Shift out of neu­tral

Liven up your space with colour

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - By Anita Mur­ray

AF­TER years of neu­trals dom­i­nat­ing liv­ing spa­ces, colour is mak­ing a splashy re­turn. It’s show­ing up in decor mag­a­zines, on TV shows, even in model homes, where beige and grey reign to ap­peal to a wider crowd.

“Thank God. I’ve been try­ing to keep colour go­ing for years,” says Suzanne Martin, co-owner of Lux­u­ri­ous Liv­ing Stu­dio in Ottawa.

In­te­rior de­signer Jac­que­line Ward says colour makes a strong state­ment in a room, sets the mood and hints at the per­son­al­ity of a home’s owner. Yet many are fear­ful of colour, choos­ing neu­trals to en­velop their spa­ces.

“While crisp and clean will never go out of style, noth­ing can brighten a room and trans­form a space quite like a bold hue,” says Ward, who en­cour­ages folks to ex­per­i­ment.

Martin at­tributes some of the change in at­ti­tude to a wealth of TV de­sign shows urg­ing us to be brave with colour. She says the urge to go neu­tral is in­flu­enced by mod­ern de­sign and tech­nol­ogy, but it’s im­por­tant to bal­ance that with tex­ture and warmth for an invit­ing space.

“We need colour,” Martin says. “It en­hances the en­ergy in ev­ery space.”

Neu­trals are still com­mon for bigticket items such as so­fas, says de­signer Kelly Maior­ino. Cre­at­ing a neu­tral back­drop will give your space more longevity and al­low you to play with colour through ac­cents, she says.

“We are see­ing lots of warm greys, creams, whites, pale tau­pes and char­coal greys be­ing used as a great base,” she says. “Adding bright, bold colour to your space through the use of throw pil­lows, bed­ding, art and ac­ces­sories can be an easy and less ex­pen­sive way to add colour with­out mak­ing a longterm com­mit­ment.”

De­signer Penny Southam says many of her clients tend to paint main liv­ing and en­ter­tain­ing ar­eas in neu­tral shades and add a pop of colour with art­work and ac­ces­sories.

“Es­pe­cially in con­tem­po­rary, open­con­cept spa­ces, neu­tral tones keep the feel light and airy,” she says.

Where she is see­ing big hits of colour is in kitchen cab­i­nets. “The kitchen has al­ways been the nu­cleus of the home, but now it screams, ‘Look at me, I’m sexy.’ ”

If bright blue cab­i­nets are too risque for you, bold ac­ces­sories are an easy way to go. But bal­ance is key, says dec­o­ra­tor Laura Boisvert.

“What you do to one side of the room, do to the other. If it’s an open-con­cept space, you could place red cush­ions on the sofa and then, on the op­po­site side of the room, have a red run­ner on the din­ing ta­ble.”

Another op­tion for the colour be­gin­ner is to “go nuts in the pow­der room,” Boisvert says. “It’s easy to change be­cause it’s so small and such a low risk.”

What re­ally mat­ters is find­ing a hue that speaks to you, says de­signer Tanya Collins. “What colours in­vig­o­rate you, re­lax you, make you feel happy? You can in­ject th­ese colours to vary­ing de­grees, de­pend­ing on your level of com­fort.” So where do you start? “Look in your closet,” sug­gests Martin, who says the styles and colours you wear can be your start­ing point when dec­o­rat­ing your home. Or maybe your in­spi­ra­tion comes from a favourite piece of art­work or pil­low­case.

“I al­ways tell my clients to choose a colour they love and can live with for at least five years,” says Nolan. “Don’t nec­es­sar­ily fol­low the trends just be­cause orange is the colour du jour.”

Us­ing colour as ac­cents such as a painted fea­ture wall or area car­pet makes it eas­ier to evolve into other colour schemes should your tastes change, she adds. “How­ever, don’t let that stop you from buy­ing a red leather sofa if that is what makes you tick.”

If you al­ready have a colour scheme and you’re look­ing to up­date it with­out chang­ing ev­ery­thing, Nolan rec­om­mends in­tro­duc­ing another shade to the room. “The best way is to look at the colour wheel and de­cide if you want a true com­ple­ment (the colour on the op­po­site side of the colour wheel) or some­thing a lit­tle less con­ven­tional.”

She al­ways rec­om­mends do­ing a test patch (many paint mak­ers of­fer sam­ple sizes) on the wall be­fore buy­ing be­cause the colour will look dif­fer­ent from wall to wall as the light changes through­out the day.

And when choos­ing from a fan deck, she sug­gests choos­ing a shade lighter be­cause paint looks more in­tense on a large area.

If you want to be trendy, what’s on the hori­zon?

Dec­o­ra­tor Kristi Blok pre­dicts fur­ther in­spi­ra­tion from next spring’s fash­ion run­ways — think sky blue, peri­win­kle vi­o­let, orange and yel­low.

“Th­ese colours can all be paired beau­ti­fully with neu­trals so the look isn’t too trendy, but it’s still fun,” Blok says.

Ward sees crim­son, char­treuse, tan­ger­ine and pas­tels, deep char­coals, black and milk-choco­late brown com­ing on strong and says to watch for coloured ceil­ings, neu­tral wood tones and sal­vaged an­tiques with a fresh pop of colour.

Red ap­pli­ances and red vinyl chairs add a funky, colour­ful flair to this kitchen.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.