Co­or­di­nat­ing suc­cess­fully is eas­ier than you think

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

MATCH­ING sets can be bor­ing. Why let some­one else de­ter­mine which ac­cent chair goes with your sofa or that ta­ble lamps have to match. Co­or­di­nat­ing items rather than play­ing it safe with match­ing sets is a great way to break out of the world of matchy matchy. Us­ing the art of co­or­di­nat­ing ver­sus match­ing items can also be a nice break for your dé­cor bud­get. You may al­ready have items that can be used to up­date your dé­cor that you might oth­er­wise over­look be­cause they don’t ‘match’. To­day’s fea­ture photo has a few good ex­am­ples of co­or­di­nat­ing decor tech­niques that I thought worth re­view. The dou­ble van­ity and dresser are the most ob­vi­ous ex­am­ple. There are a few rea­sons why th­ese two dif­fer­ent pieces work well to­gether even though they are quite dif­fer­ent. You may no­tice that both pieces are of sim­i­lar scale. This helps the items to work to­gether rather than com­pete, es­pe­cially when they are on the same side of the room. Although they boast two dif­fer­ent paint colours they are of sim­i­lar style. Both pieces have straight lines ver­sus or­nate carv­ing. Both items are set in a sep­a­rate yet co­or­di­nat­ing vi­gnette, which helps them co­or­di­nate but cel­e­brates their in­di­vid­u­al­ity. The van­ity has two framed black mir­rors hung sym­met­ri­cally while the dresser has two framed prints hung ver­ti­cally. Both the mir­rors and the prints are of sim­i­lar scale and shape, which again makes for a suc­cess­ful co­or­di­nated dé­cor. Carry colour around the room Bring­ing the green-grey paint colour of the van­ity over to the lower por­tion of the other wall brings that par­tic­u­lar colour to the other side of the room, which makes ev­ery­thing har­mo­nious. Us­ing the colour on the dado (rather than on the en­tire wall) is smart be­cause it mim­ics the height of the van­ity in a sub­tle way. This tech­nique sub­tly leads the eye around the room cre­at­ing vis­ual in­ter­est. The green-grey dado also off­sets the white dresser nicely. Note, too, that the win­dow cov­er­ing is in a sim­i­lar green shade but is tai­lored, like the fur­ni­ture pieces, rather than ruf­fled and flouncy. White linens on the green van­ity shelf bring the white of the dresser to the op­po­site side of the room. By the same to­ken plac­ing a black side chair on the far wall brings the black of the mir­rors to the op­po­site side of the room. Note that the hard­ware on both cab­i­nets is sim­i­lar in colour, which helps ev­ery­thing to re­late. Car­ry­ing the el­e­ments of one de­sign or colour to other ar­eas of the room makes for an over­all re­la­tion­ship be­tween mis­matched items. When you have a ‘his and hers’ sit­u­a­tion, us­ing tech­niques like this can help blend the fem­i­nine with the mas­cu­line. There is a hint of this in our fea­ture room. The over­all vi­gnette of the dou­ble van­ity has a mas­cu­line flavour. With the black ac­cents, faucets, light­ing and ac­ces­sories this space has a ‘his’ feel. Even the way the tow­els are dis­played ho­tel style speaks to the mas­cu­line feel. A more fem­i­nine op­tion would have been to put the tow­els in bas­kets, for in­stance. On the other hand, the dresser vi­gnette has a softer look with the white colour, botan­i­cal prints in soft gold frames, the small house­plant and the ac­cents of coral and a jar of sea salts. Even the ta­ble lamp, with its soft shape and colour has a fem­i­nine ap­peal. One would as­sume that this is ‘her’ zone. Both spa­ces work to­gether in the over­all pic­ture be­cause of the tech­niques men­tioned above. Some­times you just have to throw cau­tion to the wind and throw things to­gether and hope for an awe­some out­come. You might put a bright pink side chair into a room with oth­er­wise grey up­hol­stery and find that it suits you and your per­son­al­ity. This can be a fun adventure and worth play­ing around with. Don’t for­get that items can be re­freshed with paint, fab­ric or what­ever in or­der to help them work in your new space. That once cheesy or­ange lamp might look stunning when painted in matte black, for ex­am­ple. Shop at home be­fore you head out to look at match­ing fur­ni­ture sets and ac­ces­sories. You might be pleas­antly sur­prised at the out­come.

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