08 March, 2011

How to Decorate with Style & Colour...

Just this week I was asked about what would my hints & tips be for readers on when styling/decorating their home... here's what I believe and where possible implement with all my clients -

"....Often the most successful home interiors are the ones that combine [personal] style whilst still allowing you to feel instantly comfortable and welcoming to your guests. How is this achieved? By choosing personal objects that have special meaning as your pivot point - then layering the colour & décor style around it. The object might be from a holiday – an overseas trip, an exhibition, or a family heirloom - such as a special vase, or a bowl, a decorative textile piece, an artwork/ print, or a simple collection of shells from a beach walk. These are items that you can build your colour & decorating style around, taking into account any existing furniture & finishes that you’re keeping. By looking at the colours in the object you can then create a balanced colour palette of your own - complete with the main colour, accents & highlights [tints & shades].

By carefully editing what could realistically ‘work’ and what won’t - just means that you don’t have to use everything in your home all at once to create a cohesive look. Flick through your favourite interior magazines and really look at how that room has been styled - they haven't used everything, just a selection. If you have a number of items you want to use think about ‘theming’ them and ask yourself if they invoke a mood or theme such as ‘beach-coastal’ feeling, do they have a ‘contemporary modern’ feeling, do they have an ‘Asian’ influence. Building a style mood board of images from your favourite interior magazines with these colours, and looks can help in narrowing this theme down. When you have identified what theme it is check your room aspect – are you facing north, south east or west? Then look into the types of [paint] colours and the feelings you get from these colours. For example if you want a warm & cosy feeling steer away from cool blues, cool greys & cool greens. If you have more than 1 theme – then try to keep it aside for another decorating project, and carefully store away any items you won’t be using for another time.

By building your colour & décor style around something personally special, it ensure that the space will have more meaning to you and will also provide wonderful conversation for your visitors. Most importantly – you have to live in your home, so make sure any colour, surface design or finish is something you will love to live with even after the ‘trend’ has passed. Make it timelessly classic for you – to your tastes and your budget..."


Here's a snippet of a great web , facebook & tweet forum I came across on the fabulous [Canadian] House & Home website, where they asked people to contribute their ideas on Spring Decorating... but these tips could really apply to the whole year round!

Organize Before You Decorate
1. Group Collectibles Together
Find an area for knickknacks to prevent clutter throughout your home, suggests Twitter follower Jordana (@WhiteCabana) from London, Ont. She lined up her Eiffel Tower models on a shelf.

2. Get Rid Of Things You Don’t Need
Stop hoarding items that you’ll never wear, or that don’t suit your decor style. As Michelle Cortizo (@cortizointerior) of Boston, NY, says, “I love to start by editing in my closets and then work my way out.” If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, Tidy Solutions (@Tidysolutions) of Newfoundland suggests “opening windows to allow fresh air to flow through and make cleaning fun.” Just think of it this way: cleaning and reorganizing will give you peace of mind, and a fresh, new look for spring,” adds Nathaniel Ross (@MATTERandORDER) from Chicago.

3. Arrange Books By Colour
[this is one of my all time favourites - it makes such a difference!]
Facebook fan Dajana Fabjanovich suggests using books as part of your spring decorating, especially displayed in similar colour groupings.

Change Fabrics
Use Neutral Linens
As Susan Abramson (@Susan_Abramson) of Toronto Designers says, “Add a bit of 100 per cent linen, all in neutral tones, to update any interior.” The lightweight fabric can be used on pillows, placemats and tablecloths.
2. Switch Out Shades
Make use of the longer daylight hours. The Savvy Bee (@TheSavvyBee) from Cleveland, Ohio replaces her dark bamboo shades with white linen ones to let in more light.
3. Dye Cloth Materials
“If I can dye it, I change the colour,” says Catherine Dianne Mini Jacques, one of our Facebook fans. She starts with white items and a box of RIT dye to update what she already has.

