When designer Deborah Nelson was tasked with decorating a tiny model suite for The Alexander in downtown Halifax, she knew she’d have to craft a timeless space that still suited the surrounding waterfront neighbourhood. So, with a tip of the hat to the historic Brewery Square where The Alexander is situated, she culled together a variety of colours, textiles and patterns to design a light, airy and playful apartment you’ll want to move into.
Go With the Flow
The palette of the open-concept living room is kept simple by using white walls and neutral furnishings to offset the contrasting accents in the blue patterned rug and black chairs. “I saw this homeowner as someone who would want something lighter and brighter, a bit more eclectic, stylish and some one-of-a-kind touches,” Deborah explains. “Yet still really comfortable.”
Layer it On
Deborah showcases her knack for delicately balancing various patterns, colours and textures. “I love textiles and feel they add layers of interest to any neutral space,” she says. “I tend to go for larger furnishings in classic, neutral finishes and use textiles to add colour and pattern.” There are plenty of ways to weave pattern, colour and texture into your home without going overboard.
Less is More
A gorgeous glass coffee table topped with distinctive vases and bright blooms immediately draws focus to the centre of the living room, standing out against the deep blue patterned rug and neutral furnishings.
Let There Be Light
When it comes to the do’s and don’ts for window treatments, drapes are an absolute must. “The large windows are a beautiful feature, but full wall-to-ceiling glass can make a space feel ‘cold,'” Deborah says. “Adding full-length custom drapery was an instant game-changer. As soon as the drapes went up, it gave the space a much softer, warmer feel.”
Deborah wanted the apartment to capitalize on the large windows, even as darkness falls. “In the evenings, with the drapery closed and the lamps on, this space has a cozy feel,” she says. To add a hint of green to the space, opt for one of these easy-to-care for indoor plants that go beyond succulents.
Keep it Simple
When styling an open-concept kitchen, Deborah prefers to keep things minimal – a general guideline she followed for the apartment’s overall aesthetic. “I know it’s a kitchen, but I prefer to keep small appliances tucked away,” she explains. “[Instead], I used a few attractive kitchen items like pretty dishes, cutting boards and dish towels to add a decorative touch.”
Deborah prefers to decorate a kitchen just like any other room in the house – and that means keeping it crisp and simple, right down to its minimal appliances and pops of colour, such as with these black fabric chairs. The white walls and countertops also work together to reflect the natural light streaming in through the large windows.
“I wanted the bedroom to feel elegant and comfortable,” Deborah explains. “I used a classic linen headboard with attractive linens and pillows so the bed is the focal point in the room.” Sweet dreams are, indeed, made of this.
Pretty in Pink
Purposeful pops of colour in another otherwise neutral room allows eyes to focus on various interesting features, from the grand (a tall, unique lamp) to the more subtle (a plush throw pillow). “I like a touch of pink, so I used a couple of pillows in ‘millennial pink’ to stay on trend,” Deborah says about the colours she peppered throughout the apartment.
Artwork – be it framed photography or unique finds – can add a dash of personality to any living space, especially one as crisp as this neutral apartment. “I feel artwork adds a lot of style to the space and is a necessary finishing touch,” Deborah says.
Deborah loves custom pillows for the unique touch they can add to a room. It’s also one of the many ways you can perform a $100 makeover miracle in your home.
Hint of the Outdoors
Lightweight baskets – especially natural wovens in their soothing natural colouring – can provide a sense of simplicity and a hint of the outdoors. It’s just the right element of texture your space might need.
Unlike wooden headboards, fabric options come in a plethora of colours to suit every design need. If you’re living in a small space, lighter colours – such as beige or white – can help make a room look more spacious instead of cluttered.
Life’s a Beach
vibes can go a long way toward lightening up a room and bringing a sense of the outdoors inside, especially in an apartment already layered with crisp white walls and a variety of soft, soothing textures and accents. It also pays tribute to the east coast with a simple clam shell.
Calm, Cool and Collected
The sleek bathroom is absolutely timeless. Everything, from the flowers to the patterned towels, pairs perfectly with the countertops and finishes on the plumbing fixtures.