Tag Archives: Paint


High ceilings… or are they?

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High ceilings… or are they?

Tricks to make your ceilings appear higher

One of your home’s defining features is its ceiling. High ceilings make a room feel more open and airy, while low ceilings can often result in a cosy, or sometimes cramped atmosphere.

As an interior decorator, I’m often tasked with making a space look and feel bigger than it actually is. Don’t be fooled, this is not magic. Just a few tricks of the trade. Short of a full-blown renovation, there are some optical illusions I like to employ to bring perceived height to a space.

One way to fool the eye is with floor-to-ceiling curtains. Purchase full-length curtains and hang them a few inches above your window frame to imply a larger window.

By the same token, low-profile furniture can also create the illusion of higher ceilings. Think uncomplicated pieces with vertical, tailored lines. Lower profile pieces can help emphasize the distance between the furniture and the ceiling, with uninterrupted sight lines from one end of the room to the other.

When it comes to the colour palette, think light, bright and airy. Darker colours tend to make a space feel cosier and yes, smaller.

DECORATOR’S PICKS: Check out Moonshine, Grey Owl and French Canvas by Benjamin Moore, or Decorator’s Grey by CIL.

Once your space is ready for furniture, arrange it to create “high corners.” Place tall items such as apartment plants and floor lamps in the corners of the room to draw the eye s far as possible and make the ceiling recede.

A “disappearing” ceiling is the easiest way to make it seem higher. Out of sight, out of mind right? In this case, I avoid ceiling fans or low-hanging lighting, which can draw unwanted attention to a low ceiling. Opt instead for streamlined pot lights, or layer floor and table lamps to ensure enough light where needed. If you have your heart set on a chandelier, suspend it a few inches higher than you normally would. Like your curtains, a higher chandelier will naturally draw the eye upward.

My final tip, though not as sexy as chandeliers and colour palettes, will truly make or break your space. I’m talking clutter. Nothing eats up visual space more than stuff on every surface. Ensure you incorporate sufficient storage when planning your space, so everything has a proper home. This can come in the form of built-in shelving, floor-to-ceiling bookcases, or nice wicker baskets to wrangle the chaos. The result is a room that looks and feels bigger, brighter and by all accounts, better!

Achieving the illusion of a higher ceiling can be as simple as arranging your existing furniture and accessories to accentuate the right features of your space, while drawing attention away from others. Think tall, think bright and set your sights high. That low ceilings is looking up already!

About the Author: Toronto-based, award-winning Interior Stylist, Red Barrinuevo is an Interior Decorator and Principal of Redesign4more, servicing clients in Toronto and the GTA. The firm’s known for enhancing and creating stylish yet functional spaces through their creative home staging and interior styling services. www.redesign4more.com

*Article courtesy of EiEiHome


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Urine Trouble

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Urine Trouble

Paint maker Valspar and UK retailer B&Q have agreed to pay to repaint customer’s homes after the paint they purchased came with an unwanted side effect: it smelled like cat pee. Some people likened it to more of a dead animal odour. Regardless, the warmer the weather, the worse the smell got.
It’s believed that a batch of paint cans were afflicted with a bacterial infection that, once it was applied to walls began to off-gas hydrogen sulphide, which is usually described as “rotten eggs” smell.
One microbiologist suggested ever-tightening EU restrictions on the use of preservatives in products could be partly to blame for the problem.





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Domestice Details: Picture-Perfect Paint Tips

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Domestice Details: Picture-Perfect Paint Tips

Innovative formulas offer style shortcuts to refreshed rooms

Without a doubt, the easiest, most affordable way to transform a room is with a fresh coat of paint, which can change everything from the tone of the interior light to which colours stand out in furnishings, art and accessories.

Now, special formulations also make it possible to paint everything from walls to textile to furniture, with new options for texture and sheen.


Dulux Paints, for example, has introduced two-step, light-reflecting products with burnished finishes called Venetian Silk and Liquid Metal.

Low humidity and moderate temperatures make fall a great time to paint outdoors.

In June, Benjamin Moore introduced to the Canadian market Century paint, an “ultra-premium” collection of 75 new colours with a suede-like matte finish. The saturated tones were inspired by gems, minerals, spices, herbs and plants—many of which were among the original sources of paint pigments.


Benjamin Moore paint expert Sharon Grech thinks the soft finish will be especially appealing to those who embrace hand- and custom made design. “People are looking for the handcrafted. Here, you don’t just see the colour, the experience becomes tactile.”

With some patience, and a steady hand, DIY paint stripes can define a room.

