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A Contemporary & Comfortable New Modern Home

Posted on April 28, 2020 by KylieMawdsley
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These days, it seems I’m spending more time at my computer than ever working with my Online Consulting clients all over the world! This means that while I love to be able to drink wine coffee while I work, I’m ALWAYS happy to get out of the house and talk to live people (rather than Doug…the dog).

My clients, Lisa and Brian Birnie were the dream team. They knew what they liked, and what they didn’t like, and were open to new ideas. Creating their home was all about blending their tastes with my knowledge, to come up with a design plan that suited them to a tee.

Contemporary living room. Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, tile fireplace surround with floating hearth and linear gas insert. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and Design Online and local in Nanaimo BC

Working with Alair Homes and my new BFF, Dan (who is like the Rainman of home building and renovation), this home exceeded all expectations in quality and appearance and I know the homeowners were thrilled with the final product – it even got its own magazine feature!  I may have had to buy Dan’s love via Starbucks coffee, but hey, I’ve done way worse things for love (wink wink).

So without further ado, let’s check this bad boy out…



My client’s dream was to build a home that’s modern, but not cold. To get things started we needed to create a foundation palette with the exterior colors, including Hardi Board in Cobblestone with dark accent areas in Sherwin Williams Black Fox. Along with black windows and a bit of stone for texture, we got ‘er done…

Contemporary exterior with hardiboard in Cobblestone, black windows, trim and Black Fox siding. Kylie M Interiors Colour Consultant

Hardiboard Cobblestone with black trim and stone exterior. Garage doors and black soffits. Kylie M Interiors

Contemporary exterior with James Hardi Cobblestone siding, black front door, soffits and stone. Kylie M INteriors E-design

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Lisa and Brian had a vision of an entryway and dining room that were separated by beams. And while the whole ‘cedar beam’ thing is on-trend, they wanted something a bit more contemporary. So, rather than hittin’ it West Coast Style, we went more modern with drywall and paint color and let the architecture speak for itself.

Dining Room and Entryway, foyer. Black modern front door, Sherwin Williams Repose Gray and tile inlay. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and Design

The home’s layout didn’t allow for a large entryway, plus the owners have a more extensive mudroom access off the garage.

Open layout contemporary design living room and dining room, entryway, foyer with beams. Sherwin Williams gray paint colours. Kylie M Interiors E-decor and Online Color Consulting


The dining room is a nice step off the entryway. The entire open layout palette consists of layered grays from the Sherwin-Williams palette with colorful accents.



With photography by their talented daughter, Jessie Robertson, the dining room makes a statement all of its own…

Sherwin Williams Dovetail, a warm gray paint colour. Photography by Jessie Robertson. Kylie M INteriors color consultant and e-decor specialist

Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray in dining room

We chose Sherwin Williams Dovetail for the dining room to add some depth and drama, without weighing the room down. Now PERSONALLY, with all of the hard edges in here – tile, wood, furniture, light fixture, canvas, I would LOVE to see some upholstered chairs, but that can be a project for down the road!



I DO love the layout of this home. It has just enough definition to create well-defined functions from space to space but is open enough to feel bright, spacious, and visually connected. We can thank Austin of Datum Point Studios for the fabulous home plan/architecture.

Tile 2 storey fireplace. Sherwin Williams Repose Gray. Contemporary modern fireplace. Gray and yellow colour palette. Kylie M Interiors E-decor and Online Color Consulting

Sherwin Williams Repose Gray with teal and yellow accents in a palette

The living room is painted Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, a flexible but UNPREDICTABLE warm shade of gray. It’s a badass complement to the gorgeous ceiling-height tiled gas fireplace. The large, 24×24 tiles are more to scale with the size of this living room compared to a 12×12 or 24×24. The square shape also helps break up the linear lines of the fireplace and floating hearth.

And here’s the kitchen as viewed between the dining and living rooms…

Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, best warm gray paint colours. Vaulted ceiling, dark wood flooring, open layout. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting

The outer wall areas are Repose Gray, with the kitchen walls painted the ever-lovely Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray. This is another muted, stormy shade of gray with flexible (yet slightly unpredictable) undertones.

The kitchen also offers a nice peek-a-boo view into the dining room…

How to choose the best paint colour for a 2 storey room or tall wall with vaulted ceilings. Sherwin Williams Dovetail and Repose Gray, white kitchen by Kylie M Interiors

The white kitchen cabinets are a factory color, very similar to Sherwin Williams High Reflective White. The island, well, it’s a color unto itself. I would say Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray is the closest match.

