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The new neutrals, blush pink and hints of gold

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The new neutrals, blush pink and hints of gold

Photography by Larry Arnal

Many newly built homes feature open-concept main floors. The kitchen, family room and dining room are visible throughout. While highly desirable, this plan leaves many new homeowners baffled when it comes to design choices. Where do you start and stop a floor pattern? Where can you add or change colour? From a design perspective, the answer is to remain calm and go neutral.

A shimmering backsplash reflects the coordinating pendant lighting and sconces from Hudson Valley Lighting.

Neutrals play well with others

Besides not taking sides in an argument: What does neutral mean? A neutral colour won’t have an effect on other colours because it doesn’t have any significant qualities of its own. Neutrals are considered colourless; like beige, ivory, grey, cream, black or white. Neutrals play well with others.

Slight touches of pink blend beautifully into the neutral palette. The punches of gold are provided by the Moen faucet, the furnishings and brushed gold accents in the lighting, knobs and drawer pulls. Jenn Air offers brushed gold bezels for the dials on their cooktop.

Use trendy colours sparingly

Most designers will treat a colour trend as just that, a trend. Used in limited amounts, you can add the latest colour to a wall and if it grows tiresome, you simply repaint. But you want to make sure fixtures (and expensive furnishings) have longevity and outlast trends. That’s where you can save money in the long term.

Create a background

By choosing flooring, tile, area rugs, large furnishings and wall colours in neutral tones that blend well together, you’re creating an “easy on the eyes” approach to your decor. That’s because there is little contrast, the eye moves through the space without stopping. Contrast makes you look.

But neutrals alone can get boring. How do you make a big impression with neutrals and pastels? We had the chance to imagine and execute a new vision for neutrals at a model home in Aurora, Ontario for Sorbara Homes. By adding layers of neutrals, a surprise blush of pink and metallic accents, we brought a restrained colour palette to life.

With each principal room visible throughout, maintaining a neutral palette and common accent colours helps create design continuity and visual harmony.

Think pink

It may not be everyone’s favourite colour, but we wanted to see if we could transform a room by adding hits of soft pink in some of the accents. The results were still soft and easy on the eyes but added a fresh element. Then, by adding lighting and furniture with accents in brass and brushed gold, the main floor was elevated to a new level of “wow.”

“By adding layers of neutrals, a surprise blush of pink and metallic accents, we brought a restrained colour palette to life.”

A calm, neutral palette benefits from hints of brushed gold and brass that frame glass tables, mirrors and the lighting. Accessorising is easy once you establish your main scheme.

Leave nothing to chance

It’s almost a seamless transition from the kitchen and pantry to the rest of the main floor. A carefully designed floor pattern of inlaid tile in the kitchen blends in tone with the quarter sawn, wire-brushed, white oak flooring throughout.

The kitchen cabinets may be white, but the island and backsplash mimic the tones in the inlaid strips of tile in the floor. The leathered granite counter is a blend of all the neutrals. The pop comes from the door handles and knobs, lighting, chairs and faucets in the kitchen and pantry. Even the bezels on the cooktop are coordinated to match.

Square-patterned tiles set into the large format tiled floor form an area “rug” around the free-standing tub.

Commit to some shine

A little bit of shine, sparkle and brightness add interest to a space, so commit to carrying it throughout an open-concept main floor. For instance, the dining room light fixture provides the gleam and only enhances the silver leaf dining table with gold inlay. Here, the only hint of pink is in the artwork.

Don’t be afraid to add a big statement light fixture in your master bedroom. A little glam is a wonderful touch, even in the private rooms of a home.

You don’t have to stop

We carried our neutral tones with pink and gold accents into the master bedroom and ensuite. The combination is alluring and restful with a touch of glam. The Macassar ebony on the custom-built bedside tables, the floral print and furniture legs provide a touch of contrast and elegance.

Heavy lifting

By using neutrals as a foundation when building a design palette, you’ll achieve a timeless, calm background. Then, when you’re ready to add some “noise,” add in the colours you love and don’t forget the shine.

