Go­ing green to up­date a young girl’s bed­room

Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - CONTENTS - an­drew­down­ward.com WRIT­TEN BY AN­DREW DOWN­WARD IM­AGES SUP­PLIED

Life is all about change – be it rev­o­lu­tion­ary, or as grad­ual as the sea­sons or the pas­sage of time – it hap­pens. I love the chang­ing of the sea­sons, es­pe­cially the spring­time! It’s a time of re­newal, growth and beauty. It also causes many of us to take a look at our homes and de­cide what is go­ing to stay and what we des­per­ately need to change.

Ear­lier this spring I re­ceived a call from Elizabeth, a dear friend and client. She was look­ing for some dec­o­rat­ing ad­vice on how to freshen up her daugh­ter’s bed­room in a way that would make both mother and daugh­ter Olivia happy. Some­thing in the pit of my stom­ach told me that this wasn’t go­ing to be easy! For­tu­nately, I had some sug­ges­tions that helped bring the two sides to­gether – at least tem­po­rar­ily.

I started by bring­ing Olivia in on the de­ci­sion­mak­ing process and it was easy to see who the real client was. Although Olivia is only ten years old, she al­ready has a very unique sense of style and fash­ion. She was quick to in­di­cate that she was look­ing for a “dra­matic change.” Her mom on the other hand was hop­ing for a subtler, “calm­ing change.”

Next, we dis­cussed Olivia’s favourite colours, as well as what pieces were go­ing to stay and which ones were on the way out. When I asked her to pick one thing she loves the most about her room, she chose her du­vet cover. This was no sur­prise, since it

Paint­ing with green tones can be a lit­tle tricky. I of­ten find cer­tain shades of green can be too yel­low­ish. Find­ing the right com­ple­ment for a green tone can also be a lit­tle daunt­ing.

— AN­DREW DOWN­WARD

was as colour­ful as Olivia’s per­son­al­ity. Her favourite piece, a true re­flec­tion of her, be­came the fo­cal point for the colour choices that fol­lowed.

Paint­ing with green tones can be a lit­tle tricky. I of­ten find cer­tain shades of green can be too yel­low­ish. Find­ing the right com­ple­ment for a green tone can also be a lit­tle daunt­ing. How­ever, there are some tried and true com­bi­na­tions worth look­ing at such as red with green or, my favourite, soft pinks with green, which brings back mem­o­ries of the 1960s.

In the end we de­cided to pull the greens and a pur­ple tone from Olivia’s du­vet cover and I am glad we did. I started by paint­ing the ceil­ing a sub­tle pur­ple. Then I took the soft­est green and made it the pre­dom­i­nant wall colour. Now that would have ended it in most cases, but not for this girl! Olivia was okay with me tak­ing down her boy­band posters, but she was adamant about want­ing a more dra­matic ef­fect. So, with a lit­tle artis­tic per­se­ver­ance and a sharp knife, I made up a sten­cil that I placed in the mid­dle of her wall and ran across. I also made sure to pick up an­other shade of com­pli­men­tary green from her du­vet.

The end re­sult was a work of art that gave both clients what they were look­ing for: dra­matic ef­fect with a calm­ing in­flu­ence of a green pal­ette. In the end, both girls were happy. Now what more could I ask for?

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