Open layout kitchen with white cabinets, gray island, Cambria Quartz Ellesmere countertop, black pendants and dark wood flooring. Kylie M Interiors

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And don’t mind the dusty floors, this was obviously a ‘pre-move-in’ photo and I didn’t have my cleanin’ pants on.

Kylie M Interiors

OH WAIT, MAYBE I DID!  Look, Mom, my cleanin’ pants! (and yes, she is going to kill me for putting this photo in that SHE TOOK, but really, it IS my best side…)

Contemporary white kitchen with gray painted island in Cambria Ellesmere. Dark wood floors and Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray. Kylie M Interiors E-decor and virtual design

Lisa wanted to incorporate her existing white buffet, but in its existing wood finish, it was too dated looking. HOWEVER, painting it the same shade of white as the cabinets helps it become part of the palette while adding a personal touch that means something to the homeowner.

Lisa also has a mad love for teal accents, which comes through in her furnishings and accessories!

Contemporary open layout living room, kitchen and dining room. Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and E-decor services

Cambria Ellesmere black quartz island countertop, dramatic pendant lights in contemporary home with tall tiled fireplace with linear gas insert. Kylie M Interiors Decor and Design

The kitchen countertop and island are topped with Cambria Ellesmere, a striking black, brown, gray, and white blend quartz countertop.

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Early on, we decided to open up the stairwell so that as you were walking down, you’d see down into the wine room/family room – it was an expensive, but smart choice!

Stairway that is opened up to see into the wine room that is under the stairs. Wood stairs and gray walls. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and Design, E-decor services

Wine room and storage under the stairs. Open with glass doors and tile wall. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and Design. Online Consulting and Local services

Opening up the wall makes for a graphic detail, which is WAY more fun to look at than plain old drywall! And if you look juuuust to the left, you can see the bed that they’ve made for me – I live in the wine room now.

Contemporary stairwell with glass and dark wood. Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray. Wine room under stairs. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and Design. E-decor and Consulting Online

And in a world full of homes with light wood flooring, it’s SO nice to see some floors with a bit of meat on their bones!



The stacked stone fireplace in the family room is a nice balance to the dark espresso built-in cabinets and floating shelves created by Krystalyne at Mid Island Cabinets (official creative genius).

E-decor and Online Decorating Services. Beautiful ledgestone, travertine fireplace with Tv above, dark wood mantel and built-in bookshelves wtih 2 cream accent chairs. Kylie M Interiors

Contemporary, modern fireplace with dark wood built-ins and floating shelves with travertine ledgestone. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and Design, E-decor

Contemporary, modern fireplace with ledgestone, tv, mantel and built in bookshelves. Kylie M Interiors E-decor, decorating and design services

We used this same dark, espresso-stained wood for the bar area while repeating the countertop from the kitchen…

Home bar or wine station with fridge and sink. Dark espresso cabinets and wood floor. Kylie M Interiors Decorating, Design and E-decor services

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With an ocean view, the master bedroom is a restful retreat, equipped with a walk-in closet, laundry room, and a beautiful ensuite bathroom.

Master bedroom, Benjamin Moore Collingwood with Escarpment feature, accent wall. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and E-design

For the bedroom, we went with Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist on the main walls, with a shift to Escarpment on the headboard/accent wall (warm gray with a violet undertone). And being the glam gal that she is, Lisa opted for some shiny side tables, lamps, and mirrors to add some bling!

Master bedroom with Benjamin Moore Escarpment and Collingwood. Kylie M Interiors E-design

Benjamin Moore Escarpment with Collingwood feature wall. Teal accent chair and glam style.Kylie M Interiors Online Color Consultant and e-decor

Master bedroom with laundry room in walk in closet with sliding bar door. Paint colour Benjamin Moore Collingwood. Kylie M interiors decorating and design online

The primary bedroom palette is a range of soft, warm gray neutrals that flow seamlessly into the ensuite bathroom, as well as the laundry room, which is VERY HANDILY, right off the bedroom.



I love this bathroom and always will…

Best gray paint colour, Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist and Escarpment in bedroom and bathroom. Dark wood flooring. Glam style. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting

Whether it’s the walk-thru shower, soaker tub, ocean view, or natural light, this bathroom hits all my happy places for a well-rounded loo…

Bathroom with floating gray vanity, Cambria quartz countertop Kirkstead. Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, large mirror. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and Design Online and Nanaimo

The bathroom palette consists of a soft warm gray on the walls, hexagon marble accent tile, and porcelain that looks like marble (a great way to save money AND maintenance).

