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Photos by Eymeric Widling

From its poorly installed kitchen tile to bowed wood panels that were nearly falling down, this single-family home in Calgary was once the victim of a previous renovation that can only be described as a nightmare—a very, very orange nightmare.

Calgary designer Stephanie Charest, of Stephanie Charest Interior Design, says she was approached by the client to refresh and complete the main level of her Bearspaw home after being unhappy with the quality of the workmanship (and the colour palette) in her reno that’d been done by a different contractor a couple years before. “It never felt like her, even after spending all that money and time,” says Charest. The designer was tasked with updating the space to give the client something she was happier with, that was also more suited to the space.

Kitchen Islands
Eymeric Widling

In the kitchen, Charest put in softer white tile with a grey undertone to replace a glossy white tile that had been cracking and lifting. Her team painted the once-reddish-orange cabinets black, and outfitted them with classy brass hardware for a bold, luxurious finish.

Eymeric Widling

All the countertops in the kitchen were replaced with grey quartz, and the backsplash around the perimeter, as well as the range hood, is finished with a complementary higher-end Cambria quartz with gorgeous bold grey veins. A large butcher block—almost too pretty to use!—was fitted into one of the islands to add warmth to the design. The second island now features a waterfall countertop, and doubles as a functional seating area.

Walnut Ceiling
Eymeric Widling

The light fixtures above the island and the one above the dining room table were both replaced with new fixtures from Robinson Lighting & Bath, as the previous fixture in the dining room hadn’t been big enough for the space or the table. Over the dining table, striking walnut Woodwerx panels from Odyssey Wallcoverings on the ceiling replace orange-toned panels that were bowed and coming down.

Living room and kitchen
Eymeric Widling

Separating the living room from the entry is a walnut-coloured, slatted feature wall along the stairwell. The client really wanted the slats, which Charest calls “visually exciting” and says, “turned out even better” than they imagined. In the living room, the fireplace was redone in a porcelain chevron pattern, with large-format porcelain tile at the base. It adds just a little bit of interest without overtaking the room.

Eymeric Widling

Charest styled the space with a neutral area rug from Colin Campbell and added a few pops of colour with cushions and a glass table from Maria Thomás. The clients hadn’t planned to keep the styling after the photoshoot, but in the end, however, they opted to keep everything. “To me, that just speaks to how important styling is, because it just changes a space. And it added what she was missing,” says Charest, who loves how everything came together in the end. “It’s still quite minimal, but it has that warmth.”

Originally published June 2022