September 7, 2012
By Erica Gelman
Adding colour to your home is like watching a black and white movie remade into a colour film – it’s as though someone turned on the lights and gave it new life. It energizes the scene, it presents new details hidden by shadow and adds a sense of personality otherwise ignored through shade. Let’s turn on the colour in your space and give it a new life as well.
People tend to be nervous when it comes to decorating with colour. It’s safe and easy to choose a neutral but it’s fun and exciting to play with colour. When we hear a client tell us that they love colour and want to see it incorporated into their space, it’s like music to a designer’s ears. It means we can infuse the room with fresh hues, dramatic contrast and an exuberance of personality.
Most fear arises from doubt – what kind colours to use, how to use colour in appropriate doses, and what if you use too much colour? The tone-on-tone colour combination is the simplest to work with. It means taking a colour and developing a layered effect by using the same colour in different variations. However, if you are ready to play with your space and inject an exciting colour palette, then work with whatever colour speaks to you. If it’s complementary tones you are comfortable with then know that red is to green as blue is to orange and yellow to violet – they are called complementary colours because they are each other’s opposite on the colour wheel, and as we all know – opposites attract! Using complementary influences will allow your primary colour to pop and make a sticking statement.
One of the first questions we are asked by clients is how to use colour. Is buying a red sectional a good investment? It all depends on the space but when it comes to large-scale and investment pieces, we like to suggest keeping those neutral to ensure longevity. Nonetheless, you can always allow colour to become the star of the show by incorporating it into other focal features. Playing with large- and small-scale pattern through fabrics, wallpaper, art and even the rug can give you a powerful and impressive impact in your space. If you integrate colour through smaller objects it’s also a great way to ensure you won’t get sick of it, especially if you are the type of person to lose interest frequently.
Erase your fear and get started. There’s no reason why we can’t all introduce a little more colour into our homes and lives. Start off small if you are more conservative but if you’re channeling the rebel in you then break the neutral mold and create your own wow-factor!
- Remember that you don’t have to use the purest form of the colours; add white and black to either soften or harden the colours until you find something pleasing to your eye.
- Ask yourself what colours you hate before figuring out what you love – Most people know what they dislike immediately.
Toronto-based designer Erica Gelman, Principal of Erica Gelman House Of Design. Specializes in both large and small scale residential design projects throughout Toronto and the GTA. Known for enhancing and creating new possibilities in every space of your home.
House Of Design www.ericagelman.com