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

 

SPECIAL: Home Makeover Announcement

I am excited to announce that I have collaberated with the folks at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, MasterBrand Cabinetry and The Home Depot Canada to create a wonderful dining room makeover story that appears in this month’s issue of Canadian Living magazine. Here’s how my makeover story all began:

Just over a year ago I was visiting my friends at the Martha Stewart offices in New York. While chatting over coffee, I proposed an idea to creatively use the Martha Stewart brand cabinetry (exclusive to The Home Depot) in a way that takes it out of the predictable kitchen and bath use. The idea was to creatively use standard kitchen cabinetry and add decorative & useful storage, display and entertaining service in a dining room. As a designer, I know the importance of an attractive room, but also the practical side of it too. Everyone loved the idea and our wheels all started churning.

Well, a year later and I am ready to show you the end result. We ended up creating the makeover story in my own Toronto townhouse so lucky me; I got to work on a super-creative project and then reap the benefits of living with the end result. But before I give you a sneak peek, I want to explain my storage dilemma:

I have a very small dining space that is adjacent to the kitchen in my townhouse. In a regular-sized family home this room would be considered a breakfast/ dinette area but for me, its the only place I have to eat and entertain. Here is a picture of the dining space BEFORE:

DSC09146I need storage, I need a servery while entertaining and I could not afford to give up much space to accomodate my large collection of wine glasses, dishes and serving pieces. I was using a book cabinet that offered very limited storage and it certainly was not going to hold my dining collections. Here’s a picture of the  proposed cabientry wall. Its about 10 feet long and almost 10 feet tall. Here was my INITIAL IDEA:

DINING project- drawing

By using standard 12″ upper cabinets, I will acheive a slim wall of storage that only takes away  a 12″ strip of floor space. I wanted closed storage, an open servery area and a display area for more attactive items. I wanted a very simple door style and neutral colour:

Martha Stewart’s Maidstone cabinet style in Sharkey Gray (available at The Home Depot). Here’s tha happy day when the cabinets got INSTALLED:

Dining cabinets install

And here’s the finished results. I hope you like the makeover; it really has changed the way I entertain in my home. Time to start polishing the silver!

Low res photo shopped 8

The pale blue ceiling reflects a brighter light durint the day and visually drops the ceiling at night by turning pale gray.

Low res photo shopped 7

Everything has a place; whether hidden away on bottom shelves, proudly displayed behind glass or sitting on the open servery area.

Low res photo shopped 5 copy

 

Design Buzz… news thats happening now!

Every month or so I head to 104.5 ChumFM radio and dish out the latest and great home decor news. On this visit I will be chatting about many things including celebrities and news. If you tune into 104.5FM at 8:20am you will hear all the news. You can listen online at http://www.chumfm.com (click to listen HERE: https://soundcloud.com/chumfm/all-about-style-karl-lohnes-february-25). Here’s some news/gossip happening in the home-decor world.

Karl Lohnes
-The Kardashians land the March 2016 cover of Architectural Digest …and not everyone’s happy…

The March cover of Architectural Digest was previewed earlier than the publication date on Instagram. The reactions of seeing two of the Kardashian sisters sprawled in the photo were not good. Not only did thousands of people think having the Kardashians on the cover of the world’s most coveted interior design magazine was SO wrong; so did Anna WIntour. Anna is the former editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine and is now creative director at publishing giant Conde Nast; who publishes Architectural Digest. Apparently, she was not too happy when editor-in-chief Margaret Russell decided she needed to sell magazines and shot the Kardashian girls for in their newly decorated apartment for the cover. Seems it was good enough for Anna Wintour to put Kim Kardashian on the cover of Vogue two years ago, but not good for Margaret to use the old selling tactic that ‘celebrities sell magazines’. The two reconciled and newsstand magazines will feature Kourtney & Khloe on the magazine’s cover while dedicated, long-time subscribers to the magazine will get a revised version with a room-decor image on the cover, not the Kardashians. Just read some of those comments!!!

