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April 26th, 2011

Bringing Colour Home

This spring we are seeing so many fresh colours in home decor, from confident pastels to salt water taffy green and yummy lemons. I always like to have some colour in my space; it brightens my mood and makes then entire décor come alive. When working with colour, I always start off with an inspiration. I look for places that have done colour well and have stood the test of time. Some of my favourites are the historic Gobbler Restaurant and the Greenbrier resort in Virginia (this property has just been restored to Dorothy Drapers original spring-fresh colour palette.

Once you have that inspiration translate that palette it into your space, just scale it down and apply to your decor. People tend to think being minimal (in colour palettes and furnishings) will make a space look larger, it's actually the opposite- colour will make your space come alive! When you work with colour in think about layering it. For example take one colour and use varying shades of that colour in your paint, wallpaper, drapes, area rugs and accessories. You almost can't over do it, trust me, as long as there is slight variance. To break it up add in accent colours. To find the right accent use a colour wheel for guidance. For softer hues stick to complementary colours. With bolder hues work with analogous colors (any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel) and layer these up.

Most importantly, don't forget about your 5th wall, the ceiling.. Ceilings love colour. A sky-blue or soft lemon ceiling framed by crown molding looks as tasty as a cupcake and adds a surprising "wink" to a room. In a small space it will also carry the eye up and expand the space.

I also think you can't have enough colourful fabric. I like layering graphic and ornate prints that feature the same colours. You can also shop for furniture that already features a bold colour like this Dakota sofa by Barrymore.




Many Canadian manufacturers can make custom pieces in any colour in the rainbow. At the recent Canadian Home Furnishings Market Trica featured their dining chairs in hot pink… they looked amazing!!



  • Posted by Joanne on April 27th, 2011, 15:16
    Hi Janette,
    I love these recommendations. I'm always so afraid to use colour - it seems like we've been brainwashed into thinking "neutral" all the time. I for one am afraid of a disaster DIY - that colour may look awesome on a swatch, but will I regret it once the entire wall is covered? How can I take baby steps into this wonderful world of colour?
  • Posted by bar chairs on September 14th, 2011, 10:28
    Hi, this blog is really instructive. I would like to know more about this.

    bar stools
  • Janette  Ewen Posted by Janette Ewen on September 15th, 2011, 00:56
    Thanks so much for your comments, great stools. My fave's are from Trica, check them out on our manufacturers list:)
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Janette  Ewen

Janette Ewen has been one of Canada’s leading décor and lifestyle experts for more than a decade, passing on her passion for design and fashion to avid fans through magazines, newspapers and television.

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