Add Splashes Of Colour
1. Revitalize Seating With Slipcovers
Facebook fan Renee Sylvestre-Williams says “you just have to go for it” when it comes to colour. She has a red slipcover on her couch, which really pops in her otherwise neutral home. Lee Lee Padovan agrees: “I have different slipcovers for my sofa which I change with my mood. I love homes with lots of white and small hits of colour."

2. Select Colourful Pillow Covers
One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to update your home is to make or buy new pillow shams for your throw pillows in patterns and bright colours. Chanele C. (@designBLISSinc) in Toronto, Tiffany C. (@TiffanysToyBox) of New York, and Edyta Czajkowska (@EDYTAANDCO) all recommend this idea for its big impact. Facebook fan Justine Taylor also suggests changing your tablecloths, recovering lampshades and sewing new drapes.

3. Hang Artwork And Display Objects
CasaCullen (@CasaCullenMDF with wallpaper panels. There’s a great Editor’s DIY in the April 2011 issue on hand-painting and displaying dishes, too. Facebook fan Debbie Comartin also shared a great idea: change the matting on a framed print to an accent colour in the room or from the picture.
Facebook fans Catherine Dianne Mini Jacques and Charlene Vidal both switch-up accessories to change the way a room feels based on their mood and season.

4. Paint A Room Or Accent Wall
Weekender Design (@Weekenderdesign) says spring is the time to paint, as you can finally open your windows and add colour. Vanessa Gibbons Gammel agrees: “It’s very inexpensive and can completely transform a space. You can change it when you tire of it and add in accessories to complement it.”

5. Give Life To Old Furniture & Accessories
Adding large doses of colour doesn’t have to mean a big cost. Charlene Vidal and Justine Taylor, H&H Facebook fans, suggest purchasing second-hand items such as a side table, lamp base or wooden chair. “Small pieces can be easily sanded, primed and sprayed with your new colour crush,” says Justine. Charlene adds, “When you’re tired of them and want to create a new look, give it away or re-donate it.” (Try senior design editor Cameron MacNeil's step-by-step instructions for colour-blocking vintage furniture and Joel Bray's techniques for paint-dipping accessories.)
Kayla Gale, another Facebook fan, also likes to add colour through furniture: “An elegant, vintage-inspired deep purple bed frame will create more bedroom drama and character than a purple throw. It's not something that everyone would be brave enough to do, but that's what makes it surprising and unique to your home.”

Bring Plants & Florals Indoors
1. Use Real and Faux Blooms
As Dena Kareotes Arendt (@iNSIDE_iDEAS) from Chicago says, “Display real (or faux) blooming branches in a tall glass vase. Instant spring regardless of the weather outside!” Earlier this year, style editor Morgan Michener shared some great examples of how to incorporate real and faux flowers into your home.

2. Create A Herb Garden
Chanele C. of Toronto invests in new plants, especially herbs, as they are both pretty and practical, adding life to meals.

3. Place Floral Accents In Every Room
Many of our readers like to add fresh flowers throughout their house. Anne Kootenays of British Columbia (@ddreamsbyanne) buys potted bulbs that she later plants in her garden, while Dane Caldwell (@2hounds) buys “heavenly scented and colourful spring flowers, like tulips and hyacinths, along with flowering dogwood branches.”
Neil Gazmen (@ngazmen) adds: “To me, spring is about life and rebirth, so I try to add flowers or plants to every room to remind me that warmer days are ahead."
Fresh bouquets can get quite costly, but Colleen Crummy-Tatum has a budget-friendly solution: “I buy a cheap bouquet at the grocery store and split it up around the house. I use funky vases or little tiny port glasses lined up for flowers like mums — which makes the one bouquet fill my entire home. Lily Ninkovic Ellis uses her own boxwood clippings in vases almost year-round. “I love hitting local thrift stores for fresh finds, like vintage bottles and tins,” she adds. Paint glass jars, vases and containers in varying tones of the same colour, as seen in this online video, for a cohesive look.

images via canadian house & home, brabourne farm, elle decor, country living, tumblr

1 comment:

  1. Sarah...love this post...so many helpful tips..some which I wasnt adopting..thanks so much ..you have inspired me to get a little more organised! :) x



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