Tag Archives: Colour

Think pink

Pink is the hot new trend in decor

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Pink is the hot new trend in decor

Every room tells a story, and for the moment the story is pink! We’re not talking about exaggerated pinks such as bubblegum pink or hot pink. Instead, the pinks we are inspired by range from rich earthy, dusty tones to salmon and soft corals, or lovely greyish blush tones to deep, rich cerise. These are pinks that are universal in design and decorating, without being overly feminine. A beautiful earthy pink pared with deep greens and the newly popular ochre creates a warm, inviting and comfortable colour palette for almost any room in your home.

Shades of pink were ever-so popular in the 1980s, and we are seeing a rejuvenation of that pink and grey as a classic colour palette. The soft grey of that period has matured into a rich charcoal that is perfectly complemented by the everlasting blush pink. For those who like to push the design envelope, this combo can be further transformed with a deep rich smoky navy, a touch of mustard and a beautiful earthy pink. The versatility of this colour is endless.

Blush is today’s new neutral, especially when it comes to wall colours. Multi hues of pink can create a bold monochromatic statement in your room. Pinks can also be forceful, almost bordering on overpowering while at the same time simplistic and calming.

If you are feeling that pink is a trend you are itching to explore but just can’t bring yourself to go all the way, try easing into today’s trend with some light accessories, or toss cushions. Or perhaps if you’re ready for tad more, try creating a feature wall with a great wallpaper pattern. There are so many possibilities that allow you to inject a bit of this fun trend into your home… so many beautiful fabric and wall covering patterns, so many wonderful shades of this great colour to service every mood, every style, every room.

If you’re looking to incorporate multiple patterns and textures into your space, there are a few things to keep in mind to achieve that “designer look” in your own home. To blend fabric patterns together successfully, you need to remember to vary the scale of the patterns from small to large and maintain the same depth or magnitude of colour to avoid an imbalance in the space. Starting with the blending together of a minimum of three fabric patterns should give you a solid base to expand on. Your first pattern should be your most impactful one, so selecting a pattern that is larger-scaled might be wise. The second pattern should be completely different, about half the scale of the first one and should incorporate some similar colours or tones. The third pattern can be smaller scale and similar in pattern to either of the first two, with at least two to three of the colours found in the other patterns. So, for example, if you have selected a large-scale floral as your first pattern, the second could be a bold stripe or perhaps a geometric fretwork pattern, and then blend in another small-scale floral for the third or an alternative geometric. You can still add another pattern or two, or three, if you wish – maybe a small check, dot or something in a solid small-scale texture. If you’re more adventurous, consider throwing an animal print into the mix for a bit of fun. There are a lot of fabulous pink animal prints available today that can spice up a room – and remember to maintain balance throughout your space.

Pink is in so be bold and explorative in your decorating. Enjoy this trend. You may be surprised where it will take you!

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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Big Style, Small Spaces

Transform an empty space into something fabulous

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Transform an empty space into something fabulous

When I was tasked with designing the Kingsway Village Square suites, a stunning new eight-storey luxury rental building in Etobicoke by Dunpar Homes, I knew I wanted to optimize the square footage as much as I could.

Although the specific suites I was asked to design are some of the smaller ones in the building, that doesn’t mean I had to scrimp on style or functionality. In fact, with the right eye and employing smart strategies, I was able to transform each unit into something spectacular and spacious.

Whether you’re downsizing from a home into a suite, or you’re looking for inventive ways to transform an existing room or small space, these tips are some of my best-laid plans.

Paint your walls white

The effect of colour in a home can be huge, and it plays a big part in how you dress a small space. Just like fashion, it’s a rather simple rule of thumb: Lighter colours will make you or the room look more prominent, whereas darker colours will make you or the room appear smaller.

With the Kingsway Village Square units, I kept the main living areas a beautiful neutral white – my constant, go-to colour – to give the feeling of freshness, airiness, and space. If I were to paint those walls dark, say a navy blue or anything more saturated, you’d feel a bit crowded in, and that’s not going to help make the space feel roomy. Plus, that leaves very little room to switch things up in my decor: A white palette on the walls gives me the freedom and flexibility to change my furnishings around if I so desire. The same can’t be said if I have to work with a different colour.

