Decorate with faded shades of elegance
ILOVE the room in our feature photograph, courtesy of Kohler. The faded tones and soft colour palette are elegant and romantic. Even though there is a lot of architectural detailing and ornate accessories in this room, it is by no means gauche. Sweeping the walls and floors with a colour wash of soft rose keeps the ornamentation from being too busy. Even the vintage wall sconces and large ribbon rose accent on the mirror are painted the same colour. By doing this, you achieve the detail without the unwanted drama. It’s an understated look that is quite appealing. Adding in additional muted paint colours of pale yellow, soft gray and darker rose keeps the overall look wistful and feminine. The elegant Kohler vanity and sink work beautifully in this Victorian setting. Even the highly ornate slipper chair is subdued by the silver/gray upholstery and soft white wood.
This style is great for personal spaces like a bedroom or powder room. The soft tones are restful and calming with a touch of whimsy thrown in for good measure.
I chose this particular photograph for a few reasons. Firstly, the room has a look that is uncommon yet attractive. It’s easy to replicate with simple paint and can mask a number of decorating problems.
Case in point: If you have a room that is suffering from the “1970s dark panelling time warp” you can update it using the techniques used in our feature room. Rather than rip it out, re-drywall, tape, sand and paint you may be able to create a lovely backdrop with the right paint colour. The panelling may have vertical troughs used to simulate wooden strips, which date them even further. You don’t have to fill in these gaps. Once you paint the entire surface, the ‘lines’ will become attractive textural elements in your new décor. The panelling will have a cottage-style feel but will be current by giving it a fresh coat of paint. A soft, cottage blue, pale yellow, celery green or even a soft white paint treatment can transform a dated space into an updated, cozy one.
Other surfaces that can be easily transformed with this technique are interior brick walls, textured walls, wood plank walls, wood floors, stairs, banisters, wainscoting, window trim, interior doors and of course plain walls.