Bathroom with marble walk in shower, hexagon tile floor, alcove, freestanding tub, window. Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore. Design by Kylie M Interiors. E-decor, online design services

To see more of the bathroom, check out this blog post…A Contemporary Marble Bathroom – Ultimate Luxury



This home boasts three other bathrooms – one for each guest room and a powder room upstairs.



Just look at that freakin’ countertop – so gorgeous! It’s Cambria Galloway, a beautiful blend of neutral colors, glitz, and earth-toned green.

Small bathroom decorating idea. Glass mosaic tile on wall behind vanity. Cambria Galloway. Kylie M Interiors. E-decor and Online Color consulting. Based in Nanaimo Bc

Cambria Galloway with Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White in small bathroom with mosaic tile. Kylie M Interiors

Now, in updating this blog post (I try to update posts every few years) it must be noted that trends have shifted FAR AWAY from this linear, glass mosaic tile look. Tile trends have shifted gears considerably and this look wouldn’t be installed in a new bathroom.



Now, whereas the above accent tile isn’t trendy anymore, this next accent tile is far more timeless. With a smaller scale pattern and a bit of mother of pearl, this tile has more longevity (but the only type of tile that will REALLY last for this type of application is subway tile or marble (for the average home).

Small bathroom with walk in shower. Glass doors, fibreglass base, mosaic tile niche and large porcelain wall tiles. Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray. Kylie M Interiors

Close up of mosaic tile niche in shower with mother of pearl and large greige porcelain wall tile. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and Design blog



Lisa and Brian wanted this bathroom to be a little jewel box with a bit of glitz, without going over the top.

Small bathroom, powder room, floating vanity. Cambria Galloway quartz countertop.Graphic wallpaper.Kylie M Interiors E-decor, Online Design Consulting (1 (2)

Small bathroom with graphic geometric wallpaper. Quartz countertop Cambria Galloway.Kylie M Interiors E-decor and Online Decorating and consulting

Powder room, small bathroom with Galloway quartz countertop, graphic wallpaper, mirror and pendants. KYlie M Interiors

Again, Cambria Galloway looks STUNNING with the graphic wallpaper. While I’m more of a ‘muted countertop girl’ myself, I appreciate this countertop for its visual interest, and more importantly – my clients LOVE IT!


Do you want help with YOUR dream home? 

Check out my Online Consulting and E-Design Services

The best paint colors for your room. Benjamin and Sherwin. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting. Home Decorating and diiy ideas blogger.market

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature



  1. Kylie, you did an awesome job!!! Breathtaking!!! so color coordinated, you nailed my taste.

    Random question, Where was the rug purchased? or where can I find similar?

    Thx in advance.

    1. Post
    1. Post

      Thank you Lauren, it was actually a brand supplied by the cabinet company. It would be somewhere in between BM Amherst Gray and SW Gauntlet Gray 🙂

  2. Hi Kylie, What color is the exterior paint and trim? I’m thinking of doing SW Origami White with Extra White window trim and tricorn black facia. Possibly Greek Villa with the same trim colors. I’m going nuts comparing whites. Thanks in advance! Laura

  3. Kylie,

    Is the color of the cabinets in Guest Bathroom #1 Aesthetic White? Or is it the walls? Or both? I am considering Aesthetic White for my kitchen cabinets. It seems like a nice neutral but am fearful it may have pink undertones.

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      Hi Cathy! It’s on the walls. You know, I want you to sample it. Do a nice big sample in the right finish (usually satin) and see how you feel. Admittedly, it can look WARMER in real-life than it does in that photo, but rarely flashes pink.

  4. Hi Kylie, for the powder room was the ceiling lighter or the same color as the wallpaper? We’re planning to go dark in our powder room (dark walls with possibly lighter wainscoting) and are trying to decide if we want to paint the ceiling the same as the wallpaper. Thank you!

    1. Post

      Oooo, that’s a good question, it was several years ago, so I don’t remember. HOWEVER, I would suggest it being the same as the wallpaper normally, BUT, with lighter wainscoting I might hesitate. If the wainscoting is white and the wallpaper has some white in it, I might leave the ceiling white.

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