West Springs Family Home


We're so excited to share the ins and outs of this project in Calgary's West Springs neighbourhood. We created a space for our clients that they can show off to friends but that is also family friendly. In this Sanctuary post, we show you how we developed a simple but bold colour palette, mixed metals and wood finishes, and created an unforgettable focal point. Scroll to the bottom for the transformative before-and-after shots.


At our initial complimentary consultation with our clients, they said they wanted a design that would wow their guests but would also feel inviting—and everything had to be kid and pet friendly. The "wow" factor might make you think of those grandiose designs you see online that are so stunning you'd be worried to actually hang out there for fear of damaging the magazine-worthy space. We didn't want this space to feel that way. We wanted it to be the perfect balance of elevated style and family living. "Living" is the important word here—your home is meant to be lived in! You can't walk around in a bubble suit, for heaven's sake. Now you might be thinking, "Kids and white sofas are NOT my idea of relaxing family time!" Ha ha! That's fair! But we selected fabrics that give you peace of mind, whether you're entertaining friends or finger painting. The fabric we chose for the custom upholstered sofas has a treatment applied to it that protects it from all the colourful messes that come with a life well lived. You know those infomercials where the salesperson pours ketchup and mustard all over the white fabric with no repercussions? We've done this, and we were amazed. No stains! We also selected an area rug that won't show every tiny crumb or dog hair. 


Design Details

Colour Palette, Mixing Metals and Wood Finishes, Focal Point

Colour Palette

We love the strong contrast of the space: dark wood finishes, bright white paint, and white kitchen cabinetry and countertops. We kept this high-contrast theme in the dining room and island seating area, but in the living room, we added deep royal blue to the palette with velvet occasional chairs (one of our 2017 favourites!), a vintage-style Turkish rug, and accent pillows. This colour palette is summarized perfectly in the art we selected. The artist used various blue and aqua tones, browns, and gold leaf. We complemented the artwork by adding gold details to the space with the accent table and coffee-table accessories. The metal details add warmth, texture, and colour.


Mixing Metals and Wood Finishes

We incorporated various metallic textures into the space. The accent table is polished gold with a vintage finish, and the console tables flanking the fireplace consist of matte wrought iron. Mixing metals like this creates a rich atmosphere with more depth and interest. The natural iron adds to the high contrast of the space and helps the gold accents gain a stronger pop of colour. Clients are sometimes worried about mixing metals, but it really adds a lot to a design. We typically recommend sticking to two metals, where one is the prominent tone and the second is more of an accent. 

The same rules that apply to mixing metals can be applied to wood finishes. We don't usually recommend incorporating more than two wood finishes, but we can change our minds depending on the size of the space and the style you're going for. For this space we used a coffee table with a lighter finish, which adds a different tone to the colour palette and creates interest. Incorporating natural wood tones into your space adds warmth and a sense of being grounded.


Focal Point

We're so glad our clients didn't want a TV in their main-floor living space (a major deterrent to design possibilities). This allowed us more flexibility and creativity to create a clean yet stunning focal point around the fireplace. Instead of simply hanging artwork over the fireplace, we decided to work with the symmetry of the layout and flank the fireplace with two art pieces and two narrow console tables. This made for a larger focal point that takes up the entire wall.


You might know this about us, but we LOVE when our clients opt for custom drapery. The stationary drapes in this room not only softly frame the window, but they create their own focal point and "finish" the space. 


This area rug is perfect for a living space where you want to entertain and hang out with the family. Because of the antiqued/worn-in style, the rug creates a cozy, inviting feel—and it hides dirt and messes really well.


We absolutely LOVE these accent chairs. The rich colour and velvet feel adds a lot of luxe to this space. These chairs are a focal point on their own. To complement them, we added the same colour in the area rug. 


We mixed up form in the dining area by incorporating two different dining chairs at either end of the table. This is a nice way to add interest to a formal dining area without adding to the colour palette. The colour and legs of the chairs are all similar, so the overall arrangement is not disjointed.


To create a "landing space" in the entryway, we simply added a tufted bench and full-length window-paned mirror. Our clients can now sit down to put on their shoes and get a first and last look on their way in and out.


We love adding wallpaper to a powder room. What a nice surprise to open the door and be met with a floor-to-ceiling print rather than the same paint colour as the rest of the home. We often suggest completing the entire room with wallpaper, but going with one wall is more budget-friendly and makes a statement all the same. This print was perfect for this space because it ties in to the overall monochromatic palette, yet we upped the energy by adding the pops of orange. 

Before & After Shots

Living After

Living After

Living Before

Living Before

Living & Dining Before

Living & Dining Before

Living & Dining After

Living & Dining After

Powder Room After

Powder Room After

Powder Room Before

Powder Room Before


So! What do you think? Anything you would do differently? We love discussing different options with our design-savvy followers. Leave us a comment below to get the chat started!