC2112AB-WG, cocoonfurnishings.ca.
Florals: freshflorals.com.

TO SEE MY DINING ROOM STORY ON MARTHA STEWART’S WEBSITE, CLICK BELOW:

http://www.marthastewart.com/1512570/after-dining-room-makeover-karl-lohnes

FOR MORE PICTURES CLICK TO READ THE MAKEOVER AS IT APPEARED IN CANADIAN LIVING MAGAZINE, FALL 2016:

http://www.canadianliving.com/home-and-garden/decor-and-renovation/article/karl-lohnes-functional-dining-room-makeover