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Adding Design Depth and Character with Designer Rebecca Hay

For a recent project in the Lindvest community of North Oakville, Ontario, interior designer Rebecca Hay, founder and creative director of eponymous design firm, used antiquities and items with character to add layers of interest and dimension to reinvent a newly constructed home. “Oak Park was one of our first big projects where we wanted to focus on becoming more sustainable within the industry,” says the Toronto–based designer. “We wanted to help lower our carbon footprint and support our local vendors. We made a special trip to the Aberfoyle Antique Market where we found some amazing pieces, like our beautiful wicker chairs for the living room, as well as shopped at some of our local consignment stores.”

Collected hats from a local antique market hang in the front entry.
Collected hats from a local antique market hang in the front entry.

To execute her vision, Hay blended old with new with an artful mix of lighting and fabrics. “I always wanted this new build to feel curated and have elements that made it feel lived in with items that seem to have been collected over time,” she explains. “Our design inspiration was to bring that cozy cottage vibe to a brand new home. We used vintage and fun light fixtures and fabrics to help keep the overall look fun and fresh, but also with a little twist of traditional and nautical which makes anyone feel welcome and warm while exploring each room.”

The kitchen with a blue island and banquette, and natural elements such as woven pendant lamps.
The kitchen with a blue island and banquette, and natural elements such as woven pendant lamps.

Hay also continued the serene palette throughout with light tones of green and blue. “The overall vision for this space was to make it feel coastal and inviting,” says Hay. “We wanted the space to of course feel sophisticated, but with a softer, more cozy edge to it. The soft blues and neutral colors keep the space feeling calming and fresh.”

The tranquil master retreat and the Master
The tranquil master retreat with an upholstered headboard, cane bench, and brass sconces with woven shades | The Master bath with a coastal-inspired chandelier and blue-and-white drapes

In the living room, Hay chose brass sconces and a modern chandelier to anchor the space, and hand-selected antique and vintage items from side tables to a rocking chair. “The art, coffee table, and side table were all antique finds from various places,” explains Hay. “The coffee table is an original mahogany piece that we found at a consignment store and had it professionally painted the warm light grey. I love to repurpose old finds to give them a new life. The Jude sofa in Dublin Dove is from Elte Mkt.”

Hay's cozy, but inviting living room design
Hay’s cozy, but inviting living room design
The light-filled hallway
The light-filled hallway
A living space defined by "Carnival" wallpaper by Christopher Farr Cloth
A living space defined by “Carnival” wallpaper by Christopher Farr Cloth

For a playful, yet sophisticated design element with a pop of added color, Hay added whimsical botanical wallpaper in one of the entertaining spaces complete with a white piano. “I’m obsessed with this bold-printed “Carnival” wallpaper by Christopher Farr Cloth available through Lee Jofa,” says Hay. “I had been waiting for the right space to use it and this seemed like the perfect fit. The rich blue and green tones energize this piano room while tying into the soft blue palette of the living room.”

The staircase appointed with framed botanical prints
The staircase appointed with framed botanical prints

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