If you are a fan of colour, don’t feel like you have to reject it entirely, either. Use it elsewhere in your home, such as a powder room or a bedroom. Both could work really well, especially as a feature wall, or use it in your artwork or soft finishes, such as pillows, throws, and blankets.

Don’t fight with your furniture

When I walk into a room, I want my eye to wander around the entire space and not get stuck on the particular furniture I have in the area. So I used legs on the furniture. Elte Markets, a more affordable sister brand of Elte, has some fantastic pieces this season, most of which I used to furnish the model suites at Kingsway Village Square. I wanted people to walk into the suite where your eye is tricked into seeing through and under everything, because every piece is propped by some legs. No furniture is flush and heavy on the floor, each is “lifted” to create good flow and harmony in each room. There’s no heavy, massive couch that dominates the living room and goes down to the floor with a skirt. No, thank you! Each of my bedside tables in the bedroom have legs, the chairs have legs, everything has legs. It’s a small trick, but one that I promise will yield the most significant impact. Your room will instantly feel larger because of it.

Keep your overall colour palette neutral, nix all those acccessories

Whether in the kitchen, dining room or bedroom, I always steer clear of too much clutter as well as too bold colour choices, unless I’m playing around with the soft furnishings. Again, the lighter you go, and the less stuff you have, the more open your room will feel. I’m not a minimalist by any means, but I do think there is something to be said for having a few, choice accessories in a room as opposed to bombarding it with every one of your favourite knick-knacks. My general rule of thumb is always, for every one thing you put out, put something away.

Keep calm and carry on

I wanted to keep the kitchen as neutral as possible so it could blend seamlessly into the overall design and feel of the space, so I removed all the hardware and handles from all the cabinets. I wanted lovely, clean lines and with handles. You don’t get that, all you get is busyness. To me, it doesn’t give the impression of an inviting space. Now, I’m no modernist, but there’s something about this look that inspires the exact feeling I want: Calmness.

The same sentiment applies for the bedroom: I opted for mesh roller blinds (you could go either white or black) because the fabrication is very effervescent. They frame and balance the room well, so it isn’t too busy, and your eye isn’t drawn to fussy curtains. The black-bronze curtain rods and silver grommets help to keep the look elegant, while also not weighing down the space.

Pump up your colour with soft finishes and furnishings

For bigger pieces, whether it is a couch, bed frame or dining table, I work with lighter fabrics and lighter shades. However, one area I do play with colour is in my soft finishes and furnishings, such as artwork, duvet covers, pillows, throw blankets, accessories, and even big coffee table books. This is where you can have some fun, and it also doesn’t cost a lot. If the mood strikes where I want to switch up my space, I can do it with my soft furnishings quite easily. Williams Sonoma, IKEA, and Pottery Barn all have beautiful selections.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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Design: Colour

Colour your world

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Colour your world

Full of design “inspo” colour is a major influencer in the world of design. It can enhance and punctuate a monochromatic space, it can create drama in a room or do the opposite and create a relaxing serene environment. However you use colour in your space, you definitely know it can set the direction and complement the style of your home.

Whether you enjoy the simplicity of “white” walls with the flexibility of injecting colour with your furnishings and accessories, or whether you are drawn to using colour on your walls, undoubtedly a splash of this year’s popular bold and rich hues are sure to leave you feeling all the love for colour in your life. Rich jewel tones, deep earthy plums, corals, and soft pinks as the “new” answer to neutrals, or bright cheery greens and yellows and blues of all shades — there’s a broad spectrum of possibilities available, and inspirations galore.

Richly patterned fabrics and area rugs, coloured saturated tiles and bold wallpapers lend themselves well to creating a space with a personality all its own. However, if this all seems a bit too much for you and your comfort zone lies deep within the monochromatic white-on-white look, never fear as colour can still find its way into your home in the subtlety of artwork or even the lushness of this year’s hot trend of fresh green plants. Whatever your heart desires, there is definitely an abundance of ways to colour your world! Colour can find it’s way into every room in your home, especially the kitchen, where white cabinetry has moved aside for everything from shades of soft and pretty blue greys to deep blues and greens. However, let’s not forget about our appliances, both large and small, which have taken on a life of their own when it comes to colour.

