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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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Pattern Play

Pattern Play

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Pattern Play

by Linda Mazur

Are you’re looking to elevate your décor? Playing with patterns is a great way to achieve that upscale, polished, well-appointed look in your home. But there’s more to this than just mixing fabrics, it’s a careful blending of colours, textures, finishes, scales and even a bit of styles. So where do you start?

As a designer, I have quite often found that many of us when rejuvenating a space and playing with pattern will focus mostly on the décor of that particular room. However, certain more permanent features throughout the room should be given equal if not greater attention when considering pattern throughout a space. Addressing the addition of pattern to flooring, walls or ceilings design allows me to create a long-lasting visual impact within my client’s homes. These days we have such an endless selection of flooring possibilities in an abundance of patterns. From hand-scraped flooring which plays on the textures in your room to a beautiful herringbone patterned hardwood that exudes a fantastic vintage feel in your surroundings, basket-weave marble tile to a boho inspired floor tile the pattern selections available today can play an integral part of your overall design plan. When you’re experimenting with pattern remember that all aspects of the space are crucial and require consideration; this could be features like your flooring, millwork, fireplace surround or even hardware…pat tern play is not just about fabrics.

Once you’ve selected your primary patterns, be it for your floors, windows or perhaps even a great wallpaper, then move forward and add in other patterns for some of the less dominant areas of your room. When working with patterns at this point, more than likely in fabrics, pay attention to your colour scheme and textures, remembering to maintain a commonality throughout. You should also be selecting patterns of different sizes using both large and small scale to add variety and interest. Bold impactful colours will always make a statement in any room, however a more subdue colour scheme can also be dramatic. If you are more comfortable keeping to a rather monochromatic colour palette then look to incorporate a variety of textured fabrics and finishes, you may even want to incorporate some metallic tones, to create a calm yet interesting aesthetic in your space. Fabrics are a key element when introducing patterns into a room and a great Canadian source, which I quite often turn to, is Alendel Fabrics. They offer a vast array of patterns that will undoubtedly inspire you.

Add some personality to your décor by incorporating not only a variety of patterns but also blending together styles of furniture to accomplish the look and feel you desire; just make sure when mixing styles that they relate to the space and to each other. Combining different styles is a great way to elevate your décor. This not only pertains to furniture but also all other aspects of your room. A bold geometric fretwork patterned rug could be just the thing to complement a more traditionally inspired living room design, whereas, a large scaled damask wallpaper can juxtapose beautifully in a modern loft setting.

Add a bit of edge to your designs and make your rooms come alive. The layering of colour, the contrast of texture and finishes, the interest of varying styles and the play on patterns all blend together to prevent a room from becoming too sedated. So whether its toiles or damasks, fretwork or coffered ceilings, herringbone flooring or marble fireplace surrounds, have fun with patterns and create a space that is not only satisfying but visually impressive!

LINDA MAZUR is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group. With almost two decades of experience, this in demand multidisciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.




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