Reader Design: Johanne's Black & White Beauty

Today, we're off to Canada! Johanne, who is a professional interior designer, is welcoming us in to her Montreal home that she shares with her husband and two adult children. 

Johanne and her family moved in to this 1950's cottage 15 years ago. It sits outside Montreal in a town known for its stunning mountains and parks. Johanne doesn't use a lot of color, but that doesn't mean that her home is devoid of depth or emotion. Her neutral palette just bring other features to life - like the wood fireplace, used year-round, that Johanne calls "the best investment in the house." 

From Johanne:

Many things come into play when designing a house. The first thing I look at is the architecture. This cottage has very large windows, so our first move was to open up the space and take advantage of the ever-changing light and nature surrounding the house.

The second thing Johanne considers? Location. 

We live in a Nordic city, so I am very influence by Scandinavian design not only for its style but also for its way of life: simple, modern, warm, and practical. I love wood and try to use it as much as possible along with natural materials such as stone, straw, wool, and cotton.
Midcentury and Scandinavian furniture design offer modern furniture that blend well with many different styles. They are good quality and timeless which is always a good investment. I like to mix them with older pieces such as our tulip dining chairs with our rustic dining table, which we found in an old barn and have had for many years.

The third consideration is nature. Johanne seriously considered the world around her and took advantage of those influences in every way she could. 

Soothing grays, greens, and earth tones are always a good choice for me. Those are the colors I see when walking on the mountain, but they are also the colors I see when I go on the gorgeous beaches of Maine, USA, where I have spent every single vacation of my childhood and where we have taken our children as well since they were born.

I think we can all agree that Johanne has some incredible style. Thank you, Johanne, for letting us in and sharing your design influences with us. 

Learn more about Johanne on her website or follow along on Instagram

Reader Design: Janet's Smart Sophisticated Style

Answer me this: what is better than a Friday? 

How ‘bout a Friday Feature Reader Design!  

Today’s #stylemuttspaces feature is Janet from Style to Move Blog and she is one savvy sophisticated homemaker.  Based just north of Toronto, Janet has managed to pull off a restoration hardware look without restoration hardware prices.  I mean just look at the perfect shades of flint gray, organic accents, and monochromatic genius!

From Janet:

I moved into this new home about five years ago with my husband and two kids (now teenagers).  This was a bit of a shock to us because we had only lived in century homes full of character and charm.  The real challenge has been how to give it some character and put our mark on it.
This is our family room which is off the kitchen so it gets lots of use.  We had a lot of stress prior to moving here, so it was important that this home was calm.  Therefore, we wanted a calm color scheme and no clutter.  The book shelves (previously in our office) and the coffee table (previously a table) were painted a soft grey.  I also turned the books paper side out to fit the color scheme and to add to the calm in the room. 
I always like to mix ferns and woven baskets in my spaces because they add a relaxed sophistication.  I'm also eclectic, so I like all styles.

You’ve certainly found your kinfolk here Janet – eclectic is just a synonym for StyleMutt ;)

The side bar was actually an island in my previous house. Here, I added some baskets underneath and painted it an almost black, giving it a farmhouse feel.  Nothing in this room was overly expensive.  Most things came from either a big box store, HomeSense or Ikea.  Even the rug is two small inexpensive rugs put together.

So smart painting it a "almost black."  Painting pieces a matte black or a charcoal gray softens the harshness the a black piece can give to a room, making it feel more rustic while still providing a rich tone.  I told ya she was a savvy lady...

Thank you Janet for sharing such a smartly put-together living room with us on StyleMutt Home.  You can follow Janet @styletomoveblog on Instagram for more of her savvy finds!

And hey, we are always looking for more readers to feature on Fridays.  You don’t have to be a world renowned designer to get some real estate on our SPACES page – you just have to love your home and want to show if off.  Post your proud pics to our Facebook wall or tag #stylemuttspaces on Instagram.