A New House Gets Old Soul From Traditional Wood, Wicker And Wallpaper

This isn’t your grandmother’s wicker. Or her Georgian dining table for that matter because, in the hands of designer Sabrina Albanese, those decorating staples are jumpstarted by wit and a live-wire palette. In this home in Kleinburg, Ont., Sabrina has given a master class in making the new look old, then look new again. The 4,400-square-foot Georgian-style house, with its classic center hall plan and lavish panelling, could easily pass for a heritage property, even though it was newly built in 2020 by Sabrina’s sister and her husband. The decorating continues the theme: though the vibe is traditional, it also feels incredibly new and fresh. “I took my sister’s inspiration and brought the house to life, creating a color story for every room,” says Sabrina. “There’s pattern, chinoiserie and French-style wallpaper. But as colorful as it is, I also wanted it to remain elegant.”

Embracing texture, color and layers defines this decorating look, with whimsical elements grounded by mid-tone woods and plenty of wicker. “I use wicker in all my projects, even modern spaces,” says Sabrina. “It’s timeless and looks great anywhere.”

This designer’s free-spirited decorating has a buoyant creativity that’s smile-inducing. “Combine patterns and pull out accent colors,” she says. “If there’s a shade in a painting I love, I’m going to repeat it in a textile. It’s about finding threads and weaving them throughout the entire house — everything intertwines.” And guarantees joy.

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