Bring colour into your space with­out fear with sam­ple pots

The Labradorian - - Editorial - Suzanne Rent Suzanne Rent is a free­lance writer, re­searcher, ed­i­tor, and nar­ra­tor in Hal­i­fax. She’s worked in the me­dia for 16 years, in­clud­ing stints in tele­vi­sion, ra­dio, news­pa­pers, and mag­a­zines.

In­tro­duc­ing colour to your decor is not as sim­ple as it seems for many home­own­ers. De­pend­ing on the trends, colours can range from muted tones to bold, dra­matic colours that won’t suit ev­ery taste. But there are ways to bring colour into your space that can be pleas­ing, even for home­own­ers shy of colour.

“If you’re not sure about colour, then use it in small ar­eas and on non-ex­pen­sive items,” says Eileen Crow­ley Couse of Emer­ald In­te­ri­ors in Hal­i­fax.

Us­ing a new colour in your home re­quires strat­egy and plan­ning. Crow­ley Couse says if you’re re­dec­o­rat­ing an en­tire room, think about the big­gest, most ex­pen­sive pieces in the room first, in­clud­ing fur­ni­ture and rugs. She sug­gests pur­chas­ing those in a neu­tral or a colour you really love and will for years.

“That’s where you should start,” she says. “There are more paint colours than there are fab­ric colours.”

Paint, of course, is one of the ways to in­tro­duce colour to your space. But paint will look dif­fer­ent in a space than it will in a store in a sam­ple.

Ch­eryl Cook of SeeSea In­te­ri­ors sug­gests pur­chas­ing a sam­ple pot of a colour be­fore com­mit­ting to sev­eral cans. Then paint a small spot on a wall. Some paint colours are tricky. A grey can be too blue or too yel­low, for ex­am­ple.

“Paint a patch on your wall and watch what hap­pens over the next cou­ple of days,” Cook says.

“It de­pends on where you win­dows face. The light in the room will change ev­ery­thing.”

As for choos­ing a colour to work with, use items you al­ready own, such as a piece of art­work or an area rug, as in­spi­ra­tion. Crow­ley Couse says you can use that colour as the ac­cent colour through­out your space.

What colour you use de­pends on the colour, too.

Ul­tra vi­o­let, Pan­tone’s colour of the year, will be harder to work with for some home­own­ers than the blush tones that have been around the past few years.

“It’s al­most a neu­tral,” Crow­ley Couse says. “You can use with other colours.”

For clients afraid of us­ing colour in a larger room, Cook sug­gests they start with a smaller space, such as an of­fice or a pow­der room, which can be good test­ing grounds for colour.

“It’s not such an in­vest­ment. They’re spa­ces peo­ple don’t see as of­ten, and you can be really bold,” Cook says.

Cook says an­other way to work with colour is to keep your ma­jor pieces of fur­ni­ture and your paint in a neu­tral and play with colour in the ac­ces­sories. But have a bud­get in mind for your ac­ces­sories to avoid over­spend­ing.

But when it comes to colour, Cook and Crow­ley Couse sug­gest fol­low­ing the 60-30-10 rule that will help you bal­ance the colours in your space. Sixty-per cent of your space will be the dom­i­nant colour, 30 per cent a sec­ondary colour, with the fi­nal 10 per cent be­ing an ac­cent colour.

And when it comes down to colour, fol­low your in­stincts, not trends or how your neigh­bours dec­o­rate. Ev­ery per­son re­acts to ev­ery colour dif­fer­ently. Crow­ley Couse says choose colours you find sooth­ing or in­spir­ing.

“You have to live with it. You don’t want it to feel out­dated in a year, but you also don’t want it to feel like a trend ei­ther.”

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