The Right Colour Makes a Difference!

For some people, choosing colours for their homes seems to be a daunting task. Unsure of how to use this important design tool, and afraid of creating the wrong look, many opt for off-white walls and choose simple designs for furniture. The right colour, however, can change the way you look and feel about your home and create a look that truly expresses your personal style.

There are over one million colours, all variations or red, yellow and blue. Colours with a red or yellow base are referred to as warm colours, because of the emotions they evoke and their association with fire, sunlight and other warm forces. Colours based with blue are considered cool colours, relating to the sky, mountains and water.

 HighParkPaintSample          GrasslandsPaintSample

The sample on the left (Benjamin Moore’s High Park) is a “cool” green while the sample on the right (Benjamin Moore’s Grasslands) is a “warm” green

There has been a great deal of research into how colour affects our attitudes, moods and general outlook. Although we may not be aware of its influence, colours can make us feel warm or cold, excited or calm. Within our home, the proper use of colour can help make a room more  inviting or make a small room feel larger. 

When choosing colour for your home, remember that all elements need to be taken into account – the furniture, the walls, the floors and the furniture. Generally, larger areas, such as ceilings and floors, should have fuller or softer colours allowing your furniture and accessories to make an impact. If you have a number of photos or large paintings to display, hang them on a white or lightly-coloured wall to give them the most significance.

The structure and location of your room is also important – look at the architectural details such as a fireplace or interesting moulding and decide whether they should be highlighted.

Keep in mind that the sun exposure will affect the intensity of the colour, as will nighttime lighting. Certain colours have an architectural background that may be more in keeping with the age and style of your home, for example Williamsburg Blue as opposed to a more Modern grey.

Most importantly, choose colours that you can live with! Every year fashion and trends and while some people can afford the time and money to re-paint, most of us want a look that is more timeless. Take the next step in design and work with some new colour in your home – you may be surprised at home it can make your home a more comfortable place to be. 


Mixing Colours and Patterns

Mixing colours and patterns can be tricky, even overwhelming at times. So much so that many people opt out of using patterns when it comes to upholstered items and choose simple solid colours leaving patterns for small pieces such as toss pillows. When done correctly, mixing colours and patterns will add that much desired WOW factor to your room.

How much is too much and how many patterns can one room hold? The simple answer: it really depends on the size of the room, however anywhere from 4-6 patterns can easily be introduced into the average room.  Where to begin? Most Designers will find one patterned fabric with the desired colours as a starting point or inspiration. This fabric could be planned for drapery, a chair, pillows or even an existing area rug. From there, use the largest piece in the room, the sofa if working on your living room as an example, and keep that simple. A textured solid works great and will help ground the room.  When choosing this solid colour, pull as neutral of a colour as possible from your inspiration fabric. In keeping with the example of a living room re-do, find a larger pattern in complimentary colours for your upholstered chairs, for every style of chair, choose a different pattern (unless you are trying to bring similar chairs together for a conversation area). You may choose the same pattern in two different colours as well if you have two separate groupings of chairs for seating areas. When selecting complimentary patterns consider the shape and size of the pattern you are starting from. Is there a diamond shape throughout? Try to repeat the shape without repeating the pattern. Here is an example:


Notice the repeat of the diamond shape in 3 (4 could be argued with the yellow geometric) of these fabrics.

By repeating a pattern and changing up the colour you get the WOW factor without visual clutter.


Just because it matches doesn’t mean it will work. Here is an example of using the same amount of patterns without the flow of repeating the “shape” of the pattern:


The colour combinations have stayed the same – everything matches right? Hmm not so much. The smallest pattern doesn’t really work that well with the other fabrics and wouldn’t be useful in multiple applications without creating visual clutter.

There will be some trial and error so make sure you have all of your fabric choices together when making decisions. Don’t rely on memory! If you feel like maybe this is too much to handle on your own, keep in mind that Designers are more than happy to help you with a consultation. There is typically a small fee involved but the assurance from a professional eye to get you the room you desire is priceless.

Starting From the Bottom

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Interior Design as:

 “the art or practice of planning and supervising the design and execution of architectural interiors and their furnishings”

 They also define an Interior Designer as:

 “a person whose job is to plan how the rooms of a building should be furnished and decorated”


So, why would you need an Interior Designer and what can you expect when working with one? Simply put, an Interior Designer is a trained professional with knowledge of interior design concepts and finishes. We understand the various genres and styles of architecture, furnishings, wall coverings, colours and fabrics, and we have the ability to put these all together to create an atmosphere that truly reflects the personality of our clients.

Some common myths about Interior Designers are that we are only used by the rich and famous or that we will take over your home and throw out all of your belongings. Rest assured, an Interior Designer will be respectful of budget and work with you to design a look that fits your home and its existing elements, your belongings will remain with you unless you prefer otherwise. Instead you might notice your Designer taking pictures of your treasured items during your initial consultation. What you have in your home and how you accessorize it can be a starting point or our inspiration for the design of your new space. Designers work on a variety of projects and with a variety of budgets – we can act as a consultant or supplier, a liaison between you and your contractor/builder or you can use us as an excellent industry insider. Because Designers specify and order large selections of draperies, furnishings, wall and floor coverings using reputable suppliers and quality products, you save time and money – doesn’t everyone want that?

Here are some tips for finding an Interior Designer:

  • Word of mouth – a good reputation speaks for itself
  • Check out their online presence – via their website and social media pages, are they engaging? Do you like what you see?
  • Check with local paint stores or home improvement stores – professionals use box stores too!
  • Interview potential candidates before you commit. Ask to see a portfolio of work they’ve done and discuss schedules and fees involved
  • Fees may be based on hourly rates, daily billing or fixed depending on the project
  • Get it in writing! A good contract protects all parties involved and takes away a lot of the guessing work.

An Interior Designer will use their skills to make your home design vision a reality. Whether you are looking for a small change or a complete makeover, a Designer will help your home tell its own personal story, room by room with every detail. For more of our story go to