So, give your home a little “facelift” with an inspirationally stylish and sophisticated blend of colour, pattern and texture. Then sit back, relax and enjoy all the beauty you have created.

Here are a few tips to get your colour inspiration started:

  1. Paint is always a great place to start. Any “weekend warrior” can easily liven up a room with a gallon of paint, and when you’ve tired of the colour it’s easy enough to change.
  2. Wallpaper is a fun and fantastic way to inject life into your room. With the abundant selection of patterns and colours available, you’re sure to make a great impact.
  3. Be bold in your selections and use of colour. If you love a particular colour but are unsure, use it in smaller doses as an accent instead of on a larger scale such as an accent wall.
  4. Add a touch of black to your mix; it doesn’t need to be a large item – a black box, vase, picture frame or other accent. By doing this you clarify and enhance all the other colours in the space.

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, 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.

@LindaMazurGroup


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At Home With Men At Work

Colour Theory 101: A main floor renovation in Little Portugal hits all the right notes

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Colour Theory 101: A main floor renovation in Little Portugal hits all the right notes

Photography by Valerie Wilcox

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane, and revisit those lessons on colour theory from high school art class; I promise this detour will be quick. Everyone knows that the primary colours are blue, red and yellow. Secondary colours are made by mixing two primary colours together: purple, orange, and green. Tertiary colours are made by (you guessed it), mixing one primary colour and one secondary colour together.

Opposites attract

Now that we’ve got those three terms straight, let’s move on to complementary colours. One common misconception about complementary colours is that they are similar colours. When we say “complementary,” we are actually referring to two colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel. A complementary colour pairing is made up of one primary colour, and one secondary colour that was made without the primary colour it is paired with. The pairs are blue and orange, red and green, and yellow and purple. Scientifically speaking, complementary colours simultaneously stimulate different parts of the eye, which is why we find the combination so appealing. It’s a natural example of opposites attracting. When we are describing similar colours, the technical term is “analogous” colours. They are groups of three colours that are next to each other on the proverbial colour wheel. An example of a trio would be blue, teal and green.

Mood-enhancing hues

Now that we are up to speed on our colour theory, let’s apply it! This is the fun part. First of all, don’t get hung up on the colour of the year. Rather, think about the colours that evoke the atmosphere you want to create in your space. Some may find peace in darker, more dramatic hues, while others find solace in brighter spaces with varying shades of analogous colours. The latter was the case for our client’s ground-floor renovation in Little Portugal. The main goal for the space was to open it up by removing the partition walls. In doing this, we shifted the location of the kitchen toward the back of the home to provide a more formal living/dining space at the front of the house, and a family room right off the kitchen at the back of the house.

Family heirloom plays a new tune

One of the major influences in this design was finding a way to transform the client’s family piano. The piano was no longer in great musical shape, but it had been in the family for decades, so it was an important piece of family history that needed to be preserved. The piano was lovingly disassembled, and the salvaged pieces of mahogany were stripped and sanded, revealing a beautifully rich reddish-orange wood. The family heirloom was then reconfigured into a functional and original desk in the kitchen. Considering the open-concept floorplan, we chose a classic white-and-grey paint combination for the kitchen cabinetry. To add a hit of timeless contrast, we selected a moonstone marble backsplash in a herringbone pattern.

Colour’s transformative power

Knowing that blue and orange are complementary colours, it is no surprise that the hints of blue found in the backsplash, as well as the undertones in the dark grey colour of the island, are the perfect pairing for our custom mahogany piano desk. The vibrant runners are an excellent way to add colour and pattern to the neutral backdrop of the walls and cabinetry. By simply changing the runners, some accessories, and the artwork, the colour story of this space was completely transformed, without another major renovation.

If you are like me, and constantly thinking about your next design project, take the time to consider the colour story of your home, because great spaces are carefully and selectively curated to present a cohesive story from the foyer to the back door, and everything in between. Now for your homework – because I have to give you the full high school experience – do a little colour soul searching; discover what colours empower you, energize you, console you, and then create your new space with unapologetic conviction.