If a whole room re-do isn’t feasible, tired furniture and thrift-shop finds can be given new life with easy-to-use chalks paints from Annie Sloan or milks paints from Toronto based Homestead Paints.


Many people, says Grech, want to “dive into colour” but are unsure about how to choose a shade that’s liveable and long lasting. For inspiration, she suggests looking to a beloved print or a treasured souvenir from a family trip that can serve as a starting point for a palette.

“Pick a favourite colour, and make the room about what you love,” she says.

However you arrive at the perfect hue, the following tips will produce a more professional-looking result.


“If you want a premium job, do premium preparation,” says Grech. That means cleaning walls, filling holes, and repairing damaged areas. Smooth these out with sandpaper and give the entire wall a final light sanding and wipedown. Use the correct primer for the paint. Check the surface again after priming, as it can sometimes reveal imperfections.

Good lighting is critical to a superior paint job. Floor lamps with the shades removed work well for this.

The Dulux website (which has a series of how-to videos) explains that rollers—ideal for painting large areas and ceilings—come in foam, mohair or sheepskin, and with various lengths of pile. The type of roller you need depends on the paint. For example, they suggest that foam rollers don’t typically work well with latex paints, as the spongy texture can produce an orange-peel effect.

Chalk paints are forgiving and fun to use.

Dulux advises that brushes made from natural bristles should not be used in water-based paints—they absorb water and swell, destroying the shape of the brush—and that synthetic brushes that stand on their bristles in solvent will develop a fatal curl.

Always paint from dry to wet, keeping a “wet edge.” Save breaks until you hit a corner rather than in the middle of a wall.

Extension poles aid in rolling longer, more efficient strokes, save bending over to refill, and make a wet edge easier to maintain.

Don’t try and save time or money by getting by on one coat. The pros always do (at least) two in order to get the true development of the colour.

Vicky Sanderson



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Product Showcase: Paint & Wallcoverings

Product Showcase: Paint & Wallcoverings

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Product Showcase: Paint & Wallcoverings

by Rise Levy


Made in Spain, Ambiance Roller Blinds & Sliding Panels from Shades of Home offer a selection of unique banded fabrics, translucent materials with slim aluminum horizontal bars separating the panels. These Roller Shades and Panel Tracks are available in unique materials and finishes to give you the ability to create one-of-a-kind window treatments, manual and motorized. Shades of Home offers many unique window covering treatments. Visit one of their design showrooms in Oakville or Toronto to see for yourself and speak to one of their experienced window treatment experts.



Paint that powerful rectangle, your front door, into a stunning design statement with Beauti-Tone. Formulated for the Canadian climate, providing maximum protection for years on your exterior. Exclusively at Home Hardware and building centres throughout Canada.



The Rigid Sun Tunnel from VELUX Canada is the easiest skylight to install. Ideal for projects where the distance between the roof and ceiling is too long for traditional skylights, it installs in as little as three hours with the patent Flexi-Loc system. To ensure the tunnel withstands the extremities, an Energy Kit is added to increase energy efficiency and for Energy Star compliance.



Benjamin Moore has launched CENTURY in Canada—a new dimension in paint that builds upon the brand’s legacy of craftsmanship, precision and beauty. Formulated to exceed the creative desires of the most exacting designers and environments, this innovative paint comes in a curated collection of 75 brand new colours that are brought to life with the first Soft Touch Matte finish. Shown here, Bittersweet Vine.



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Design: The Life of Our Walls in 2017

Design: The Life of Our Walls in 2017

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Design: The Life of Our Walls in 2017

by Linda Mazur

With the new year comes new trends, great new colours, patterns and finishes to create beautiful personalized looks for your home.

Whether it’s paint or wallpaper, the trends of 2017 will let you unleash your creativity, transforming your walls into inspirational focal points in your room.

Venetian Silk paint by Dulux
Venetian Silk paint by Dulux

Though the Pantone Colour Institute has selected Greenery (15-0343) as it’s colour of the year, we are finding that many major paint companies have in fact gone the way of purple as their colour of the year. Benjamin Moore is calling Shadow (2117-30) their go-to-colour for 2017. CIL has unveiled Antique Violet (50BB 46/091) a subtle, serene violet for their lead colour of 2017 and PPG Paints has toted a soft, muted purple with grey-blue undertones called Violet Verbene (PPG 1169-5). All these varying shades o f violets add a warmth and richness to your living spaces while still maintaining a soft, relaxed look. 2017 will also see earthy greys, sand, terra cotta, mustard and grey-greens emerging in popularity. These colours are reflective of our desires to “unplug” and create simplicity and calmness in our hectic ever-changing lives. Accent these warm earthy tones with bolder hues like teal, deep coral and onyx, which will balance these soft shades beautifully; and for the final touches trendy warm copper, bronze and terracotta will complete your look.

