When Margo Haines set out to design the 4,000-square-foot house she shares with her husband, Bill, in Oakville, Ont., the overarching aim was simple: to maximize the views of its spectacular wooded lot. Working with local architect Bill Hicks, Haines added a surfeit of windows to modernize the Cape Cod-style home. An added bonus of the airy design is that natural light illuminates the coloured glass collection she displays on the main floor, within view of her spacious kitchen. Like the rest of the home, the kitchen, which has an 18-foot ceiling, has enlarged sightlines that make Haines feel connected to her surroundings. "I call it my command centre," says Haines, who with Jill Finney, her partner at interiors company Margo Inc., hosted a pop-up of mid-century modern pieces in Muskoka earlier this month. "Even when I'm standing at my sink, I'm always part of the party."
"This is a vintage painting from the 1970s that I had framed. I've had it for 20 years. It's a city landscape blurred into water. I love that it evokes an era."
"It's two-sided; the other side faces the living room. It's a wood-burning fireplace and I like using it while I'm prepar– ing big meals, especially in the winter."
"It's Brazilian hardwood that I had originally stained a brown so dark it looked almost black. Last year when I replaced the cabinets with lacquered ones, I decided to add a high-gloss varnish to the floor to integrate it with the cabinetry."
"It's 20 feet long and five feet wide and was custom made. I just had it refinished last year with a smooth white Corian countertop. I love a clean-looking counter."
The champagne bucket
"I have 18-foot ceilings in the kitchen, so I put oversized objects on the counter to help balance the space. I got this one at a vintage store."
"I often visit vintage stores in the Junction area of Toronto and one of my favourites is Smash, a purveyor of high-end vintage salvage. One day when I went in I saw probably 500 rolls of vintage wallpaper dating to the 1970s and just went crazy. I bought a whole bunch of different rolls because I love the bold graphics. I had left the walls in the kitchen blank for 14 years and suddenly I knew what to do. I spent a weekend mounting a selection of wallpaper on foam board and hanging it on the wall. It adds character and a feeling of happiness to the room."
The art glass
"I've been collecting vintage art glass for 20 years. I designed a cabinet to showcase each piece, which is in the adjacent dining room. Often I select pieces from there to bring into the kitchen as a way of unifying the rooms on the main floor. I choose the pieces according to the changing seasons and my mood."
"This is from Ikea – another oversized object for a room whose proportions are so huge."