Sources:

KITCHEN CABINETRY PAINT: Chantilly Lace OC-65, Midnight 2131-20 Benjamin Moore KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS: Noble Grey from Caesarstone KITCHEN BACKSPLASH: Moonstone Herringbone from Creekside Tile KITCHEN CABINETS: Merlo Woodworking WOOD FLOORING: Bistro Collection, Maple French Roast, Fuzion Flooring

Natalie Venalainen is a Senior Designer at Men at Work Design-Build.

She has 10 years of industry experience and has won several awards including the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s top 30 under 30 design professionals across North America in 2018.


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The link between sleep and interior design

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The link between sleep and interior design

There are a lot of factors that go into how you design your home. Your furniture has to be practical, comfortable, appropriate for the space it’s in, and most importantly, attractive. You have so many choices about the color and style of paint, even the style of curtains you choose. Well, what you might not know is that all of those choices will also affect the way you sleep in your space.

How does color affect sleep?

The color you choose to be dominant in your bedroom is vital to a good night’s sleep, and the best color has been determined to be blue. All shades of blue are found to be calming and soothing. This helps prevent nightmares and can also help to lower your blood pressure, which will help to improve the quality of your sleep.

Other colors that help:

  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Silver
  • Orange

Colors that hurt:

  • Red
  • Gold
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Purple

The style of paint that you choose can also affect your sleep. If you choose a reflective paint such as an eggshell or satin finish, you will find that it will reflect more light than you expect. Try going with a flat finish to avoid the distraction of reflected lights when you’re trying to sleep.

How does clutter affect sleep?

The more stuff you have in your room, the more likely you are to find a way to be too distracted to sleep. You’re also more likely to struggle with depression and anxiety because of it. This is especially true if you work from your bedroom.

If you’re redesigning your house and you need a space to work, try and find a space outside of your bedroom for that. Your bedroom should not be an all-purpose room. Instead, it should be designed specifically for sleep.

If you’re just fond of keeping a variety of objects around, try and go through them on a regular basis to avoid having your spaces devolve into cluttered messes.

How does light affect sleep?

If your home has a lot of natural light, this is great for during the day. At night, however, that light can be a little more difficult to deal with. Our bodies are inclined to be awake when the sun is up and asleep when it isn’t, so we have to work with that in our era with all of the electronic lights.

Try adding blackout curtains or liners to your bedroom windows in order to ensure that you have the darkness you need to get a good night’s sleep. You can also try rearranging your bedroom so that you aren’t staring directly at the window while you sleep.

Last but definitely not least, make sure your mattress is pleasing to both your sense of sight and your sense of touch. Finding mattresses that deliver to Canada can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be, thanks to this list!

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Spring Decor Trends

Spring decor trends – new colours to try in your home this season

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Spring decor trends – new colours to try in your home this season

From vibrant hues to more classic neutrals, this season Pantone offers up plenty of variety in its palette. Considered the global authority on all things colour, Pantone says 2019 spring décor trends will “reflect a desire to embolden ourselves as we face the future” with colour that transcends seasonality, while remaining dynamic without being too overpowering. This year, it’s all about providing a sense of confidence, while championing our creative spirits with unexpected combinations.

I have to say: I love the sentiment! Why wouldn’t we want to take charge of our futures full-steam ahead, and what better way for us to do that then to create a home that energizes us to do exactly that. It’s interesting – we don’t even realize most of the time just how impactful colour is on our daily lives – it can uplift our spirits to give us a sense of positivity and hopefulness, just as much as it can drag us down and leave us feeling, well, frankly, less than that. Colour has the ability to do that, so what I love mostly about this year’s Pantone selects is that there is plenty to choose from, so whatever your ideas are this season for some fresh spring décor trends in your own homes, you can cherry-pick whatever colours speak to you most to start the process.

Here’s some of my favourites:

Turmeric – This spice isn’t just good for your body it’s now considered a good option for your home, too! Love how energizing the orange is with that pungent, deep palette.