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com

SOURCES KITCHEN Kitchen Main Floor TILE, Marble Moon – Onyx, 12×24, ACCENT FLOOR TILE, Regal Polished, Grey, 2×12 BACKSPLASH TILE, Tavella polished polvere, 3×6 PERIMETER COUNTER, Caesarstone – Blizzard 2141 ISLAND & SERVERY COUNTER, Leathered granite, Terra Bianca CABINETRY, Perimeter uppers – Paris Kitchens –Monet profile, Dove White painted finish PERIMETER LOWERS, island, custom table & tabletop Paris Kitchens – Monet profile, Cloud grey stained finish on maple SINK, Blanco Performa U1 Silgranit, in Truffle KITCHEN FAUCET, Moen – Align, High Arc pulldown, Brushed gold HARDWARE, Berenson ‘Subtle Surge’ – Modern brushed gold APPLIANCES, Jenn Air “Rise”, LIGHTING, Plaster No.1 Pendant, Garden City Arm Sconce, Hudson Valley Lighting FLINT COUNTER STOOL, CB2 SENECA CHAIR, in Velvet Blush, Sunpan

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In praise of pink

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In praise of pink

Photography By Stephani Buchman

Pink is the classic choice for little girls; sugar and spice, and everything nice, right? But why has this precious palette been relegated to nurseries and little girls’ rooms alone? And what do we do with all that pink once they’ve grown up? In my experience, there’s so much to love about this hot hue. The right pink can be powerful, soothing or lively, depending on the shade and tone. Here are a few of my favourite ways to get all grown up, adventurous and even luxurious, and still be “pretty in pink.”

PLAYFUL PINKS

Pink is a highly versatile hue, from the barely-there, whisper-of-pink off-whites such as Benjamin Moore’s 2020 colour of the year, First Light, to the boldest and brightest variation, like Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year, Living Coral. This vibrant variety has become an interior mainstay, adorning everything from paints and wallpapers, to accessories and furnishings. Kick your pinks up a notch by pairing them with modern geometric patterns and edgy accessories. Think Walhol-inspired oddities.

50 SHADES OF PINK

As we already know, pink is a multi-faceted colour, encompassing everything from subtle off-white shades to saturated, acidic pinks and those bordering on burgundy. Try layering different shades and tones of pink for a fail-proof, monochromatic interior. Balance all that pink with black and white, and add further interest with some textural and pattern play.

“The right pink can be powerful, soothing or lively, depending on the shade and tone.”

Benjamin Moore’s 2020 COLOUR OF THE YEAR, First Light 2102-70

NEUTRAL PINKS

Soft, subtle shades of pink are a stunning and unexpected alternative to beige. It’s also a little more exciting, as far as neutral colour options go. Pink can be the picture of sophistication when tinting white, and when paired with white walls, it brings warmth and depth to the design.

TIP ~ Pair white walls with pink pillows, throws and a key piece of furniture. The pink will instantly provide a focal point, without the commitment.

LUXURIOUS PINKS

Pink lends itself well to luxury. It works wonderfully with pops of gold, which has been the trending metallic for a few years now. And the beauty of this combination is you don’t need much of either to make an impression. Pink and gold both land on the warm side of the colour spectrum, and complement each other beautifully. For the ultimate in indulgences, choose pink luxury materials, such as suede, velvet and marble.

Pink is one of my favourite colours, and with its wide range of options, it can be one of yours, too! Few other colours have the scope of esthetics and emotions that pink can invoke, and from a designer perspective, that is a beautiful thing. Almost every room has a place for pink in my opinion, which shouldn’t be thought of as feminine or otherwise. Pink can be soft or strong, powerful or playful, and one thing’s for certain – it’ll always be on my must-have list.

Sara Bederman, Principal Designer for Sara Bederman Design, is known for creating stylish, thoughtfully curated and livable interiors for over a decade. The Toronto-based firm provides residential design services for projects of all sizes. Sara Bederman Design works throughout Toronto, GTA and beyond. For more information, sarabedermandesign.com, follow her on Instagram: sarabstudio

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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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