PPG Paints
PPG Paints

For some fun on your walls this year, look to Dulux Venetian Silk or Liquid Metal paints to add a spark of life to your plain walls. Venetian Silk paint is a product that delivers a luxurious elegance to your room. It’s part of Dulux Effect Finishes, which also includes the Liquid Metal paint. These new paint products allow you to create unique finishes customized to your own specifications and artistic imagination.

But it’s not just about paint in 2017. Wallpaper continues its resurgence as we see many new and wonderful patterns appear. Whether you love vintage, colour, floral or a geometric fretwork inspired look wallpaper could be your answer to injecting some life into your living space. The wallcoverings of today have been designed to accent and highlight your walls while emphasizing our continued love of texture, pattern play and colour. They are not the wallpapers many of you may remember from decades ago so be expressive and creative in your selections. Whether it’s a soft subtle look that simply compliments your room’s décor or a bold vibrant pattern that punctuates your space look to wall paper as a part of your décor projects this year. One of my continued go-to wall paper collections is Meredith Heron Wallcoverings for J.F. Fabrics. From mid-century modern influences to fretwork, chinoiserie or floral, the collection continues to inspire design in 2017.

Our walls are no longer just about a simple paint colour. They are in fact an integral part of the design of your living spaces and will continue to be so this year. Texture, colour and pattern play are important elements of design, so be inspired by these great paint finishes and wonderful wallcoverings and bring life to your walls in 2017.

Liquid Metal
Liquid Metal
Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.

LindaMazurDesign.com @LindaMazurGroup


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Make Fall Colours Work for Your Home Office

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Make Fall Colours Work for Your Home Office

Coolest shades of season energize work, study spaces, according to SICO paint

LONGUEUIL, Quebec, July 25, 2016 – Back to school means back to work for adults and kids alike. What better time to update your home office or study area to boost not only your decor, but your family’s productivity as well? That’s the message of leading brand SICO® paint in unveiling its fall 2016 palette.

“Fall is a time of new beginnings, and this season’s pick-me-up shades are perfect for infusing new life into work areas—from vibrant reds and blues, to greyish greens, sun-kissed yellows and classic black-and-white combinations,” said Geneviève Paiement, brand manager for Sico paint, a brand of PPG.

Topping the list of the Sico paint brand’s coolest autumn colours are:

Sockeye (6063-73) and Sun-dried Tomato (6057-85) reds, New Moon (6009-73) blue, Grand Piano (6210-83) black, Citrus (6098-54*) yellow, Cool Current (6199-42) green, and Furtive Mauve (6175-21) and Grayish (6240-21) greys.

“The palette includes trending colours that match every taste. But when selecting hues for home offices or study areas, it’s important to also take into account the user’s personality and the type of work that will be done in the space before committing to a colour scheme,” Paiement said, explaining that colour choices may affect both a person’s mood and work performance.

For example, if you’re seeking stimulation, motivation or creativity, choose warm and cheerful hues such as reds and yellows, she explained. If you’re easily distracted, she recommends surrounding yourself with soft, muted colours that promote concentration, such as grey-blue, grey-green, pale purple or beachy taupe.

“For those in doubt, stick with green, the most popular and safest choice when it comes to painting a home office,” Paiement said, citing Zen Green (6168-73) as the Sico paint brand’s top green pick for a home office. “A deep green with a hint of grey, Zen Green promotes both a sense of calm and rejuvenation at once, delivering an excellent backdrop for thought development and productivity.”

The most popular colour for a home office, green – such as SICO® paint brand’s Zen Green (6168-73) – delivers a calm backdrop for thought development and productivity. Have fun with it by painting chevrons outlined in black – such as Grand Piano (6210-83) by SICO paint – on an accent wall. Painted on the back wall is the SICO paint brand’s Grayish (6240-21).

Cheerful yellow, such as Citrus (6098-54*) by SICO® paint, is a good colour choice for a home office if you’re seeking stimulation, motivation or creativity.

A home office is a perfect place to have fun with colour, from using multiple hues to creating patterns on the wall. Pictured on the wall of this study area is the SICO® paint brand’s Sun-dried Tomato (6057-85) red on a backdrop of Furtive Mauve (6175-21) grey.

