Welcome home: Neutrals provide a comfortable space for family living via GoodLife Magazine

Crisp, clean and simple. Comfortable and welcoming. That was Sara Gallo’s goal when she recently revamped her

Woodbridge home of 12 years, replacing a colour scheme of warm greens and golds with a more neutral palette.

The exterior of the house sets the stage. The landscaping features evergreens and elegant red beech. A stone walkway leads to a custom dark wooden door.

The inside reflects that same attention to detail.

Handy husband Tony is responsible for the wainscoting that wraps the walls of the open-concept main floor. Painted a crisp white, it works with the medium-toned glossy oak floors and subtly grey walls (Benjamin Moore Regal, Silver Satin OC-26) to create a warm, welcoming space.

Curved walls, columns and wide staircase give a sense of grandeur to what Sara describes modestly as a pretty average suburban home.

In the formal living room, furniture and accessories in shades of cream and tan add softness to the space. A large gold mirror adds a touch of vintage glamour—and helps to make this space seem larger, says Sara.

The kitchen shows how a mix of traditional and modern elements can bring interest and personality to a neutral space. The Gallos went with a traditional style of cabinetry, but mixed things up a bit with white cabinets along the walls and black for the large island. The pattern in the granite counters and natural stone floors provides texture. The backsplash features classic marble in a more contemporary linear tile pattern.

The kitchen table combines traditional styling with a more modern black finish and the crystal and black chandelier adds a bit of drama.

“I decided on this palette because I love the contrast between black and white,” says Sara.
The family room, located next the kitchen, is the heart of the home.

Comfortable couches gathered around the fireplace and large screen television and baskets of toys speak to the time the family of five spends in this room. Natural light streams in through California shutters on the large windows. Again, the colour scheme is warm and neutral.

The Gallos prefer purchasing Canadian-built furniture when possible, citing The Brick and Decorium as two sources. For the final touches, HomeSense is their go-to store.

The formal dining room is perhaps most traditional space in the home (although Sara confesses she has plans to revamp it as well). For now, the space has an ornately carved table and chairs lit by a classically shaped chandelier.
The Gallos’ warm, neutral style flows seamlessly up the staircase to the second storey. “It is important for me to keep colours consistent,” says Sara. “It’s more soothing to the eye.”

The hall bathroom features two vessel sinks on dark vanities against a tiled wall that mimics the stone of the floor.

The children’s rooms reflect their own personalities. Daughter Stefanie for example has a definite French feel with cream painted furniture, toile-covered chair, textured white bedspread and Eiffel tower accents.

An uncluttered space decorated in greys, the master suite is comfortable and calming.

“I picked a grey colour for the room because I find it to be very soothing and calm especially after a long day,” says Sara.

Simple accessories, including a chandelier, lamps, candles and slipper chairs, boost the comfort level.

The master bath is spacious and luxurious, with room for a generous soaker tub and large glassed shower. The sculpted limestone sinks that sit atop dark wood vanities provide a focal point. And the tile, all in natural tones but in a variety of sizes, on two walls, the floor and tub surround, provide warmth and texture.

“I like the natural stone because it makes the bathroom feel warmer. It’s almost a spa inspiration. I find the colours complement my bedroom furniture well,” Sara says.

The Gallo home combines traditional elements with a modern open concept and neutral colour scheme to create a welcoming space for family and guests alike.

(Note: Names have been changed at request of the homeowner.)

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