Hong Kong to Toronto – A Before & After

Glam Transitional Kitchen Interior Design


Immediately upon entry, you are met by a warm and welcoming space that exudes style but also the necessary comforts for family life. With every room thoughtfully furnished, you might think that the family has lived there for years but in reality, they only just arrived!

Most of our clients would agree that although the end result of moving is exciting and rewarding, the process itself is stressful and unpleasant. Packing and moving decor and furniture, in particular, seem to be the root cause of most angst. But in this case, there wasn’t any furniture to begin with. Instead, any stress or angst our clients may have experienced, was likely due to the fact that they were making the incredibly bold decision to move not only to a new city but also to a new country, and without a single piece of furniture or any clue about where to begin!

Shortly after arriving in Canada with their family and finding a home in the Summerhill neighbourhood, a helpful neighbour suggested that our clients get in touch with Homekin to aid them in the process of personalizing and furnishing their home.

From our initial consultations, we quickly developed a strong understanding of this family’s personal aesthetic. Coming to Toronto from Hong Kong and having previously lived in London, England, their style is, fittingly, very global. This was demonstrated by their Instagram & Pinterest screen-grab inspirations photos shown above. Their international exposure has clearly influenced the furniture and decor they gravitate towards and also opened up the possibility of refreshing colour that we don’t often see in Toronto. 

Starting with a floor plan for the main floor, we put a plan into motion! The main floor needed to allow for a balance of activities such as; formal dining with friends but also casual weeknight meals with family, movie nights with kids but also entertaining in the evening. The ultimate goal was to create a space that was stylish and reflective of their style but laid out in a way that is functional for a family with two young children.

In the kitchen, a little went a long way! By simply swapping out the original island pendants for two stunning brass fixtures and adding plush, velvet counter stools with pleated details, we were able to create more depth and warmth in the space. Immediately, the kitchen felt elevated and looks, to put it simply, more interesting! For the eat-in area, in keeping with the warm gold tones, we selected two dining chairs that are comfortable but also eye-catching. On the opposite side of the black marble dining table, a black, velvet love seat serves as a luxurious banquet. What felt like a somewhat dull and clinical space is now a comfortable environment for a family to eat breakfast before heading out the door and to share stories from their day during family dinners. 

Just off of the kitchen, sits the family room, overlooking the backyard. The original space, though dull in its original form, presented a lot of opportunity and already featured built-in shelving and cabinetry, which we happily embraced and styled with coffee table books, sculptures, and vases. To add some colour, we selected a sofa in a deep, inky-blue hue, which we paired with two armchairs upholstered in a rich grey textile featuring plenty of texture. With throw pillows, splashes of yellow pick up on the gold tones of the ottoman’s base. Selecting an ottoman versus a more traditional coffee table was also a deliberate decision, as it appealed to our client’s love for layered materials and has the added benefit of comfortable TV viewing with their feet propped up! To finish, we selected a contemporary, abstract area rug to tie everything together. 

For more formal occasions, we kept things sleek and neutral with an elegant dining table and chairs. A dining room isn’t complete though without appropriate lighting though so for ambience and a desirable juxtaposition of materials, we installed a gold-tone chandelier. On a neighbouring wall, a complementary golden hutch, for housing dining essentials, is brought to life with vibrant artwork and glass vases of blue tones.

As the living room is the first space you see upon entry to their home, one of the main focuses of the brief was to create a stunning focal point in the living room to make for an impactful first impression upon entry. Like the rest of the home, there wasn’t anything particularly offensive about the space in its original condition but it lacked the “wow factor” our clients were after. Open to the use of unexpected colours, we proposed making the fireplace the pièce de résistance by adding a dramatic stone slab. After exploring different options, we collectively decided on a stone slab featuring incredible veining of lilac and amethyst. It was this installation that truly informed all the other design decisions in the room.

Upstairs, the luxe-style story continues in the form of a grey, velvet bed frame with an oversized, channelled headboard, flanked by pewter-tone nightstands, featuring marble tops and fabulous grey veining. For lighting, we wanted to create a bit of contrast and bring in more texture with table lamps that have a rough stone texture, and crisp white shades, while a crystal semi-flush mounted fixture adds a touch of sparkle and glamour.

In the girls’ room, we didn’t hold back, as we knew our clients are not shy when it comes to colour and layered textures. To echo the look of their parents’ bedroom, we sourced two twin beds with channelled headboards. A pink and gold wallpaper was mounted as an accent wall and together, the girls share a mid-century modern fluted bedside table and sculptural table lamp. A pink, shag, area rug lies in between the beds for added coziness, while a cut-glass chandelier hangs above for a touch of sophistication. 

If you’re thinking of relocating or making a big move that involves starting from scratch, get in touch to find out how we can help make the process (or at least the decorating part!) seamless and stress-free.