Before making a move into interior design, Jennifer Backstein was a teacher.
“It didn’t really seem like the right fit for me so before I had my children I decided to go back to school,” the midtown-based interior decorator said from a café in North Toronto.
Backstein, who officially made the career switch by launching Jennifer Backstein Interiors eight years ago, describes her style as contemporary classic. She focuses on incorporating design elements that are sophisticated, chic and glamorous.
“I want to provide my clients with individual spaces, not something that I repeat over and over,” she said. “It’s more about reflecting their desires and needs.”
For design inspiration for fall, Backstein said homeowners can expect a shift towards lighter floors.
“For a long time we’ve been seeing the dark, deep-toned colours in floors,” she said. “Light, fresh, honey-toned woods are making a big comeback.”
Backstein suggests cherry and oak as good options for those seeking to install lighter flooring. In addition to floors, she said, this trend could also be applied to built-in furniture like shelving units.
“It’s more refreshing,” she said.
Adding elements of navy blue throughout the home is another design idea for the season. It can be applied to walls, through paint or wallpaper, in furniture and tiles.
“It’s the new black, in my opinion,” she said. “It’s sophisticated, classic and timeless.”
A move from polished nickel and silver to brass finishes is also becoming more popular.
“You are going to see a lot of brass being used in kitchen faucets, kitchen hardware, lighting fixtures and bathroom hardware,” she said. “It adds warmth.”
Mixing metals is not only on trend for the season, but it also serves to make rooms more visually interesting.
“People often think, oh I have chrome fixtures so I can’t now add brass lighting,” she said. “Not true at all.”
How-to tastefully inject trends
Interior decorator Jennifer Backstein said the secret to incorporating design trends throughout a home is to not go overboard.
“You want to acknowledge that there are trends but you don’t want to go full gamut,” she said. “You want to approach it where you don’t go and do the whole house or the whole room.”
Limiting trends to accessories for example, brings new life to a room without creating a space that can quickly become dated with yesterday’s styles. Backstein suggests focusing on pillows, blankets, walls and paint colour.
“Paint is cheap and you can always change it,” she said. “You want to stick to timeless, classic design.”
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