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Brianna Hughes brings texture and a lifetime of design inspiration to this warm and welcoming family home.
Photos by Sharon Litchfield.
If you look at it one way, this Edmonton home took years to reach completion. “We would work on each room slowly, adding layer by layer,” explains interior designer Brianna Hughes, principal of Brianna Hughes Interiors. “It would be, okay, now that we’ve got the colour, let’s add a fluted wainscotting here.” But if you look at it another way, the transformation really happened the afternoon that homeowners Jenni and Tim called in Brianna to help them comprehend an existing design plan, and sat down for a whirlwind, three-hour brainstorm session that ended with everyone agreeing that everything inside the home would be changing. “I think the only thing that stayed as planned was the colour of the cabinetry,” laughs Hughes.
Working in happy collaboration with Jenni, Hughes brought in her signature moody-transitional vibe to the blank slate. Every last detail here was decided with care, down to the “weird sea anemone florals” and textural reeded vases. Work from Edmonton artists (like Caroline Campbell and Hailey Poole) lines the walls.
The neutral living room is awash in texture, from the custom clay finish on the fireplace to the built-in reeded banquets and downright-ethereal drapery. Rich, rust-coloured armchairs flank the hearth, across from a cozy Saba Italia sofa upholstered in perfectly slouchy linen. (The Ligne Roset rug and Menu tables layer on more beautiful materiality to the room.)
The dining space is a 180 from that bright and beckoning space, painted in charcoal. “I’m all about balancing traditional with more modern elements, and I think this house has a lot of that,” she says, pointing to the distinct wainscotting that wraps the room. The table at the centre features an Emperador marble top and a cane bottom; the velvet chairs that surround it come from Cb2.
The parents’ bedroom is an immersive colour experience, too. “I love to have the bedroom fully painted out, with matching drapery and not a lot of different colours or textures. It’s visually soothing,” explains Hughes. A beautifully tufted headboard in a Bordeaux-hued microsuede is the centrepiece here.
For the homeowners’ young twins, Hughes designed two picture-perfect rooms, tailored to each girl’s tastes (one with an fairytale-like House of Hackney wallpaper). Aimee Wilder’s Cheetah Vision wallpaper completes the Jack-and-Jill bathroom they share.
Jenni runs a food blog called Northern Kitchen, so the cooking space needed to be both functional and an artful photo backdrop for her creations. The creamy quartzite (known in the industry as “Taj Mahal”) features a subtle gold vein detail, and runs along the counter and up the backsplash. Oversized drum lights from Luminaire Authentik light both photoshoots and casual family dinners. The Chesca chairs lining the island and Plantar chairs at the table are midcentury designs, but somehow they just work alongside Hughes’ modern and traditional details. “I’ve never subscribed to a specific aesthetic,” says Hughes. “I have a fascination with midcentury modern furniture, and even Brutalist architecture, and I love so many euro-modern pieces—but also old buildings and architecture.”
So taken yet another way, you could say this decadently designed home isn’t just three hours, or three years in the making: it’s the culmination of a life well lived. No wonder it’s such a beautiful thing to behold.
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