Pepper Stem – Earthy, but vivid. This yellow-green is meant to encourage our desire for nature’s healthy bounty.

Lemon Verbena – Anyone else think of the Amalfi Coast (and their lemons) when you look at this colour? Just gorgeous. So fresh and cheerful.

Toffee – Rich, just like the treat, but also a beautifully classic shade.

Pressed Rose – Ah! So romantic and pretty. The pressed rose is meant to strike feelings of sentimentality.

Soybean – You know I can’t walk away from a neutral! Soybean is a favourite: more subtle and versatile. I find it quite sophisticated actually.

Eclipse – Navy has been trending for a while now, and with good reason: It’s such a sumptuous, deep blue. It’s a bit sexy, isn’t it?

Sweet Corn – Love this name and love the colour even more: Soft, almost buttery, it’s a stand-out neutral in my opinion.

Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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Front porch makeover

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Front porch makeover

By Jaclyn Harper

Well friends, fall is officially here. Have you started your fall decorating yet? Personally, I think the best way to kick off the season is with an updated front porch or entry. With that said, today I’m giving you five tips to instantly transform your front porch.

Paint
This may seem daunting to a lot of you, but you’d be amazed at how much paint can transform your space. Last year, we painted the brick of our home. The transformation is honestly incredible. Our home went from old and dated to new and modern. Of course, getting your brick stained can be much more expensive than simply painting your front door. In fact, we did paint our front door and our garage, too.

When we purchased our home they were white and they looked dirty. We thought that this coffee brown colour looked amazing against our new grey brick and would hide the dirt as well. So why not give your front door a refresh? It’s simple, it’s inexpensive and it’s fun. Plus, it’s so simple to change the colour if you want to in the future.

If you pop into Lowe’s they have the new HGTV Home By Sherwin Williams line, which makes shopping for your paint colour really easy. I’m thinking I’m going to repaint our door a light blue to give it a burst of colour.

Texture
For fall you definitely want to incorporate different textures on your front porch to bring it to life. I’m talking about corn stalks, hay bales, birch logs, textured pillows and throw blankets. All of these things help to create a cozy and inviting entry to your home. These items are also a great way to play with different heights and will help add some dimension to your space.

Corn stalks can be really dramatic, which I love. Using hay bales to add height can be helpful, too. They make for great fall side tables, stools or pedestals for your fall accessories.

Accessories
Speaking of accessories, you can’t go wrong with pumpkins. But don’t go crazy — when you choose a lot of smaller accessories your space can look very cluttered very quickly. And make sure you’re choosing some larger elements so that people can see your items from the street. Stand on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street to see how it’s all coming together.

These days a lot of people are actually purchasing their accessories online. So, if you’re shopping online already, go to airmilesshops.ca and get miles at the same time! They’ve added a bunch of new brands like Etsy, Wayfair and Ticketmaster, in addition to the 175 brands they already have. In fact, the pillows, the black lanterns and the magnolia wreath are all ordered from Wayfair. Everything else on my front porch was picked up at Lowe’s. We found a really fun blue and black doormat there this year

Colour
The easiest way to add some colour is with flowers. Mums are great for this time of year, but there really are so many options to choose from. I think it’s important to start by figuring out what your colour palette is going to be. You can look on Pinterest or head to Lowe’s Ideas and Tips section to get inspired. Once you’ve decided on your palette — stick with three colours — then it’s time to pick out your flowers. This year I’ve chosen to use navy, white and green. Of course, you can also add colour in your throw pillows, your throw blankets, your doormat and in your flower pots.

Lighting
It’s really easy to update the look of your home with some new lighting. Whether it’s a wall sconce, ceiling light, solar lighting along the walkway, or just adding some lanterns, it’s easy to update your home. If you look outside and notice that you’ve had the same wall sconce for about five years, it’s probably time for a change.

At Lowe’s there is such a variety of lights to choose from. That’s where we found ours and it was only $22 at the time. Total bargain right?

Well, I really hope you get to try out these tips for yourself. I’d love to share your front porch makeover on my Instagram page and all you have to do is use the hashtag #jhdfrontporch. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with.

