Our Favourite Rooms of 2017

The hallways, bathrooms, patios and kitchens that stood out in our home decor stories from 2017.


When we seek out homes to feature in Avenue, we are looking for spaces that were carefully considered. We want to know how people live in their homes, how they make their design choices and who helps them along the way. The homes are also often an inspiration to us — after this year, we might paint a few walls black or amp up our art collection — but the secret sauce of a great home is making it personal. The 11 homes we toured, photographed and wrote about in 2017 were all designed and decorated to suit the needs of the people who live in them, be it a blended family or an empty nester couple. 


Kimberly Wiebe's living room in her heritage apartment

photograph by jared sych

With help from designer Rob Kurkut, Kimberly Wiebe renovated her apartment in the Anderson Estates. In the living room, the bookshelves were painted lavender to match the walls. Books and antiques were collected over several months to fill the shelves and give you something interesting to look at. Dark wood trim and antique light fixtures stayed true to the era of the heritage building. See more of the space.


​Shaun and Jillian Connell's home office

photograph by jared sych

The room is great, but it is really the wallpaper that is a favourite. It's graphic, it's bold and it's a nice complement to the family home that's mostly white with wood, marble, brushed nickle and glass accents. See more of the space.


Anna and Paul Niemczewski's kid's room in their FAB home

photograph by jared sych

Anna and Paul Niemczewski worked with Housebrand to build a FAB (Future Adaptive Buildings) home. It's custom-built with pre-manufactured components like wall systems and cabinetry that are moveable so the floor plan can be reconfigured. That is especially useful for a family whose needs could change as their two-year-old grows. This is Inez's room, which has plenty of space for her toys (thanks in part to Ikea carts). It fits with the aesthetic of the house, which is black on the outside and white on the inside.  See more of the space.


​Liz and Calvin Helfrich's garage

photograph by jared sych

Empty nesters Liz and Calvin Helfrich built this home from scratch with the goal of making it a gathering place for friends and family. Liz cared most about the kitchen and great-room spaces. Calvin wanted a garage he could hang out in. The 2,500-square-foot garage has two hoists, a granite bar and heated polished-concrete floors. It has a tray ceiling, skylights and a brick accent wall, as well as space for the neon signs, posters and kitsch Calvin collected over the years. See more of the space.


Sarah Ward's library with black walls

photograph by jared sych

This was an office and is now an ad-hoc library. Because it is not a main living space, Ward could be experimental and paint the walls black. The room feels more open and approachable than you might expect with such a dark colour. Owning an Eero Saarinen womb chair was a longtime goal for Ward, so she made it a focal point. The credenza is vintage and the bookcase lets book and magazine covers be part of the decor. It's all part of Ward's high-low design approach. See more of the space.


Aly Sumar's elegant master bathroom

photograph by lori andrews

The design of this bathroom follows the mostly monochromatic look of the rest of the house with the punch of dramatic wallpaper. Elena Del Bucchia designed this home for Aly Sumar so that it looks both effortless and thoughtful with subtle luxury. See more of the space.


​Raman and Laurie Minhas' blended living room

photograph by jared sych

This home was Raman Minhas' bachelor pad until Laurie and her kids moved in. It was renovated and redecorated with classic furniture pieces in light grey that blended their styles — think a little bit West Coast and a little bit Old World.  See more of the space.


​Becky and Colin Feasby's kitchen and patio

photograph by jared sych

To say this is one room is cheating a little bit, but the walls retract so we say that makes it one room. The walls are NanaWalls and open all the way across, making the transition between indoors and outdoors smooth. The Feasby's open the walls as soon as the weather gets warm. See more of the space.


Chris Lemke and Katherine Perez's modern, efficient kitchen

photograph by jared sych

Like the rest of the home, this space is filled with light and custom details. How do they keep it clean? There's a butler's pantry behind the wall of cabinets and built in appliances. Perez calls it her tomorrow kitchen where she can put the pots and pans to soak and deal with the next day. See more of the space.


​Marc Boutin and Allison Morgan's hallway

photograph by jared sych

This hallway is representative of how the adaptable spaces in this house connect. It also shows the idea of creating a blank canvas to display art, which is to be expected when you blend the wishes of architect Marc Boutin and artist Allison Morgan. The sketches on the doors were done by their sons, while the other art was created by Morgan or collected through the years. The cedar ceilings are throughout the house and those skylights are just one way light floods in. See more of the space.


Karen and Ron Ryan​'s dark living room

photograph by jared sych

Karen and Ron Ryan's home is a contrast of white and black to give each a little of what they like. The front room definitely leans toward Ron's preferences for dark wood, luxe fabrics and black everything. It includes artwork the couple has collected and comfy chairs to settle into with a cocktail. The space has the essence of Hollywood Regency. See more of the space.


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