Alison Milne is well-known for her contemporary and discerning eye. So when we find out the design pro was making over her own house, we wanted to get a sneak peek from the ground up. Click here to see the before pictures of her #projectamdhouse which is being fuelled by her passion for design — and her own needs and instincts for her family.
We sat down and chatted with the designer in the very un-glamourous total gut stage for her home, to see what’s brewing in her design masterplan for her new home.
Home Tour: If These Walls Could Talk
Modern meets family-friendly.
“I’ve fine-tuned my appreciation for child-friendly homes. There’s so much to consider when I’m designing for a family, especially my own. For example, I won’t consider all glass doors; all those fingerprints are a nightmare to keep clean. However, I also believe you shouldn’t design for what you want; just think about using durable or kid-friendly materials instead.”
Alison is inspired by the Bauhaus movement and it’s ethos of modern and functional design…
…reflected in this rendering of her new custom kitchen by Paus Inc. woodwork and design. (Look moms: Just for kids, there’s wood finishes, read: no fingerprints, or potentially messy open shelves).
What’s in a tile?
According to this designer, serious potential. “When I was looking for tiles, there was nothing I felt close to. Then I was cooking one night and I took a second look at this pretty salt pot by ceramic artist Grace Lee [based in Vancouver, Grace helms up Eikcam handmade ceramics). I called her to find out if she made tiles and she said, ‘I’d love to but I don’t have the right equipment’. I love her work so much that today we’re in business and creating a tile collection together, which I will be using in the kids’ bathroom.”
The result. Spare, gorgeous and minimally chic 4″ x 4″ tiles.
Art & Soul
Although Alison’s sensibility is streamlined, she’s also a gallery owner who embraces the unexpected. “I get that modern design can get really serious and I that’s why I love Marcel Dzama’s work. I love that he’s Canadian. I love how playful his work is and he inspires me to experiment with colour and texture and bring elements of surprise into my designs.”
Marcel Dzama: Sower of Discord is a tribute to the artist featuring over 500 images of his work. Known for his muted palette…
…which Alison has brought to life in an exclusive collection of Belgian linens with a luxurious weight and texture available only to her clients.
“I feel like children and nature have this special relationship and this book brings that connection to life for me. It’s inspired me to bring the outdoors in, in whatever way possible.”
Hide and Seek: The Architecture of Cabins and Hide-Outs is a go-to source for Alison even though she lives in the big smoke.
She’s bringing the outside in with Douglas Fir hardwood floors from Moncer that are sustainably harvested from Germany’s Black Forest. “We were lucky and didn’t have too many surprises once we gutted the place and were able to use our contingency budget for upgrades like a seamless floor. The planks are 14″ wide and 21′ long.”
What’s On Order
A rustic-inspired sculptural sink (above) and bathtub (below) handcrafted from Spanish company, Inbani. With the subtle roll top edge,both are inspired by antique metal designs.
The dreamiest couch ever: The Fly Sofa from Space Copenhagen available at Toronto’s own Mjolk.
Soft contours courtesy of these ceramic ceiling lights from Brit-based Devol Kitchens.