By Lisa van de Geyn
Photography by Larry Arnal
“This home has a really sophisticated aura, but it’s still very liveable,” says Oakville, Ont. designer Darlene Janeiro, the founder of design firm Darlene Janeiro Design. She and her team have just wrapped up a major renovation project in a peaceful lakefront neighbourhood in Oakville. Janeiro gave her insights and reflections on this collaboration with a multitude of trades — namely Estate Interiors, First Choice Improvements, Quartz Co., and Custom Home Decor — as her team was responsible for its oversight and management. This particular home was special to her, as the homeowners are both in the medical fi eld, and have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic. Because of their busy careers, the couple envisioned a true oasis – a place that felt comfortable, yet exuded elegance and refinement. “In the chaotic world we live in, creating a home that nurtures and offers solace is really important. With the daily stresses that they face, it’s nice for them to have a beautiful and functional refuge,” says Janeiro.
In the chaotic world we live in, creating a home that nurtures and offers solace is really important. With the daily stresses that they face, it’s nice for them to have a beautiful and functional refuge.
This 3,000-square-foot home was an exciting project for Janeiro, as she had been working with the client for a few years already on the previously renovated second floor. Their partnership extended into one that would see the main floor take on a completely updated and refreshed look and feel. “We took the house apart. The homeowners are meticulous when it comes to their space, so attention to detail was paramount, and I think that shows in the finished product,” she says. “They’ve been living in the home for more than a decade and I’m so glad that we were able to establish this trusting relationship in order to facilitate such substantial changes.”
The main level is made up of a spacious floor plan that includes the kitchen, den, dining room, piano room, powder room, living room and mudroom. “My aim is always to go for a timeless look, regardless of the passing trends,” she says. When you walk into the foyer, there are design elements that immediately command attention. The fi rst is the magnificent fireplace, cladded with Cambria stone. “It’s one of the first things you see. It used to be a three-sided fireplace but there was no pizzazz to it — it wasn’t impactful. I really wanted it to be a focal point and for it to be seen from all rooms,” she says. The fresh sage-green colour on the walls was a shade the homeowner felt strongly about, and wanted to keep it incorporated with the new changes. “By keeping the furniture monochromatic, it paired well with the traditional sage colour, but still added a fresh new dimension to the space.” Additionally, Janeiro used modern fabrics and subtle prints to create a juxtaposition in the styling.
The couple’s character shines through in their kitchen as well. Janeiro opted for beautifully intricate millwork, brass-toned hardware and a metal strip running across the top of the cabinets for a more lavish effect. The kitchen really caters to what is important in the homeowners’ lives — it’s filled with elaborate detailing, yet is still very comfortable and conducive to entertaining and working from home. It’s truly a multifunctional room. “I didn’t want to give them a kitchen you’d see anywhere. A lot of careful thought and planning went into the design.”
Janeiro took great care in ensuring the architectural elements were just right. “I talked to them a lot about these details, including the flooring choices, floor staining, pillars, millwork and ceiling design, which anchor the overall space. You can change your furniture, area rugs and other accessories, but those integral elements must be long-lasting and will serve as the foundation for the home,” she says. For example, the two-storey picture window overlooking the fully landscaped backyard was central to the flow of the living room and was enhanced with stunning drapery.
This project is the epitome of what Janeiro calls “liveable luxury” — it’s a brilliant mix of modern and traditional elegance. “The eye flows and transitions from one area to another seamlessly. And we were able to capture classic details but not in a way that would date the home quickly,” she explains. The redesign was a success — it radiates the warmth and personality of the family that resides within it, and still has a luxe feel. “It exudes elegance and simplicity. It was a really great project that we were proud to work on!”