The French con­nec­tion

Break­ing down three key rooms in a new home in­spired by tra­di­tional Parisian style and modern drama.

The Coast - Homes Halifax - - New Construction - BY AL­LI­SON SAUN­DERS

Robyn Man­ning is always think­ing big pic­ture. With a back­ground in fine art, tex­tiles and fur­ni­ture, the prin­ci­pal de­signer be­hind Bricks & Birches—a de­sign and con­sul­ta­tion firm she founded in 2016—has her mind on sight­lines, pro­por­tions and con­nec­tions. It’s all about the col­lec­tive con­cept, not just beau­ti­ful bits and pieces.

Her lat­est feat of de­sign strength? A model home in Tim­ber­lea’s Brunello Es­tates. A cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tion with Bow­ers Con­struc­tion’s Suzanne Bow­ers, a house with no cookie cut­ter buyer in mind al­lowed Man­ning to test some lim­its and tran­scend a sin­gle aes­thetic.

“We wanted to take these rec­og­niz­able ar­chi­tec­tural details and evolve them in a way that would ap­peal to a modern au­di­ence,” she says of the job. “We started look­ing at dif­fer­ent Parisian apart­ments and re­ally wanted to cre­ate this feel­ing of modern chic­ness, but tra­di­tion­ally rooted. I was en­vi­sion­ing some re­ally chic French girl. How would she want to live in this neigh­bour­hood?”

The re­sult is a space where a chalky palate of soft blushes, greens and nudes work to­gether with dra­matic black an­chor details, where the walls are cloaked in a cozy cream in­stead of a clas­sic white and where a pop of the un­ex­pected ties it all to­gether. “We tried to put our­selves in the per­spec­tive of who­ever this elu­sive home­owner is,” says Man­ning. Here, she out­lines how she made some of the de­sign de­ci­sions that car­ried her cre­ative vi­sion through the en­tire home.

Bow­ers wanted art deco in­flu­ence to shine through in the light­ing. Man­ning says these milk glass fix­tures “were the first lights we bought for the whole house.”

“It’s re­ally, re­ally chic and the sight­line when you’re stand­ing in the bath­room look­ing out to the bed­room and see­ing those mould­ings—it to­tally works some­how.”

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