When decorating her master bedroom, designer Margie Doyle White deftly balanced laid-back country charm with city sophistication.

Long a proponent of casual style, designer Margie Doyle White buttoned up – just a bit – when it came to decorating the master bedroom of her downtown Toronto house. “Initially, I wanted to white-wash the dark oak floors,” she says. “But I soon reconsidered, as white floors would look too cottagey in a city bedroom, plus, they might affect the resale value of the house.” Even so, it didn’t stop Margie from choosing white for other surfaces, namely the fireplace and the surrounding exposed-brick wall. “I fell in love with the idea of having exposed bricks and a wood-burning fireplace in the bedroom – who wouldn’t? – but both were ugly shades of red that looked very dirty,” she says. So she covered them in white.


“I’m a firm believer that bedrooms should be light and bright,” says the designer. “It’s hard enough to wake up some mornings, so I want my room to make me feel inspired and alive.”

Exuberant bursts of blue floral fabric speak to that liveliness, most notably in the custom-made headboard. “It’s probably my favourite piece in the whole house,” says Margie. “I love hydrangeas, and their large scale here looks like wallpaper and acts like a piece of art.”

White bedding and furniture keep the florals as the focal point, while judiciously placed black accents imbue the space with a bit of urban edge. The overall effect is inviting and warm, with just enough formality to fend off that cottagey look Margie wanted to avoid overdoing…almost. “I love my bedroom in August,” she says. “Everything is in full bloom outside my windows, the smell of flowers wafts in, the air is soft and it makes me feel like I’m in the country.”


“A bedroom should be simple,” says designer Margie Doyle White. Her winning formula involves creating a neutral background and introducing pattern through fabric. “I like to repeat prints throughout a room; here, I echoed the headboard’s blooms in the toss cushion.” Bronze sconces inject contrast and a vintage farmhousevibe that’s picked up by the chandelier.


seating area by the fireplace gives the 400-square-foot bedroom the feel of an intimate suite. “It’s like two rooms in one,” says Margie. “I spend a ton of time here, nattering away on the phone or enjoying a glass of wine with my partner, Mike.” The corner table lamp amps up the cozy factor at night.


“This dresser almost got kicked to the curb,” says Margie. “I’ve had it forever and was thinking of buying something more contemporary, but it totally suited the room, so I reinvented it with a coat of paint and some new hardware.”

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