Charming the home inside and out (Originally Published in New Dreamhomes and Condominiums Magazine)


Lorissa Leslie, an interior decorating student at George Brown College, believes in charming the home inside by getting back to basics.

“Back to basics, back to nature and calming…serenity and staying away from the chaos from the GTA,” says Leslie.

These are her tips for how to create a beautiful home on the inside. She is strengthening the foundation of these tips through study and developed the foundation of these tips from where she grew up.

Leslie came from the east coast because there are not many colleges east of Montreal where she had an opportunity to study interior decorating.

“I thought I would have to do it online in New Brunswick but I had the opportunity to come here so I just came.”

Leslie does not know what drew her to interior decorating – to travel across Canada with the aim of studying the art.

“I don’t know I just get excited over accessories and sourcing and finding those pieces that match and fit perfectly together.”

Leslie works at a furniture store and finds there are certain trends she sees in interior design.

“Grey is really popular right now,” Leslie says. “Chocolate brown is still going strong of course, as in chocolate brown leather. We have a white lacquer item that is popular.”

The trends follow with Leslie’s recommendations of what she feels make for a wonderful sanctuary in any dream home or condominium. She suggests a look that is contemporary but comfortable. Something with clean lines yet casual – sophisticated but still casual makes a strong impression and feels great.

“[These are] part of the principles and elements of design,” says Leslie. “Horizontal lines make us think of lying down. They are more calming. Vertical lines are more formal. On a pillow, this has an impact.

Natural elements and earth tones, different browns, different shades of browns – which wasn’t so revered in some years before but still is in the last couple of years.”

For the past 35 years. Peter Carelli has been a painter. He does have a true talent for making things beautiful. Sitting down with a young man named Cyrus in his neighbourhood he was teaching him how to draw. When it is cold and it’s hard for him to get work to make homes beautiful with painting them inside and out. Times are difficult however he sticks with it.

“I like art, like painting.”

He has been married for more than 30 years and has three older children. He makes his living painting houses when the weather is good – making them beautiful on the outside.

He does know how to read English well, however, he can speak it quite well and is fluent in Italian.

“It depends on when I got the job, if I don’t make money, I don’t get the job.”

He did not go to school for art. “It’s a personal talent – born artist.”

His favourite paintings are of European villages. “Because it’s a little bit more difficult to paint – it’s more talent.”

He has not ever had a gallery opening and cannot afford to pay a gallery to show his work. So he paints houses and sometimes works at pizza shops to make money.

He lives downtown and owns his own house. His wife takes in sewing.

“If I haven’t made nothing ‘till now…I’m not going to make nothing. I’ve lost hope. That’s my mind – it makes me believe when I do it – when I don’t.”

At one of the most hopeful times of her life as a student, Lorissa Leslie does not own her own home however she has been told by people who visit her place that it is “cozy.”

“I’m still in a rental so I haven’t done everything that I’d like to. I do get compliments though that it’s very cozy. I haven’t gone crazy with the colours yet. I haven’t painted yet. I’m working on improving the patio. There are more natural elements with the sea glass colours in the bathroom. The kind of glass you find in the ocean…I love that. The greens and blues you find in the ocean – the magical little pieces – the sparkling little gems that I get when I’m walking on the beach.”

These are just some of the people in the Greater Toronto Area that work to make a living and make a home charming inside and out.

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8 Comments on “Charming the home inside and out (Originally Published in New Dreamhomes and Condominiums Magazine)

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