Home Decor

Before & after: A bright home makeover with a budget

Feasby & Bleeks refresh old furnishings and invest in new accent pieces to pull off a bright home makeover. A living room and kitchen go from drab to vibrant.
By Kathleen Dore
Before & after: A bright home makeover with a budget

Photo, Sian Richards.

Bright Idea - Feasby & Bleeks

Express your personality with colour and fabric

With a colourful palette and luxe accessories, design firm Feasby & Bleeks brings a sedate Toronto home to life.

New fabrics in hot, chic hues like cobalt blue and coral make a big splash in the living room and reflect the homeowner’s love of fashion. Circular and geometric patterns add to the graphic look.

Coffee tables, Shelter Furniture. Rug, accessories, floor lamps, gold pillows, West Elm. Fabric for sofa, drapery, chairs, Bilbrough. Blue linen and blue velvet throw pillow fabric, Designer Fabrics.

Photo, Sian Richards.

living-room-family-room-colourful-feasby-bleeksExpress your personality with colour and fabric

Save and splurge

The coral fabric was a designer splurge, but painting the frames of these wooden chairs cost very little and made for a fresh, stylish update.

Custom refinishing (chairs and mirrors), Benjamin Furniture Refinishing. Pillows on chairs, HomeSense. Stool, Hollace Cluny. Painting by Yoakim Bélanger, Thompson Landry.

Photo, Sian Richards.

lounge-livingroom-fireplace-seating-before-after-feasby-bleeksSave and splurge


Transform a room with wallpaper

“The wallpaper in the dining room was an early find that helped achieve the neutral grey accent and made a huge impact,” says Erin. “With the ornate chandelier, it’s an eclectic mix, but the rest is modern.” The owner’s previous white chairs were too stark in the space, so Erin chose charcoal ones with a slimmer profile—now eight can sit comfortably at the table.

Tip: Try a round or square table in smaller spaces.

Wallpaper, Lee Jofa. Plates, cutlery, bowls, vases, West Elm. Glassware, HomeSense.

Photo, Sian Richards.

dining-room-before-after-feasby-bleeksTransform a room with wallpaper

Perk up a dark front hallway

A bright, bold area rug, an oversized mirror that multiplies light and a view to new glass doors open the space up; new light-toned floors everywhere brighten and unify. A gallery of family photos personalizes the home at the front door.

Oliver Yaphe area rug, Hollace Cluny. Mirror, Restoration Hardware. Hardwood flooring, Torlys.

Photo, Sian Richards.

hallway-foyer-before-after-feasby-bleeksPerk up a dark front hallway

Stick with neutral colours for big-ticket pieces

Choose grounded colours like grey, beige and cream for expensive purchases like sofas and chairs. Think of these items as the blank canvas for your room. It’s easy (and less expensive) to quickly update a room by switching out accessories like throw pillows and rugs.

Tip: Repeat accent colours in everything from rugs to pillows and flowers.

Sofa, chair, Elte. Pink cusions, Hollace Cluny. Coffee table, side table, Crate & Barrel. Drapery fabric, Bilbrough. Rug, Etsy.

Photo, Sian Richards.

glass-doors-living-room-before-afterStick with neutral colours for big-ticket pieces


Kitchen facelift: Switch out your stools and light fixture

Erin kept the existing cabinetry, hardware and kitchen counters, and she updated the space by adding dark French-bistro-style stools and a modern glass pendant light that tie in with the new black-framed doors and family room shelving unit.

Pictured on the left is the previous sitting area adjacent to the open-concept kitchen.

Windows, doors, Authentic Windows & Doors. Stools, pendant light, Restoration Hardware.

Photo, Sian Richards.

kitchen-island-barstools-couch-before-after-feasby-bleeksKitchen facelift: Switch out your stools and light fixture

Erin Feasby's tips for stretching any makeover budget

Steal from other rooms. Erin moved a pair of circle-motif mirrors from the master bedroom to the living room, where they have a greater effect.

Shop the big-box stores. They have so many budget-friendly options for fun, decorative accessories, from throw pillows to side tables.

Give furniture new life with paint. Erin refreshed familiar pieces, like the mirrors and the bergère chairs in the living room, and an antique armoire in the dining room, by simply repainting them.

Shop online. The fuchsia area rug in the living room is from Etsy. “That was a great find,” says Erin.

Reuse Key pieces. Before heading out to buy new furniture, take stock of your existing collection. If the shapes work, reupholstering may be a less expensive option.

Pictured are Feasby & Bleeks Design principal partners, Erin Feasby and Cindy Bleek.

Photo, Sian Richards.

feasby-and-bleeks-before-and-afterErin Feasby's tips for stretching any makeover budget

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