Kiana & Steve’s Modern & Relaxed Family House in the Woods

published Jan 8, 2016
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(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

Name: Kiana and Steve and their kids, Mathilda and Milo
Location: Chelsea, Quebec
Size: 2,400 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years; Owned

This beautifully renovated house in the woods is a playful and welcoming space brimming with its owners’ personalities. Open, sunny rooms are filled with the things that make this family happy: from Mathilda’s and Milo’s themed bedrooms (horses and dinosaurs, respectively) and Steve’s stunning photography of the kids and their travels around the world to countless books and souvenirs.

(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

Although Kiana says in their survey that they are not big DIYers, I think quite a bit of credit should be given to the fact that she designed a lot of their furniture, which was then built by the contractor that renovated the home. She also likes to support local makers like Craft Collective, based in the neighboring town of Wakefield. The combination of her design imprint and Steve’s photographs results in a deeply personal space that, despite having a sense of purpose, still exudes freedom and fun.

(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Functional, relaxed, and modern.

Inspiration: Scandinavian homes, magazines such as Dwell and Living, and our travels.

Favorite Element: The natural light and the ever-changing view we get from our windows as the seasons change.

Biggest Challenge: Living through four months of extensive renovations with an 18-month-old, a 6-year-old, and no kitchen.

What Friends Say: “That is a lot of LEGO for one little boy!” Mostly that the house is comfortable and inviting. We also get a lot of comments about our Toto washlets.

Biggest Embarrassment: Renovating the same bathroom twice within 5 years, because it was poorly done the first time.

Proudest DIY: I am afraid we are not very handy but we drew a lot of the furniture and space ourselves. Awesome local artisans and contractors made it happen.

Biggest Indulgence: Also the bathroom renovation.

Best Advice: Do one space at a time, everything at once gets overwhelming. Hire contractors you like because you see a lot of each other during the whole renovation process.

Dream Sources: Local artisans, small shops at home or on travels.


(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Most of the walls: C2 Architect White
  • Kids’ bedrooms: C2 Milk Moustache
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Sofa: DeBoer’s (now closed)
  • Armchair: DeBoer’s (now closed)
  • Bookcase: designed by Kiana, built by Jochen Brachmann and son
  • Coffee table: designed by Kiana, built by Jochen Brachmann and son
  • Bean bags: Fatboy
  • Deer head: bought on a trip to London
  • Birdhouse: Craft Collective
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Hanging pom-poms: made by a friend
  • Wood antlers: Craft Collective
  • Ceiling light: The Modern Shop
  • Bookcase: designed by Kiana, built by Jochen Brachmann and son
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Bed: IKEA
  • Swivel chair: IKEA
  • Horses pillow: bought on a trip to Iceland
  • Hang it all: GR Shop
  • Bookcase: designed by Kiana, built by Jochen Brachmann and son
  • Donut hooks: All Lovely Stuff
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Toilet/washlet: Toto
(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)


  • Desk, stools, bed, drawers, and utensil containers: IKEA
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The wallpaper in the entry mirrors the landscape outside Kiana and Steve’s house. (Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

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Thanks, Kiana & Steve!