Paiement offered this advice to refresh your work space with this season’s palette:

Mix it up: A home office or study area is a perfect place to have fun with colour. Try using two or three paint colours to add interest. For smaller areas, stick with different shades of the same hue to infuse character while visually enlarging the space. Use painter’s tape to create patterns such as chevrons, stripes or squares on the wall to tie multiple colours together.

Go beyond walls: Reserve vibrant colours for furniture and accessories to create a distinctive look for your work area. The edge of a bulletin board, a filing cabinet, desks or chairs can come to life with a fresh coat of paint. Use energetic colours, such as the Sico paint brand’s Citrus (6098-54*) yellow, in surprising ways – on alternating desk drawers, a lamp base or the back of a bookshelf, and even inside drawers and cabinets.

Maximize space: If your home office space is at a premium, use colour tricks to visually open up the area. Consider painting walls and trim the same colour. Painting built-ins the same hue as the rest of the room will make the shelves appear as if they are floating. Another way to fool the eye and make the room look bigger is by painting the bottom half of the wall in a darker shade than the top half. If your office space is part of another room, paint your desk wall a standout colour and add an area rug to define the work area.

Match your style: Choose paint colours according to the overall theme of your home office, including furniture. If your desk and accessories are modern, stick with grey tones – such as the Sico paint brand’s Furtive Mauve (6175-21) or Grayish (6240-21) – as well as whites and blacks, and accent the room with bursts of colour. If you prefer an antique or rustic feel, go with the season’s popular golden yellows, reds or brown sand tones to preserve their charm. Surround yourself with favourite keepsakes, such as books and art pieces, which can serve as inspiration and bring more colour to your space.

To view fall office colours by Sico paint, get design inspiration from top home decor bloggers, and use a leading-edge virtual tool to try the colours in your own – or sample – room settings, visit sico.ca.


Since 1937, the SICO® brand has provided Canadian DIY consumers a complete line of high-quality interior and exterior paints. The brand is recognized as the market leader and can be found on the shelves of Rona as well as other retailers. Developed with professional painters in mind, the brand also offers SICO EXPERT™ paint, a specialized line sold exclusively to the painter’s market.

PPG’s architectural coatings business in the U.S. and Canada is an industry leader in residential and commercial coatings, delivering the latest technologies and operational advancements through its strong portfolio of brands. It manufactures and sells interior and exterior paints, stains, caulks, repair products, adhesives and sealants for homeowners and professionals. Its distribution network includes more than 15,000 touchpoints through company-owned stores, independent dealer locations and all major home improvement centers across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit PPGAC.com.


At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 130 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $15.3 billion in 2015. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit ppg.com.

We protect and beautify the world is a trademark and the PPG Logo is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc. Sico is a registered trademark of the PPG Group of Companies. Sico Expert is a trademark of PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc.


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Colour Trends - 2016

Colour Trends – 2016

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Colour Trends – 2016

Every year, we bring you the picks for the top shades for 2016 from some of the top paint manufacturers.

Benjamin Moore

While colour selections typically vary widely from company to company, one exciting almost colourless colour is Simply White (OC-117) from Benjamin Moore as their Colour of the Year.

White has been making countless appearances in fashion, architecture and home décor. White is transcendent, powerful, polarizing – white is more than a design trend. It’s a design essential. In 2016, white will not play the silent hero.

Accompanied by a curated palette of 22 additional colours, Simply White is part of the Colour Trends 2016 collection and Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year.

Simply White is a perfectly neutral white, whose resilient hue stays true in a variety of lighting, complements a multitude of colours and draws attention to architectural details.

White energizes other colours giving them crisp borders and providing focus.


Another company sporting white on the centre stage of their collection is Sherwin-Williams with Alabaster (SW 7008) as their 2016 Colour of the Year. The colour white, hotly debated as to whether it is a colour at all, has a deeply rooted history filled with symbolic meanings, messages and associations that are speaking to us in a profound way at this place and time.

“Alabaster represents a straightforward and necessary shift to mindfulness, wellbeing and an atmosphere that is pure and simple. It provides an oasis of calm, simplicity, spirituality and less is more visual relief. Alabaster is neither stark nor is it overly warm, but more exactly an understated and alluring white.” said Jackie Jordan, director of colour marketing, Sherwin-Williams.

Pair it with other neutrals like soft grays, dusty blush hues, light to medium woods tones, honed Carrara marble and other natural materials. This colour sometimes requires an earthy bronze or off black to create Yin Yang harmony and balance. It has no clear-cut design aesthetic making it a versatile foundation for many design sensibilities.

