Dreaming – and living – in colour

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Dreaming – and living – in colour

You can’t scare designer Meredith Heron with colour. Or small spaces. And you most certainly cannot convince her that the former does not belong in the latter.

“It just has to be well-conceived,” says Heron, whose mastery of both is reflected in the 10-by-15-ft. master bedroom of the narrow Victorian — 21 ft. at its widest point and under 1,000 sq. ft. overall — she shares in downtown Toronto with husband Asa Weinstein and son Luke.

Nor did it faze Heron that the house — like many of its genre — could be dark and prone to shadow, and she scoffs at the notion that colour would emphasize those challenges.

While the room appears carefully planned, Heron admits there’s an accidental aspect to its appeal.


“It became the room where I put the furniture from design projects that did not work out,” says Heron. “The chair, for example, was abandoned by someone who paid for me to have it fixed. The bedside tables I purchased at the Bombay 12 years ago, because it was the only thing I could afford!”

Colour unifies these disparate elements, which combine to make a dreamy retreat. It’s cosy without being cramped, and tone and texture add depth and interest.

Confident colour starts with walls covered in Para’s St. Boniface (recently renamed Grey Midnight), which Heron called “the perfect neutral, a wonderful mutable shade of indigo.”


Blues and greens are moody, but somehow still bright; with palm-shaped splashes of blue in a duvet cover from West Elm, punctuated by trim on patterned European shams, whose hues are echoed in the headboard and large Chinoiserie hanging between south-facing windows.

Other art and accessories is restrained, but equally interesting — matching slim-hipped lamps, black-and-white linen prints in simple frames, a photo or two, and a set of sculptural, ethically-sourced Antelope horns, (like deer antlers, they fall off the animal).


Above the bed, a small-scaled sunburst mirror and overhead, a delicate chandelier.

Heron, who’s known as much for a breezy way with pattern as she is for an ease with colour, has a fondness for animal motifs that show up in a zebra print on a handsome yet useful bench at the foot of the bed.

Another print — a verdant botanical from Schumacher on Roman blinds — ties a neat bow on cream, navy and blush tones.

While using a pattern as a base for a palette is not an uncommon designer trick, Heron turned the convention upside down.

“It looks like the starting point, but it’s actually the finishing point, that last thing I picked,” says Heron. “But it brings everything together for a more deliberate look.”

Designer and television host Meredith Heron characterizes her work as an extensive conversation with colour, form, pattern and texture. meredithheron.com


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