Jaclyn Harper is a TV host, interior stylist and busy mother. http://jaclynharperdesigns.com/

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Design Expert: Mood Makers

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Design Expert: Mood Makers

How colour and decor styles can change the feeling in a space

A home’s decor affects your mood. Why do you sit up so straight in some rooms and feel like you can put your feet up in others? Some of that has to do with furniture but mainly, colour and lighting create the mood in your home. Dimmers allow you to control and alter the mood in a space.

STRIKE A BALANCE

People often refer to deep colours being “dark,” however, dark really refers to the amount of light in a room vs. the colour on the walls. When the wall colour is deep and rich, it absorbs more light than colours like white or light pastels. The more light absorbed, the more we feel a sense of sonority and sombreness in the room. We refer to moods as “beaming with happiness,” or feeling “bright, up and happy,” all of which use “light” to describe mood. Conversely, we talk of “dark times” feeling “gloomy” or travelling with a “dark cloud.” The combination of paint colour, the quantity of light and the colour of the light can create feelings from danger to productivity, medical sterility to romance, intimacy and safety.

NATURE RULES

Have you ever wondered why most homes have white ceilings, warmer coloured walls and darker hardwood floors? This combination is the one that makes people feel most comfortable. It’s the same combination as the sky, the trees and the earth, as you walk through a forest. Once you know that rule, you can start to play with it by having painted ceilings, light-wood floors, etc. These combinations change the mood of the room because it is different than normal. Very deep colours on the walls also create a feeling of intimacy and sonority because the walls feel closer to you. The deep colours absorb most of the light. Without getting into the physics, the room feels more like “night” and we lose our ability to fully determine the dimensions of the room.

LIGHT CONTROL

In order to play with mood, we adjust the amount of light and the light’s colour temperature. We are all now familiar with the labels on light bulbs that say “warm white, soft white, daylight” etc. These words refer to the colour temperature measured in “degrees Kelvin” All you really need to know is that the lower the number, the “warmer” the colour. 2700-3000 is normal residential light while 5000K is more suited to jewelry stores and museums. The warmer the light the more like a “candle” it is. If the lighting is low, the more intimate the room feels. A kitchen, for example, needs to go from “meal preparation work space” to “romantic dinner date.” This is why most designers insist on dimmers everywhere. The dimmers allow you to alter the mood, by altering the light.

Everyone has a slightly different response to colour and light. It’s important you organize the lighting plan for your home to make sure there is light on every square foot of the floor, and then you can play with the mood to suit the people in the room.

DRAW THE EYE TO ART

The light and wall colour also allow us to feature works of art that adorn the walls. A white wall with white painting is very subtle, while a black painting on a white wall is very dramatic. The lighting plan allows you to feature the art in the room by adding specific “art lights.” Essentially, the lighting plan tells people entering the room where to look first by providing that element with more light. The featured art or sculpture also affects the mood of the room. Think about your mood when you look at art that is bright coloured and “cartoon-like” vs. a battlefield as night falls. Art is an expression of the artist to evoke a feeling or mood.

You can play with colour, art accessories and light level throughout the year and stay in control of the mood your home evokes. If nature is affecting your mood outside, you can control your mood once you come inside!

Extensive experience in residential, commercial and hospitality design. Principal of design firm Grafus Design Build, Glen Peloso is frequently in the media as design expert on the Marilyn Denis Show, and CHCH Morning Live, a contributor to Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, past series with HGTV and the Food Network, along with Radio and Blogs. Reporting on design trends from around the world, his work has been featured in various print publications throughout North America. Twitter: glenpeloso Instagram: glenpelosodesigner

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Cover Story: Living In Colour

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Cover Story: Living In Colour

Designer Rebecca Hay puts her fail proof colour formula to the test in her own vibrant living room

By Rebecca Hay

Photography By Stephani Buchman

Most of us love a space that has just the right pops of colour, it feels inviting and lively. However, many of us find it intimidating to decorate with colour. Where do you start? How do you ensure you don’t “overdo” it? Decorating with colour can be oh-so-rewarding. After all, life is meant to be lived in technicolour, not in black and white. Here are my tips on how to live and work with colour.