Their colour experts researched global trends to determine the 34 colours that make up the forecast. Grouped into four palettes: Pura Vida, Mas Amor Por Favor, Nouveau Narrative and Trajector, these colours highlight a positive outlook and represent a passionate pursuit toward mindfulness, happiness and well-being. “This year, we forecasted colours that provide a range of inspiration for homeowners to create spaces that surround them with the things that ignite their passions and make them feel happy and healthy.” said Jackie Jordan.


Warm, hypnotic, and calm characterizes Beauti-Tone’s Colour of the Year, FLICKERING FLAME. The surging popularity of gold, copper and rusted metals in design influences our love affair for the rusted down-to-earth colours. Flickering Flame is hot for 2016. It is the essential colour across all design styles from traditional to contemporary. It’s on fire!

Becoming more grounded has, in fact, emerged as the driving force behind the three palettes that make up Beauti-Tone’s Trend Colour Collection for 2016.

PPG – Voice of Colour

There’s safety in colours. That’s the message of PPG THE VOICE OF COLOUR program by the PPG PAINTS brand in unveiling its top paint picks for 2016 – a collection of 22 rich, nurturing hues intended to help create a refuge in the home.

“From sturdy darks such as metal grey and burgundy, to earthen mid-tones such as olive brown and indigo blue, to matted taupes and soft grey-whites, the colours for 2016 emit a sense of serenity and security, whether painted on one wall or all four”, said Valerie Jager, channel marketing manager for PPG Architectural Coatings.

Likening the 2016 paint palette to “a big, warm hug after a long day,” Jager explained that “these colours are like a silent guard, emanating strength and protection in the midst of uncertain times.”

Their Colour of the Year is a soft, muted green called Paradise Found (PPG1135-5). With an earthy edge, it hints at nature while emitting a sturdy, shielding feel, echoing the popular urban militia-inspired look that is showing up on fashion runways, Jager said. Pairing well with muffled plum and armour grey, the new green works particularly well in a family room, living area or bedroom.


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Style Stamps

Style Stamps

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Style Stamps

by Samantha Sannella

It’s all in the details

Finishing touches emphasize the style and design of a home. From practical to the whimsical, consider some of these options.

Doors and Hardware

Interior doors are a major component of interior design and convey the style of the home. Take time to explore the hundreds of options that are available. For the best in quality, choose solid core or solid wood doors. They may be more expensive, but well worth the investment. Glass inserts in doors promote an elegant look. Check out doorsforbuilders.com.

Choosing the right hardware to go with the doors is just as important. If the home is traditional, consider oil-rubbed bronze or copper. Brushed nickel works well in transitional or eclectic homes. For a contemporary look, stainless-steel lever handles make a modern statement. Don’t forget to match the hinges to the door handles.

Trim, Moulding and Baseboards

Trim, moulding and baseboards also accentuate the style of the home. A contemporary look can be achieved with the simplicity of straight moulding, which is also much easier to dust and keep clean. For rooms with high ceilings, consider deep baseboards and large crown mouldings to make the space more luxurious. Moulding can also be used for decorative detailing such as coffered ceilings.

Window Treatments

Drapes help to soften the interior of the home with warmth and texture. Finials on drapery rods add another decorative element. Drapes work well with traditional and transitional interiors, and the type of rods and finials you choose reinforce the style. Visit worldmarket.com for a set of whitewashed bird finials, plus other fun options.

Simple roller blinds emphasize a modern aesthetic appeal. You can’t go wrong with a light-filtering neutral fabric, but certain types of shades, like vertical blinds, tend to date a space. For some great ideas visit theshadestore.com.

Wall Coverings and Paint

Wall coverings are making a huge comeback — and they add style, beauty and dimension to a room. Choose from an endless array of colours, patterns and shimmers. Custom patterns can also be created.

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way to define a space. Paint manufacturers make life easier by creating pre-determined palettes of neutrals and colours. Check out the 2015 Colour Forecast in this issue of Ontario Design.


One of the most dramatic additions to the interior of a home is lighting. Chooses fixtures that complement the door hardware and the overall style of the home. Also pay attention to the bulb type and colour rendition, so that the home is consistent. ‘Cleanability’ is an important factor to consider when choosing lighting.

Switch Plate Covers

For added pizzazz, install new switch plate covers. This is a super easy, and economical way, to add style to a home. For trendy decor, consider switch plates with hidden screws. Or for the ultimate in a contemporary statement, check out Le Grand line (legrand.ca), available at Lowes.


is an internationally renowned expert in the field of design and architecture.


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