Interior designer Andrea McMullen creates welcoming bedrooms and bathrooms in this Innisfil home for the owners’ visiting children and grandchildren.

By Adriana Ermter | Photography by Larry Arnal


More than 30 years ago, colourful paint, wall murals and faux finishes were the trifecta that catapulted Andrea McMullen’s firm ADM Design Inc. into the successful business it is now. So, when a client asked the interior designer to make their Innisfil home’s three bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms so inviting their children and grandchildren would want to vacation there every summer, she said “yes” and tapped into her artistic roots. “I have a background in fine art, and doing murals and finishes for children’s rooms was how I got started,” McMullen explains. “I knew I could incorporate that kind of playfulness into my client’s home, particularly in the grandchildren’s room, and do it in an elevated way that felt luxurious and harmonious.”


To ensure this harmony, the designer used a palette of white, black, grey and taupe colours, supplemented with accents in gold and cream in all three spaces. Prioritizing form, function and easy living, she painted each room’s walls a fresh white hue and laid light-coloured wideplank hardwood floors to create a low-maintenance, vacation-like vibe that would entice family to visit and would fit with the homeowners’ everyday life.


For the primary suite, McMullen transformed the original 1980s pink floral decor into a modern wonder. A wood-fluted accent wall and a starburst-shaped ceiling light inject texture and fun. Seamless built-in custom closets add storage; a cream Venetian plaster-encased gas fireplace adds warmth. Dashes of McMullen’s imaginative spirit can be seen in the crisp grey and white bedding, the sumptuous seating, a lush area rug, the pendant bedside lighting, and the fluffy pompom-adorned pillows. Hanging adjacent to the bed, an enormous multimedia painting replete with rope and paper lends an air of calm sophistication. “It needed to be spectacular,” says McMullen of her choice of original artwork. “The client is a big personality who embraces life, and an original piece like this reflects that energy and gives the space soul.”


This grounded energy extends into the ensuite bathroom. Warm and earthy-toned bookmatched porcelain wall tiles are positioned perfectly above the floor’s soothing grey hexagonal tiles. Hints of black, from the rainshower head to the porcelain inshower bench, create contrast that, when combined with the vanity’s sleek grey countertop, offer just the right amount of elegance.


That refined elegance carries over into the adult children’s ensuite where the shower’s zebra-esque streaked porcelain tiles are the showstopper. “The client came to us because she was told we could stretch her imagination,” says McMullen. “We fell in love with this stone, knew it was outside her comfort zone, but shared it with her anyway. She connected with it bang on.” Black and white details reign in the adjoining bedroom on the bed’s throw pillows and in the artwork. “The organic abstract prints take up almost an entire wall, they’re so grand,” says McMullen. “I love the drama of their white art gallery matting.”


Down the hall, a playful kind of drama resides within the grandchildren’s suite. There’s the arts and crafts table in the corner, and a regal-looking stuffed lion holds court beside the two matching queen-size custom-made beds. Crafted with washable light grey vinyl headboards and fabric bases, they’re certain to stand the test of time. And, of course, McMullen has added inviting whimsical touches, including graphic-print throw pillows, marble arched lamps, curved side tables, irregular shaped metal-framed accent mirrors, a cushy sofa and plush sheepskin rugs.


Inside the ensuite bathroom, large-scale porcelain tiles in clean white, black, and earth tones cover the shower-bath’s walls. Knobby, black-framed mirrors nestled above the white vanity reflect the artwork that hangs on two of the bathroom’s walls. Each print features a drawing of an animal with a black and white vintage camera. “They’re playful and have a lot of personality,” McMullen says, adding, “I’ve sold this series to adults, so I know the kids will grow with it.” Which was exactly the homeowner’s goal. “After all,” the designer says, laughing, “when parents make their homes this incredible, it’s like bribery to get their family to visit.”