Karsdashians -Arch Digest Instagram
-The biggest decor trends get highlighted at Canada’s largest buying fair:

The Toronto Gift Fair (Canada’s largest trade market for retailers and designer to shop) displayed half a million products on over a million square feet of floorspace last month. Three of the biggest home trends seen were:
1/Lots of GOLD metallic
2/The colour GREY still dominating as a neutral
3/The emergence of dusty PINK on small housewares accessories.
Look for these big trends in stores beginning spring 2016!
-HGTV designer Samantha Pynn launches a home line with Quebec-based retailer Simons:

Simons has always been one of those shopping-musts when visiting Montreal and now the mainly-fashion department store has rolled out a plan to open department stores across the country with Toronto’s first unveiling at Square One mid March. They have a fantastic home section, and last week introduced a collection of bedding, bath and kitchen accessories by Canadian designer Samantha Pynn. Look for soft pastels, pretty colours and graphic shapes in her collection, which is sure to be well-received by the on-trend shoppers who frequent Simons stores and the website Simons.ca.

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-Some of the best home deals to look for during the month of March:

1/ Look for 2015 televisions going on sale (25% off) as all the new 2016 models are finally in full stock.
2/ Luggage is always at its best pricing in March (50-75% off). Luggage is bought for 3 seasons: Summer, Christmas and March Break travel. If the old models have not been sold for March break travel then they go on sale.
3/Vacuum cleaners (30% off); new models are introduced in early summer so clearing out the old always happens in the spring.
-Television decor queen Debbie Travis launches a collection of outdoor furnishings:

After a very successful run with home products at Canadian Tire, TV designer Debbie Travis took a couple of years off to renovate and decorate an old villa in Tuscany- a place that she now spend 8-9 months each year. This spring Debbie is launching a collection of outdoor furnishings with Sears Canada. Debbie told me many of the designs for the collection were inspired by the modern designs coming out of Italy. The outdoor furnishings will be launched at the upcoming National Home Show in a few weeks and Debbie will be there to cut the ribbon on the new furniture.

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-H&M launches a newly-renovated flagship store in Toronto this morning:

Thats right, another fashion retailer enters the home-decor market! The high-fashion/low-price retailer is launching their new flagship store today at the newly re-branded CF Toronto Eaton Centre (formerly known as just ‘The Eaton Centre’). Good news for home decor enthusiasts: The H&M flagship store will have a home-decor department featuring Euro-influenced bedding, tabletop, decor accessories at affordable pricing that has made H&M a hit with fashionistas around the world. I love shopping for home decor from fashion stores as they are usually ahead of decor trends by 6-12 months. Imagine: high decor at low cost! Here’s a sneak peek at the H&M Home website:

H&M Home offereings
-Just how many houses has Ellen De Generes reportedly renovated, decorated or flipped?

The 58-year old comedian and television talk show host has made millions of dollars from buying and selling homes in the Southern California area over the past 25 years. As of the end of 2015 she had reportedly bought and sold 12 houses- all for large profits. In her latest book ‘Home-’, she features many of the houses, gives lessons for renovating and decorating, plus lists her favourite suppliers local to where her homes were located in California. She is quoted saying: “When I was 14 i wanted to become an interior designer” :)

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-Lionel Richie has just introduced a tabletop collection?

Hello! The 66 year old multi-platinum selling artist can now add ‘Lifestyle Guru’ to his resume. The Lionel Richie Home Collection will be hitting high-end retailers and hoteliers throughout 2016. The collection “will feature dinnerware, barware, serving and entertaining accessories and fragrant candles that reflect a look and feel that Lionel has captured as he traveled the world throughout his career.” according to a press release. A special luncheon for 40 people was held 2 weeks ago in the Versailles Suite at the St.Regis Hotel in New York City. Special guests included Martha Stewart, Margaret Russell (Editor In Chief of Architectural Digest), designer Thom Felicia, actor Robert DeNiro, while singer Freddie Jackson serenaded the crowd.

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-And… my insider connections tell me George and Amal Clooney have purchased a house in Toronto… I’ll know more about this rumour in a few weeks- stay tuned!

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