This week, we shared our expert guidance on non-toxic ways to add colour to your home in Saltwire’s Atlantic Canada Lifestyles
Read the entire article here….
Don’t be afraid to go bold: Give those neutral rooms and a much-needed jolt of colour, urge Atlantic Canadian interior design experts
Bursts of vibrant and energizing interior home colours break a habit for 2023
Desiree Anstey · Freelance Journalist | Posted: March 27, 2023, 10:30 a.m. | Updated: March 27, 2023, 10:31 a.m. | 9 Min Read
It’s out with the beige, grey and all-white walls and time to embrace vibrant, energizing colours, patterns and eye-catching accents this year that can suit traditional to modern rooms.
So say the experts anyway.
According to Damien Packwood, who opened his full-service interior design company, Damien Morris Designs, in Charlottetown, P.E.I., in 2017, interior spaces with bold colours are therapeutic.
“Rooms that are bursting with colour have such an energy about them,” said Packwood. “They instantly bring a smile to your face and make you look around to absorb what’s happening. It also helps tell a story about the person and gives a peek into their lives.”
He is a certified interior designer and decorator with over 10 years of experience in the industry, creating and customizing designs for each client.
Packwood recommended a well-curated and timeless neutral wall palette for those unsure about long-term commitment and then introducing splashes of colour that will energize the scheme and max out the hues.
“Start with bright and bold accessories and toss in cushions,” he suggested. “These are inexpensive and impactful ways to introduce some colour. Are you looking to go bolder? Try a mustard or emerald-green sofa. Committing to these pieces takes confidence and isn’t for the faint of heart. Pastels are a soft and neutral way to add a little colour without going overboard.”
He notes that do-it-yourself projects, whether a side chair upholstered in an eye-catching fabric or even a curtain that draws attention, are the least expensive and easiest ways to add pops of colour to a neutral room and give it a much-needed jolt.
“Painting a piece of furniture a beautiful bold blue or creating an accent wall with contrasting colours are just a few examples of (quick and easy) ways to transform a room,” he said.
One trend that has been around for a few years and continues is painting the trim and walls the same colour but using different finishes, noted Packwood.
“For example, your walls may be eggshell and your trim a pearl,” he explained. “This way, you get different sheens between the two. But always check your paint colour with the morning, afternoon and evening lighting to ensure you get the perfect tone.”
Surroundings vital to happiness
Deborah Nicholson agreed that painting trim, doors, ceilings and wainscoting in exciting colours and varying sheens is a brilliant opportunity to create beautiful pairings.
“Ever notice when you look at colour in isolation, it can be ok, but, pair it next to another and, wow, the pairing becomes so much more than the sum of its parts,” said Nicholson, who is studying Healthy Building Materials at the world-famous Parsons School of Design in New York City after 18 years of living in Nova Scotia.
She advised using planet-friendly paint options.
“Cheap paint is full of toxic chemicals (even after they’ve dried),” she said. “I recommend spending the extra money on mineral and zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints. So, if you think you’ll change out colours, select healthy paints to reduce the toxicity load in your home.”
Nicholson brings to life interior spaces throughout Nova Scotia and beyond. She holds a renowned Sheffield School of Interior Design diploma and is a certified Living in Place professional, colour consultant and lighting specialist.
“I consistently discover two opposing forces at play in the hearts of my clients: fear of going against the grain and a strong pull towards the need for delight in their surroundings,” she said.
Nicholson believes that the cost of appearing sophisticated and mature is that many live in homes and workplaces devoid of colour.
“Someone famous in the early 19th century voiced an opinion that ‘Savage nations, uneducated people and children have a great predilection for vivid colours and people of refinement avoid vivid colours,’” she said. “And, sadly, that notion has stuck in our Western culture.”
But the love for colour stems back to humans in our earliest moments.
“Brightly coloured berries signified sweet nourishment and azure blue water meant life-sustaining refreshment,” continued Nicholson. “As we all strive for peace and inspiration, we’re coming to understand our surroundings are vital to our happiness.”
She recommended the advice of a professional for guidance in selecting the right saturations and tones.
“That’s the foundation,” she explained. “And, then, you can go bolder and wilder on smaller surfaces in a couple of key spaces, inside a closet or cabinet, on a feature wall or a ceiling.”
Nicholson noted that family heirlooms, vintage items and locally found pieces can help add pops of colour while being planet friendly.
“Select good quality Oeko-tec or similarly certified toss cushions, throws and linens in brilliant colours and patterns,” she suggested. “Hang a cheery, locally hand-made rug on a wall. Select real art. Machine-made knockoffs quickly look dated. Real art and hand-made is timeless.”
And she stressed letting go of the notion of perfection.
“There’s great beauty in imperfection — nature is full of it,” she said. “Nature follows laws of proportion, balance and harmony. When we put those into play, we can make a vibrant orange bedroom feel snuggly and cozy.”
She urged skipping the recommendations by the large chain stores and finding inspiration in Mother Nature.
“Every colour can be found in nature, somewhere,” she commented. “To help bring nature indoors, use materials, shapes and objects found in nature, such as plants, rocks, curves, water, wood and daylight and this will help colours feel more grounded and natural.”
Any colour, even lavender or lime, she said, can be used as a neutral.
“The key is to use it to weave connections from one space and one surface to another,” she added. “The neutral, whatever it is, creates order. But I see more people braver with colour, which must be good.”
Be unafraid to go bold
For Robin Lush of Decorating Den Interiors in St. John’s, N.L., grey and white are “terribly overrated.”
She noted that one of her funkiest client projects was with a couple unafraid to go bold.
“Among other things, we included Benjamin Moore’s Crushed Velvet paint on the walls, a huge deeply saturated teal sectional and a caribou head hung over the fireplace,” recounted Lush. “We even set the stage for the primary bedroom with an oversized custom headboard that was bold pink and magenta in a damask embroidered pattern. It made for a unique but totally ‘them’ condo.”
For Nicholson, creating a wonderful and peaceful space is more important than ever.
“Call it inspiring, cozy, spacious, meditative, inviting, sophisticated, organic or what have you,” she said. “It all distills down to joy. We all want to feel joy in our everyday surroundings.”