Deb­bie Travis

Times Colonist - - Homes - DEB­BIE TRAVIS House to Home Writ­ten by Deb­bie Travis and Barbara Din­gle. Email dec­o­rat­ing ques­tions to house­2home@deb­bi­ and Deb­bie@deb­bi­

You hear me say this so many times — your home is all about you, make it look the way you feel, layer it with the moods that please you, that feed your soul, that make you smile.

Just as no two peo­ple are ex­actly alike, no two rooms are a mir­ror im­age of each other. There is a com­mon­al­ity in the re­quire­ments — some­where to sit, a ta­ble, some lights and so on — but the style and se­lec­tion of the in­te­rior decor is up to you.

The chal­lenge of shap­ing your rooms is a daunt­ing task. Step­ping out­side the safety of the pop­u­lar, ac­cepted fash­ion box is not for ev­ery­one.

How­ever, if you have a bold, artsy char­ac­ter with a pas­sion for theatre, let your home decor shout it to the rooftops.

This is the mantra that echoes bliss­fully through­out Emily Hen­son’s new­est book,

with stun­ning pho­tog­ra­phy by Cather­ine Gratwicke. Neon blue kitchen walls, vivid green back­drops, gi­ant at­ten­tion grab­bling floor lamps and chan­de­liers, a grape­fruit yel­low sofa, an over­sized or­ange mush­room chair, a hot pink dresser, ri­otous pat­terns adorn­ing walls, floors and fur­ni­ture all jump glee­fully off the pages.

This brave, eclec­tic style is not meant to be par­ti­tioned off into a sin­gle room.

The homes that are il­lus­trated show how the in­di­vid­ual home­owner’s out­go­ing style ra­di­ates through­out, bran­dish­ing shapes and colours with the swish and swash of a mighty sword.

My glimpse into this joy­ous book fo­cuses on how to cre­ate an en­trance. Of­ten left un­til most of the ma­jor dec­o­rat­ing is done, the en­try to your home of­fers the first taste of what is to come.

Here are two snap­shots that leave no doubt as to the home­owner’s state of mind. All of these are brave and bold, but can be a step­ping stone to any style by choos­ing dif­fer­ent colours and pat­terns.

In the pho­to­graph on the left, the stair­case in a coun­try cot­tage shows off the home­owner’s love for pat­tern and painterly de­tail. The painted stairs have been dec­o­rated with strips of wall­pa­per ap­plied to the stair ris­ers. Gold de­tail trims the edges of the steps and the end of the rail­ing. The warm red hall walls are trimmed with hand-painted, black-and-gold stripes. When see­ing this stair­way upon en­ter­ing the cot­tage, you know that there are more orig­i­nal dec­o­ra­tive wall and fur­ni­ture treat­ments ahead.

Your en­try­way presents a wel­come view to your home’s mood. Hen­son de­scribes the home of a busy pro­fes­sional fam­ily with four chil­ play­fully bold.

The in­te­rior pal­ette ranges from dark teal to flamingo pink to cerulean blue. Wo­ven through the rooms is a thread of pineap­ple yel­low. An ac­cent colour is a clever way to con­nect dif­fer­ent colour pal­ettes. In the photo on the right, the stairs and walls are coated in var­i­ous shades of teal, with that sunny yel­low con­nect­ing hue splashed on the rail­ings and ban­is­ters.

Left: Hand-painted de­tails com­ple­ment the pat­terned wall­pa­per strips that have been ap­plied to the stair ris­ers. Right: Yel­low ac­cents on the stair­case link to the rooms on both floors.

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