The economy is changing how often we go to restaurants. It’s changing an evening at the movies to a video rental. People are choosing to spend more time at home — and sharp designers are devising ways to make that more comfortable.

“More people are enjoying their space at home,” said interior designer Paulina MacDonald, who designed The Knolls of Glen Arbour’s model home. In order to ensure that the home was primed for entertaining, she created different spaces for different “events.”

“The upper and lower levels have very distinct personalities,” MacDonald said. “The lower level — with its soft grey walls and contemporary furniture — is ideal for casual entertaining.”

The sprawling lower level boasts a games room — complete with black leather couches, a pool table and a bar. It’s the kind of relaxed-yet-trendy space that would encourage your friends to hang at your place, rather than go downtown.

For the upper level, Greater Homes had already provided MacDonald with a great starting canvas — warm cabinetry and gleaming wood floors. MacDonald began to select paint, furniture and accessories that would show potential buyers how the space could be ideal for dinner parties, potlucks, and a glass of wine with their neighbours.

While browsing for inspiration, MacDonald came across a print, and knew she had found her muse.

“It was full of warm venetian oranges, bronzes, and rich browns. The wall colors, furniture and accents all started there, with that one print,” MacDonald said.

Taking cues from the print, she chose a warm tan shade for the walls, and brought in beautiful burnt orange sofas and chairs.

“The space has beautiful natural light during the day, and the colours I chose surround the homeowner with the shades of a brilliant summer sunset in the evening,” she said.

Rightfully named for their placement on a sunny rounded hill, homes in The Knolls are surrounded by trees and a quiet brook. While living so close to the lush Glen Arbour golf course, residents don’t need to worry about yard work getting in the way of their game. Condo fees cover lawn care and building maintenance so that free time is really free.

Townhomes at The Knolls of Glen Arbour range from 1,463 to 1,669 square feet, and cost between $299,900 and $359,900. For more information, visit

– Heather Clarke is a Halifax-based writer with a penchant for pretty things.

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