6 decor trends you should try this year

Designer Yanic Simard shows us six ways you can add the latest design trends to your home decor.

By Brett Walther, Styling by Aurelie Bryce
Photography by Stacey Brandford

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Yanic's design plan


There's really no such thing as a "blank slate" in interior design. Take this charming semidetached Victorian in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood, for instance. Although the homeowners moved in with nothing but a few pieces of art, designer Yanic Simard found decor cues in how the couple dreamed of using their new space.

"They have a big Italian family and entertaining is really important to them," says Simard. Important, sure, but also a significant challenge, considering that the main floor layout was better suited to a bowling alley than a chic soirée.

Simard's inspired solution was to carve three separate zones out of the long and narrow space: a front room that's home to a window seat and workstation, a cozy fireside conversation nook in the middle and a luxe TV lounge bringing up the rear.

The three well-defined zones flow seamlessly from one to the other, thanks to Simard's thoughtful selection of furniture and accessories. "Each zone can interact with the others," he says. "The two chairs in front of the fireplace can be turned to face the desk and window bench, or towards the sofa opposite the TV. It's a very multifunctional arrangement."

The resulting floor plan packs every square inch with potential for everything from posh cocktail parties to grand family get-togethers.

The home's classic bones—including original moulding and trim—also provided a strong reference point. Though Simard was keen to keep these nods to the past, he didn't necessarily want to bring them into focus. "The trim was scuffed and uneven and really showing its age," he says. "I painted it the same colour as the wall so that it blends in nicely, but in a satin finish, which reads a few tones lighter than the flat finish used on the walls."

The paint, Benjamin Moore's Classic Gray, is used throughout the home and is Simard's go-to neutral. "I call it my chameleon colour, because it works with so many different schemes," says Simard. "It's a nice, light taupey grey that will last forever."

Within that timeless neutral envelope, Simard assembled an eclectic mix of furnishings blending trend with tradition, and his own signature flourishes with the homeowners' tastes. "Too much brand-new furniture can make a house look like a showroom," he says. "I wanted the pieces to feel like they've always been in the space."

Classic Grey OC-23 paint (walls and trim), benjaminmoore.ca.

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