Design quiz: What is the most beautiful home?
By the end of this month, home decorators in many parts of Canada will be tasked with the task of designing the most pleasing, functional and aesthetically pleasing home possible.
“People are going to be looking for something that has a little bit of a timeless feel to it,” said Lisa Kosten, a Toronto-based home decorator and author of The Perfect Home.
“They’re going to want something that’s timeless because that’s what the consumer wants.”
Home design experts say it’s difficult to come up with an aesthetic that perfectly mimics a home in the 1800s.
Some people would be happy with a traditional brick-and-mortar house.
Others would prefer something with a more contemporary feel, like an apartment building.
“People have very specific tastes,” said Kostens husband, Doug, who works in home design.
“It’s a very difficult thing to find an aesthetic.
The way we’re looking at it is we want to make the best home possible.”
Kosten recommends sticking with the basic idea of the home, which is to make it look like it was built in the early 1900s.
“I don’t think we need to do much of a rethinking of our approach.
We’re just looking at what makes the best use of the materials, the most practical use of what the home is about,” she said.”
We want to have that timeless feel, and that’s where you really get the aesthetic value.”
For Kostenberg, who is a certified home decorating expert, the biggest challenge is figuring out which materials can be used to make a home.
“When you look at a traditional home, you’re trying to replicate the building and the interior and all the materials you would use to make that home,” she explained.
“You’re trying not to go to a factory.
You’re trying and trying to find a way to replicate those materials in a way that doesn’t degrade them.”
Kasten recommends that home designers take inspiration from a few different styles of furniture, and even a few styles of wallpaper, to help them achieve a balance between the elements.
“It’s about taking the classic, the timeless, the old school and then mixing and matching,” she continued.
“You’re not just going to go with the big-name brand stuff, you want to take the elements that make that feel good and not just a big, flashy logo and a big sign.”
Some designers say the new rules have been very helpful.
“I think it has definitely made the process a lot easier,” said Rob Pugh, a licensed designer and president of the Design Professionals Association of Canada.
Pugh is a member of the Canadian Institute of Home Architects and also works with the National Association of Home Builders.
He said he’s seeing a significant increase in demand for home design classes.
“My advice to home designers would be, if you want a job in home decor, I would encourage you to come to the class, and take it,” he said.
“Because it’s really easy to get into the profession if you’re interested in the industry.”
Kirsty Ristes, a home decor expert from Toronto, agrees.
“A lot of people are looking for a home that is timeless,” she added.
“If you want something to stand the test of time, it should have the same feel as a century-old building.”
Ristes is a master builder and designer who specializes in historic homes.
She also helps to design homes for people looking to live in style, something that isn’t always the case.
“The beauty of home design is it doesn’t have to be the best in the world,” she noted.
“A good home has timeless feel.”