HIGH & LOW

Sav­ing and splurg­ing tips from the nurs­ery to the kitchen

Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - FRONT PAGE - WRIT­TEN BY KELLI CATANA PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY MARK HOLLERON

As a for­mer model turned fash­ion jour­nal­ist and stylist, Erica Wark knows what looks good. And the Erica Wark brand is proof of her suc­cess.

Two years ago, she de­cided to pur­sue her pas­sion for fash­ion, quit her day job and fo­cus on her own busi­ness. And she hasn’t looked back! In ad­di­tion to be­ing the fash­ion ex­pert reg­u­larly fea­tured on the day­time talk show Steven

and Chris, and be­com­ing the face of St. Lau­rent Cen­tre, Erica is now be­ing rec­og­nized na­tion­wide as a fash­ion con­trib­u­tor for ET Canada.

Erica’s stylish touch has made an im­pact on the dé­cor of the new condo she shares with long­time boyfriend, Corey Lau­ry­sen. The pair met and grew up in Carp and in­fused some rus­tic charm from their roots into the slick down­town condo. Their home serves as Erica’s of­fice, so hints of fash­ion are found through­out, with the ter­race serv­ing as a go-to spot for photo shoots, as well as rolling racks at the ready to show­case the lat­est fash­ions.

The cou­ple, who have been to­gether for over 12 years, both had their roles when it came to dec­o­rat­ing their new condo. Erica is quick to point out that al­though they had equal in­put on the de­sign of their new home, they each have their own strengths. Corey works in his fam­ily’s busi­ness, Lau­ry­sen Kitchens, and was hands-on in the struc­tural as­pects of the de­sign, while Erica took the lead in the dec­o­rat­ing and styling.

How­ever, they worked to­gether to make sure that ev­ery de­ci­sion had an out­come on which they could both agree on. Even though Corey’s strengths are in the de­tails

and de­sign, he un­der­stands the im­por­tance of colour and the value of clas­sic de­sign ver­sus fads. Erica made sure that Corey was in­volved in choos­ing ev­ery­thing for their new home, from the paint colour to the wall­pa­per to the bed­ding, to en­sure that the space was equally theirs. This is a key el­e­ment to their home.

Along with Erica’s brother Tom, Corey con­structed three cus­tom clos­ets for the cou­ple with one set in the front hall and his and hers clos­ets for the

mas­ter bed­room. Mix­ing ma­te­ri­als such as glass, wood and fab­rics, in­clud­ing leather and suede, helped Erica to in­cor­po­rate her per­sonal style into their liv­ing space and cre­ate the “rus­tic meets ur­ban” feel that they were af­ter.

“I re­ally mixed and matched a lot,” says the fash­ion­ista. “We ended up do­ing beau­ti­ful birch tree wall­pa­per as the ac­cent wall be­hind the bed in the bed­room. I re­ally wanted to bring an el­e­ment of where I grew up so you re­ally see ac­cents of the rus­tic feel in our home.”

As an ex­pert who knows when to splurge and where to save, Erica em­ployed th­ese tac­tics in de­sign­ing their home. They in­vested in key fur­ni­ture pieces and then added more af­ford­able ac­cents. Stay­ing on top of trends helped the duo to cre­ate a stylish in­te­rior that will take them to the next stage of life. Corey uti­lized his in­sider knowl­edge of kitchen and bath de­sign, while Erica re­lied on her style ex­per­tise - and their look is a trib­ute to their tal­ents.

LOW

AP­PLI­ANCES HIGH SOLID SUR­FACE HIGH CUS­TOM DE­SIGN

STYLE LUX­U­RIES

THIS PAGE, CLOCK­WISE: THE COU­PLE SPLURGED ON HIGH-END LINENS FOR THE MAS­TER BED­ROOM, FROM SUITE DREAMS HOME EMPORIUM, WITH BIRCHES WALL­PA­PER FROM RAN­DALLS; A READY-TO-WEAR RACHEL SIN DRESS HANGS ON THE CUS­TOM CLOSET DOOR; PLENTY OF SHOE SHELV­ING WAS A MUST-HAVE FOR ERICA.

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