COLOUR PSYCHOLOGY

With every space I design, including my own home, colour is an integral element to creating the right mood. My goals are always to create spaces that are warm, unique and inviting. Colour allows me to do this every time. The psychology behind colour is a fascinating study. There’s no surprise that yellow is a cheerful colour that promotes optimism. Blue, however, is suggested to be the preferred colour for men. Blue is associated with tranquility and reliability, providing a sense of security and stimulates productivity. Before delving into designing any space, think about the mood you want to convey. Is it a cool, relaxing space or a warm, inviting one where dinner parties end in dance parties? You don’t need a degree in psychology to figure out which colours are right for you. Trust your gut and you will never go wrong, but it’s important to be mindful of the mood and energy you are trying to evoke.

I chose this fun contemporary Jonathan Adler Kravet fabric to add further colour and life to the space. The contemporary chevron contrasts nicely with the traditional moldings and historic features of the home.

YIN-YANG

In our living room, it was essential that it appeal to both men and women. I wanted it to be bright and energizing as this is the main sitting and socializing area of the home. The drapery fabric was our inspiration and starting point. I knew we wanted to energize the space with yellow and we already had the retro navy chairs to work with, so I chose to balance the navy of the chairs with bright-yellow custom drapery. The yellow creates a wow-factor and sets the tone for a playful and cheery mood.

BALANCING ACT

Finding the right balance of colour is also key in achieving a cohesive design. It’s important to balance any bold colours with lots of neutrals. A little trick that I like to use is the 60-30-10 rule. When decorating a particular room, divide the colors into percentages: 60 per cent of a dominant colour, 30 per cent of a secondary colour, 10 per cent of an accent colour, and you will never go wrong. The neutral walls, sofa and rug make up the largest percentage, followed by the yellow of the drapery, pillows and art, which provide visual interest. Finally, the navy chairs and small pops of blue throughout round out the 10 per cent, creating a little extra pop. When the right balance is achieved, the design feels harmonious and comfortable.

THAT EXTRA OOMPH

We also added a little extra pop. In addition to the three dominant colours, we chose to complement the blues with hints of orange. Adding a few “bonus” colours adds a little extra interest and variety. I found an old traditional wingback armchair in desperate need of TLC, and recovered it with this bold contemporary Jonathan Adler orange fabric. It’s cosy, warm and inviting while adding some traditional sophistication to the space. To add cohesiveness, we repeated the orange hue in the custom toss cushions by using a modern ikat fabric that has a blend of yellow and orange.

Paint PICK: Gray Mist 962, Benjamin Moore

THE POWER OF REPETITION

The last key to decorating with colour is repetition. Repetition is key to creating a cohesive design. By repeating a colour multiple times in a space, it feels purposeful and comforting. The warm wood of the vintage teak coffee table and the bamboo roman blind add warmth, and layer in another shade of orange to the space. It’s not enough to have a large amount of colour in one piece of furniture or on accessories. It’s the repetition of this colour throughout the space in varying quantities that unifies the design and makes it feel purposeful.

In our living room we have found a comforting and beautiful balance of colour. It’s a family space that feels modern and sophisticated. Contemporary fabrics and traditional bones make it an inviting and fun place for social gatherings or curling up by the fire with a book. It’s proof that by taking the plunge and designing with colour, you can create a space that is visually beautiful, intriguing, and at times surprising.

SOURCES FABRIC- Kravet; PAINT- Gray Mist 962, Benjamin Moore; CARPET IN LIVING ROOM West Elm; CARPET IN DINING ROOM Dominion Rug & Home; DINING TABLE – custom by RHD; CHAIR – clients re-purposed; ARTWORK – clients

Designer Rebecca Hay, Principal Designer of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., is a Toronto-based boutique design firm offering complete design & renovation services for residential, commercial and vacation properties for over a decade. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca and her team design classic, livable spaces that reflect the homeowner’s personality. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, the GTA and Canada. rebeccahaydesigns.com

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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.

Lighting

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.

SAMANTHA SANNELLA, BFA ID, M ARCH,

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


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