Sooth­ing pal­ette makes home seren­ity base

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

DEAR Deb­bie: I’ve just moved into a tiny gem of an old house. My first pri­or­ity is to freshen it up a bit with paint, and I’m hop­ing you will give me some di­rec­tion with colours. I’ve a very hec­tic job and want to be able to leave the stresses of the day at the front door. Thank you.

Monique Dear Monique: You are look­ing for a serene colour pal­ette that will soothe the senses. I sug­gest you be­gin with a base of browns, tau­pes, creams or whites, as these colours are nat­u­rally peace­ful and as­so­ci­ated with the senses. Think of tac­tile wood tones, smooth melted choco­late, mossy tau­pes and creamy sand. One or two of these will res­onate with you. To com­ple­ment and heighten the calm mood, add the ir­re­sistible charm of blue. Blue is syn­ony­mous with sea and sky and the medium tones, those with a touch of red in them such as lilac and laven­der evoke tran­quil­lity. For the bath­room, wa­tery blues paired with white cre­ate a spa-like fresh­ness and pu­rity.

Strive for an un­clut­tered space; al­low the eye to rest on sur­face tex­tures and sheens. Taupe satin walls, a choco­late vel­vet cush­ion, a light­weight blue and white wool throw with a gen­tly swirling pat­tern pro­duce a rest­ful liv­ing-room vi­gnette. The gen­tly re­flec­tive sur­face of the shiny metal lamp base sit­ting on a pale blue side ta­ble and the asym­met­ric brown and blue vases on the man­tel are el­e­ments that bal­ance the set­ting.

Nat­u­ral fi­bres should be used as of­ten as pos­si­ble to al­low the body to breathe. We are es­pe­cially con­scious of what is touch­ing our skin in the bath­room and bed­room, where we are most vul­ner­a­ble. With to­day’s ac­cent on en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity, look for or­ganic prod­ucts that soothe and nour­ish your skin. Ap­ply a coat of duck-egg blue or frothy white to your bath­room or bed­room walls, Floors can be wood or stone; both have per­fect nat­u­ral tex­tures and feel great un­der­foot. On your bath­room counter, dis­play a fluffy pile of tow­els in brown, blue and white — these are from Por­tico, and you’ve got an un­beat­able com­bi­na­tion that is guar­an­teed to clear your mind and re­ju­ve­nate you for your next busy day. Dear Deb­bie: We have ce­ramic tile in a stan­dard bath­room lay­out. Un­for­tu­nately, the dec­o­ra­tor row of tiles is not to our lik­ing. The 3” x 6” in­sert tiles, dec­o­rated with a pink/green/blue vine pat­tern, runs around the shower and counter. With­out hav­ing to rip out all the tiles, is there any paint I could use to cover these tiles to go with our cream and taupe colour scheme?

Kim Dear Kim: You can paint over the tiles that you don’t like. They will not have the same tex­ture or touch as the real ce­ramic tiles, but that doesn’t mat­ter. Tape off around the border tiles to pro­tect the ar­eas that are re­main­ing. Sand the tiles you are go­ing to paint and ap­ply a high-ad­he­sion primer so that the new paint will stick. If the vine pat­tern is raised, you will still see it, but this should look good, adding some di­men­sion to the ef­fect. Melamine or lam­i­nate paints are tough and hard-wear­ing. You can also use acrylic paint, but fin­ish with two or three coats of var­nish for sheen and pro­tec­tion.

Above: A room im­bued with tones of earthy brown and ac­cents of airy blue will

al­ways feel serene and rest­ful.

Be­low: Fine-qual­ity 100-per-cent or­ganic cot­ton tow­els by Por­tico in Zen shades of

brown, blue and white prom­ise a re­ju­ve­nat­ing bath ex­pe­ri­ence.

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