Welcome to the JUST the THING website! Portfolio: To the Next Level
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In this open concept kitchen/family room/casual dining room/living room a wonderful 20' high atrium area is surrounded by spaces with 9' ceilings. The previous conventional furniture arrangement of sofas placed against walls with art above looked insignificant, and the high walls were just blah. The clients wanted to add a fireplace and turn this space into an intimate but special seating area.

They had recently updated their kitchen with sleek lacquer cabinets in a taupe woodgrain, adding a low cabinet in the same material to their casual eating area in the atrium. Shades of taupe, black and teal unified the various portions of the main living space. While some tweaking was in order, the clients had already done a good job of creating the palette and setting the tone. Our job was to take these elements to the next level, not to start all over.

We decided to treat this area like the lobby of a chic hotel. With the existing architecture as our guide, we developed a scheme to visually break up the expanse of our feature wall. Adding architectural detail to the main wall would add interest and make it appear less massive. The top of the new fireplace surround was matched to the same 9' height as the ceiling in the adjoining TV area, and its width scaled to accommodate the horizontal fireplace insert. The remaining wall surface was divided into a grid based on these parameters. Since an electric fireplace had been specified, we were free of constraints as to the choice of material and decided to use an exotic veneer similar to the kitchen millwork as our key design element. We created a complex interplay of dark and light neutrals, horizontal and vertical elements -- a subtle checkerboard of wood panels outlined by the reveals exposing the darker wall behind them. Window trims, crown moulding, and ceiling were all painted to continue and blend with the grid pattern.

For high contrast and punctuation, the dark taupe fireplace surround was embellished with a frame and illuminated niche stained black. Black was repeated in the hearth/bench that runs the full width of the wall, as well as a large low coffee table around which the new seating pieces would be arrayed. Chairs are upholstered in a narrow taupe stripe outlined by a black-stained frame, echoing the look of the fireplace surround. Continuing the theme of muted vs. bold, the over-scaled art for the seating area was selected for its muted tones, while in the eating area, an elaborate mirror offers a punch of black. Similarly, two massive chandeliers and a striking pair of wall sconces have a strong impact, while simple understated fixtures provide perimeter lighting on the upper walls. A hit of teal in the sofa pillows serves to bring in the colourful accents in the rest of the living space.

A dose of peacock blue in the entry hall also enlivens an uninspiring display niche. This vignette -- a study in contrasts -- is a taste of what lies in the space beyond.

We invite you to continue exploring our site for design inspiration, then contact us to find out how we can provide 'just the thing' for you!

Also in this Portfolio:

VIEW | A 'NY-Style' Apartment
A Case of Scope Creep
VIEW | Jewel Box Condo
VIEW | A Very Personal Home
Entertaining Adults
VIEW | The Art of Compromise
VIEW | Pulling It Together
VIEW | Classic Modernism
Executive Townhouse
To the Next Level
VIEW | Calm, Cool, and Collected
VIEW | Home Sweet Home
VIEW | Going with the Flow
VIEW | Making it Work
Room with a View
Curated Downsize
VIEW | Downtown Pied-a-Terre
Designed to Sell
VIEW | Condo Kitchen

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JUST the THING specialises in makeovers of fine homes -- large and small -- throughout Toronto and the GTA.
JUST the THING can be found in the major search engines under: Toronto Interior Decorators, Interior Decorators Toronto, and Interior Decorating Toronto.