National Post .  Jun 22 2006 . By Lisa Van de Ven

Cedarbrook’s feel-good family home:
Design maximizes space, makes kids’ rooms light and bright

Styled to accommodate a family of five, the Cedarbrook model home at Monarch’s Neighbourhood Gardens combines contemporary and traditional design for a warm, kid-friendly look.

“I would say, in terms of design, it’s a crossover,” says Cedarbrook’s designer Janice Wilson, of Janice Wilson Design. “It’s basically a bit of a hybrid — a bit of contemporary with traditional.”

Ms. Wilson keeps the main spaces of the 1,853-square-foot townhouse neutral, with medium-toned hardwood flooring and shades of white and ivory on the walls. In the kitchen, she pairs those with cabinetry in a medium hue, with warm neutral granite countertops, as well as a tumbled-marble backsplash and ceramic tile floors. An eating area features a simple table of dark wood, with benches instead of traditional chairs, upholstered in a textured material of muted greens and creams. “I chose to do benches in there because it was flexible enough to be able to slide kids in,” Ms. Wilson says. “It didn’t take up a lot of space, so it maximizes the space in the kitchen.”

A separate dining area is located off the living room, with another simple dark-wood table, the chairs around it upholstered in neutral fabric with a textural element for added interest. The living room has a beige-toned sofa with two large-scale arm chairs, also in neutral shades, while a glass-topped coffee table has a lacquered espresso-toned base and houses four ottomans underneath. “You can pull them apart and have additional seating that way,” the designer says.

In addition to an upstairs floor, there are two more levels of living space downstairs. In the first, Ms. Wilson designed a TV room with a taupe-toned casual sofa, as well as an Asian-inspired powder room. At the lowest level, she’s created a home office, designing it entirely with Ikea furniture, with a work station and storage for files, as well as a chair for reading. “The space, for the size of it, works extremely well,” the designer says.

Upstairs, Ms. Wilson has laid out bedroom space for a family of five, with one room designed as a nursery in soft blue tones featuring a crib, changing table and arm chair. Another room is devoted to two young children, with bunk beds and a colourful bug theme. The room features shades of lime green, bright pink and accents of purple, with bug decals and flowers hanging from the ceiling. “It’s fun,” Ms. Wilson says. “It’s light and bright.”

The master bedroom features a more neutral style, with an upholstered velvet headboard in chocolate brown paired with soft brown and cream bedding. Silk drapes are also designed in panels of cream and chocolate.

“It’s really a feel-good family home,” Ms. Wilson says of the entire model. “When you walk in there, it’s your home.”