One space. Three designers. Dozens of cool decorating ideas you can take away.
By Caroline Barlott | February 1, 2014
The task: To design a bedroom in a Glenora home.
The catch: The designer only has a limited time- less than two days – to take an empty shell of a room and turn it into a place of warmth and character.
Three local Edmonton designers, Al Black, Brie Stachniak and Chantal Ross, each took on the Avenue design challenge. In just a few days, each of these designers was able to move in (and move out) an entire room’s worth of furniture and decor items. We photographed the results. Now it’s your chance to see how three different designers with unique influences take on the very same space.
The first thing most people ask Al Black about his decor company is why it’s called Above the Bank. The interior designer, with decades of experience designing homes worth anywhere from $500,000 to $15 million, has a ready answer. In the ’80s, he owned a dcor store called Claywork Studio that had two locations in Edmonton and one in St Albert, located in the historic Bank of Montreal building. So, his new business has a connection to the company that he sold in 1987.
Black is also president of Christopher Clayton Furniture & Design House and, along with designing homes, he’s worked on the decor for doctors’ offices, restaurants and many commercial spaces. He prides himself on keeping up-to-date on the latest trends through twice-yearly buying trips to Chicago, New York and North Carolina.
And, the latest trend he noticed inspired his look for the contest. “Right now, the matte brass and bronze is really hot in the States,” says Black. Touches of brass are scattered throughout the space, with bronze detailing on the chandelier, the bedside table and the bedside lamp.
Black went for a mid-century modern style with clean lines, plenty of black and a blend of masculine and feminine aspects. “I think women forget about their husbands when it comes to decorating the bedroom. They make it overly feminine and it sometimes makes men uncomfortable,” says Black.
It’s also a space that combines both formal and informal elements. The chandelier, lamps and textured bedding create elegance reminiscent of a 1950s parlour room, while the curved sofa provides an air of comfort. “It’s different than putting a chair in your bedroom. With the sofa, you can curl up and read a book.”
While Black was able to blend several seemingly opposing elements, the result is a cohesive room that, he says, worked out quite seamlessly. “My favourite part was seeing the whole thing come together – from the initial plans on the paper to seeing what the room looked like with the actual furniture in place.” -Caroline Barlott
(10344 134 St., 780-989-5334)
Fleur de Lys pillow, $360, by Hope & Phillips.
Pillows (15X20), both $190, by Daniel Stuart Studio.
S & D pillow, $445, by Charm.
Pillow, $325, by del Adora.
Legna pillowcase, $160, and sheet, $645, by S.D.H.
Rustic elements give Brie Stachniak‘s room an inviting feel. She wanted her room to mix the masculine and the feminine, to have “sexual tension.”
Chantal Ross wanted her room to have the feeling of a country inn, with warm colours and an emphasis on creature comforts. But her work is modernized with clean lines.
Al Black‘s mid-century modern look is accented by brass. His work features a lot of black and white, which allows for any accent colours to stand out.
Three different looks from three different designers. Now, the question: Which one do you, the Avenue reader, prefer?
All three spaces have different things to offer. We understand that personal taste plays into these things. That’s why, when designing your own space, you should always communicate with your designer. But, this contest presents a rare case where the designers are given blank slates without any client demands. Because Avenue didn’t have any of those unique client demands, the designers had cartes blanches, which made for rooms unique to the designers’ tastes.