Print Friendly and PDF

Interiors by Samantha Pynn

Samantha Pynn is a decorator, stylist, and TV host for Summer Home on HGTV Canada. She's also the Contributing Design Editor for Chatelaine magazine.


Her entry into the world of decorating and design began 11 years ago as a location scout for commercials and music videos in Toronto. Within a few years, she had parlayed that talent into an illustrious career in the design department at Style at Home magazine. As the Design Editor, she quickly became responsible for producing big stories on the hottest decor trends, coming up with design concepts for many of the articles, producing makeovers, and scouting homes featured in the magazine.

The long hours and hard work quickly paid off and her career skyrocketed and it wasn’t long before Sam had her own series Pure Design on HGTV.

Sam is most excited for her latest project Summer Home on HGTV Canada where she and her team decorate 13 homes in cottage country. Here are a few examples of room transformations that take place during the show, as well as rooms that Sam has designed plus a few tips on the various projects done within the rooms.

Historically, the boudoir has been a luxurious, private place where one would go to be alone in thought and creativity.  It means creating a peaceful place that is tranquil but sophisticated, and spacious – but still very intimate.

• The trick to creating a boudoir is dividing the space into elegant, organized areas – and unifying them with a great design.

• A classic boudoir contains three distinct spaces: one to sleep, one to read and relax, and one to write.

• Artwork in a bedroom makes the space more personal and intimate.

• Adding gorgeous rich fabrics like velvet, silk and linen to your room will help create a sumptuous, soothing retreat from the hustle and bustle of life.

• Panel mouldings in a room can help create a sense of unity, and intimacy.

• Floor lamps allow you to control the amount of light in a room, giving you the opportunity to create the distinct atmosphere you’re looking for at any given time.

• Gold-leafing a mirror can give a room a touch of old, European glam.

Floating shelves have a unique appearance of weightlessness and strength thanks to clean lines uncluttered by shelf brackets.   This is achieved by using very strong brackets concealed within the shelf which have a solid anchoring to the wall.

Floating shelves are popular and can also be found at your local Builders Warehouse. Ensure that these are installed according to the manufacturers’ recommendations and that their maximum loads are not exceeded. 

When mounting a headboard onto the wall, use a split batten or French cleat to ensure safe mounting. A French cleat is a strip of wood cut at an angle along its length with the top piece attached to the headboard and the bottom piece attached to the wall forming essentially a long bracket.





Wallpapered filing cabinet
Remove hardware from your file cabinet and measure up to cut wallpaper to size with a cm extra on each of the sides and the back. Wallpaper paste won't still to metal, so you need to use a spray contact adhesive, applied to the cabinet and the wallpaper back.

Let the adhesive dry for 10 minutes and then have some assist with lining up top or bottom corners. Use a squeegee to flatten out the paper, moving up (or down) the surface until completely flat. Take a sharp utility knife and trim the edges so that the seams form a perfect joint at all the edges. Cut corners of paper on a 45-degree angle and fold inwards (like a present).

Gold leaf mirror
Apply a coat of size adhesive using a brush. Make sure the area to be leafed is completely covered with an even coat of size - no puddles. Immediately after use, wash and dry the brush with soapy water. The size goes on with a milky texture and dries clear and sticky. With clean dry hands apply Leafing to the sticky surface, some overlapping is OK.

When surface is completely covered, gently smooth out the leaf with one of the brushes, your fingers or a soft cloth. If small cracks and tears appear, apply small pieces of leaf to cover those areas. Remove excess Leaf with gentle stroking of the brush, then buff lightly with a cheese cloth. When surface is completely covered with leaf and burnished, brush on a coat of clear acrylic sealer and allow to dry for 2 hours before applying a second coat. It is best to apply two thin coats rather than one thick coat.

Styling a nightstand
The deciding factor in determining the height of your nightstand and table lamps is the surrounding architecture, ceiling height and the height of the headboard. The simplest thing is to match your nightstand and lamps, but don’t feel that you have to do this. If you choose to vary one of the tables, use two of the same lamps or vice versa.

As a general rule, if your nightstand is 60 cm high, your lamps should be at least 60 cm tall. So, that means that shorter nightstands call for taller lamps to equal the taller visual proportion of the headboard. Keep this in mind if you have a very high headboard – tall lamps on tall nightstands will give you the correct scale. And, if you’re going for a more contemporary look, your lamps can be over-scaled in proportion to the height of the nightstand.

Carpeting a floor
Carpets can serve a variety of purposes in a space. They can hide flaws in the floor, add insulation to the room, absorb sound and provide a cosy spot to sit. When sized correctly, a carpet can serve to unify a room and make it feel larger. Floating carpets are not only distracting to the eye, they can be a serious trip hazard as well.

How do you know if you’ve got a floating carpet? If you have a conversation area in your living room and the front legs of your sofa and chairs don’t sit on the carpet, (or barely sit on it) it’s too small. Ideally the carpet should run about halfway under the front and back legs of your furniture. To avoid purchasing a rug that’s comes up short, tape the required rug size out on the floor before you head out to the store.

Something to consider when choosing the size of your carpet is how much of the floor around the perimeter of the room should be exposed. This reveal can range from 15 cm to 400 cm. If your floors are in bad shape, stick with a smaller reveal but if you have a very large room, want to show off your floors, or if the colour of them references other furniture pieces in the room and helps to unify the overall design, opt for a larger reveal.