Produced by Suzanne Dimma
Written by Andrea Mills
Prop Styling by Leah Weber
Photography by Michael Graydon
Dad of Mari-Sol, 9 months
Who he is: A designer and owner, with husband Mario Howard, of Toronto's Flik & Company Interiors, a furniture shop on hip Queen East that is famous for its well-edited, modern-country-with-a-twist style and its beautiful, painted and patinated antiques.
Why we love him: He has a flair for mixing many different styles into an eclectic but unified look that is very of the moment, but still fun and light-hearted. Also, the adoption of Mari-Sol happened very quickly: she was born prematurely, but they managed to put this gorgeous nursery together in less than two weeks.
Construction cost (labour) - $400
Wallpaper found on eBay x2 - $40/roll
Mari-Sol Pink paint x1 - $60/gallon
Crib - $450
Crib bedding - $299
Antique dresser with topper - $695
Angora goat rug - $695
Pottery Barn Kids curtain panels x2 - $60 ea
French custom-upholstered Bergere chair with Waverly poodle fabric - $995
Chandelier - $80
Antique rocking chair - $125
Shelf above changing table - $95
Upholstered cube in Waverly poodle fabric - $495
1920s child's Judy dressform - $695
Tutu on Judy - $25
Eiffel tower lamp - $50 (base), $35 (shade)
Wire Victorian house - $225
Glitter Eiffel tower - $65
Vue Unique Paris Scene - $395
Postcard of Paris - $6
Frame - $13
Paris-influenced pictures x2 - $65
Collection of perfume bottles x3 - $15 ea
GRAND TOTAL - $6,273
(all prices are approximate)
TELL US EVERYTHING!
CF: What was the space before it was a nursery?
Stephen Howard: A completely open loft-like area that served as a den and opened out onto the back deck.
CF: How was it constructed?
SH: We had to have a carpenter build walls and install electrical for the eight by ten room, as well as add the French doors.
CF: What made you choose this style?
SH: A couple of reasons. Paris is where Mario and I decided to be together. We wanted a room with a feminine influence because the rest of the house has a very masculine style.
CF: What is your favourite thing about the nursery?
SH: Mario's is the wallpaper because it is bold and fresh and looks old-world with a mix of contemporary — it was also a great score on eBay. Mine is the Judy wearing a tutu — the hard-edged industrial mixed with over-the-top feminine.
CF: What will happen to the nursery when Mari-Sol outgrows it?
SH: The upper deck outside will become an extension and we will construct a playroom in its place plus a separate bathroom for her. Ideally we will change out the cabinets and dressers for a different look.
CF: What was your biggest budget-saver?
SH: The armoire that Mario's sister, Louise, and brother-in-law custom-built for the room definitely saved money — it is also the most sentimental piece (Mari-Sol's middle name is Louise after her). We weren't trying to save money; we were on a time crunch.
STEPHEN'S GOOD ADVICE
Do what you like, not what you think is necessary. Not everything has to be pristine. Clear-coat old pieces for protection from peeling and potential lead paint.