Life­style blog­ger Monika Hibbs lay­ers clas­sic style with the lat­est trends, com­bin­ing looks that flock to­gether like birds of a feather.


Life­style blog­ger Monika Hibbs lay­ers clas­sic style with the lat­est trends


graz­ing horses and moun­tain views, Bri­tish Columbia’s Fraser Val­ley is a far cry from the seashore. But you’d never know that in­side the lo­cal four-bed­room home that life­style blog­ger Monika Hibbs shares with her hus­band and their three young chil­dren. “It has a sub­tle coastal vibe,” she says of the space filled with wa­tery blue and sandy beige ac­cents.

In Jan­uary and Feb­ru­ary, when the days be­gin to lengthen but win­ter still lingers, noth­ing could be more wel­come than a breezy palette. “This time of year, I get the urge to clear out the post-Christ­mas clut­ter and start fresh,” says Monika. “All of a sud­den, it’s so ob­vi­ous that it’s time for a new ta­ble lamp and toss cush­ions, or to buy those larger items, such as a rug, that have been on my wish list.” Whether you’re feel­ing the post-hol­i­day lull or the in­stinct to up­date at the start of a new year, this is a won­der­ful time to toss away things that aren’t work­ing and bring in a lit­tle sun­shine.

“When it comes to ad­ding some­thing small, trends

are def­i­nitely your friends,” says Monika. “They let you bring in a new look without a big com­mit­ment or crazy spend­ing.” Even in tra­di­tional homes like Monika’s, where clas­sic ma­te­ri­als and for­ever fur­nish­ings are given pri­or­ity, trends brighten things up. “In no way am I a trendy dec­o­ra­tor, but I love us­ing new things to ex­plore and ex­per­i­ment,” she says. “A few cool toss cush­ions, a vase or a row of wow-fac­tor bar stools have the power to re­vive your en­tire home for a low price.” It’s best to test trends in small doses and see how they sit with you, be­cause fads come and go, but a piece’s stay­ing power rests on its com­fort, as well as how it suits your over­all style.

Coastal blue ac­cents are a case in point. Shades of denim and indigo con­jure sea and sky. “Deep blue and rich grey is­lands in other­wise white kitchens are hugely pop­u­lar right now,” says Monika. “Since I’m cau­tious by na­ture, a big change like that seems in­tim­i­dat­ing. But, by bring­ing in some navy blue in smaller ways, I’ve grad­u­ally grown used to its bold­ness, and now it’s

RIGHT Fun re­mov­able wall decals brighten the kids’ play kitchen, just off the adult one. PLAY KITCHEN, Pot­tery Barn Kids; PRINTS, Minted; lemon WALL DECALS, Ur­ban Walls.

ABOVE & RIGHT, TOP &CEN­TRE While is­lands are al­ways in style, “sinks are the new kitchen It piece,” says Monika. “It’s my sweet spot. Here, the kids help with dishes and I ar­range flow­ers. I can also watch the kids from the win­dow when they’re play­ing out­side.”

ABOVE The land­ing at the top of the stairs en route to the kids’ rooms had al­ways been empty. Since she walks by so of­ten, Monika sought a lit­tle eye candy, so she bought the raw wood de­milune con­sole and uses it as a base to cre­ate pretty vi­gnettes. “There’s al­ways a fresh view when I climb the stairs,” she says. CON­SOLE, Ave Home; PRINT, HomeSense; RUG, Caitlin Wil­son De­sign.

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