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by Lynn Fenwick B.I.D.

A Fenwick & Company Interior Design how to

It’s a step that everyone seems to be hesitant about during a renovation – choosing paint colours.

Most of us like to play it safe. Keeping it light and neutral seems to be the most popular choice with the thought being, 'I can easily add colour with accessories alone.'

When we talk to our clients, we invariably ask them what their favorite colour is. Nobody has ever said grey or beige! With paint companies telling us that their best sellers are beige and grey, homeowners big question is, 'How do I paint my house to keep it feeling fresh and clean but still interesting and put my personality into my home?’ Many people overlook the fact that adding colour through paint is also easily changeable. Even if you secretly yearn to be more adventurous, selecting a bold colour to live with can be daunting. We are dedicating this article to present you with a few tips and designer advice that can help you along the way to make colour work for you.

Renovation Paint Colour

The home we have selected is one we, along with the team from A&S Homes, designed and staged located at 75 Northern Lights Drive.

Don't go overboard!

Usually, when people can't decide between colours, they use many different colours, deeming their house just a 'colourful house.' However, this can make your home feel overwhelming and eccentric rather than elegant and gracefully simple. This may be why there is a common misconception that you can't have a fresh feeling house with coloured walls. If you limit your colour choices to one or two that work together, you can have colour and still maintain that fresh feeling.

Select your feature walls

One of the first things that you should do is determine the main walls that you would like to paint. We usually select feature walls that will have major furniture or focal pieces on them. In our example, in the great room we selected the TV wall, in the dining room we selected the buffet wall and in the foyer we selected the largest uninterrupted wall on which we also hung a large piece of artwork. We selected a bold lime green for the great room, matched with subtle mauve/grey adjacent on the dining room wall and white accents throughout to keep the house feeling fresh. We kept the lime green solely on the one wall to achieve the impact of colour without overwhelming the space. Many people think that if they want colour in a room, they have to paint every wall of the room. However, in almost all cases, it is better to keep the bold colour simply to just one wall.

Offset with a beautiful neutral

The next tip is to offset your bold colour with a nice neutral colour throughout. In our example, we selected a few neutral colours. Our main neutral was a very light grey which we paired with two shades of mauve/grey. This allows for more colour to be introduced into the house, yet does not overpower the space. Upon entering the home, the wall on your immediate left in the foyer is a deep silvered mauve, giving a hint of the colour experience when you first step into the house. However, your eye immediately is drawn to the back of the fireplace wall (designed by Fenwick & Company) and tiled with a sleek white wave tile. As soon as you enter the great room you get the full experience with the feature green wall and a lighter subtle mauve/grey on the opposite dining room wall. All the other walls in the area are subdued in a light grey and the white accents keep the space light and fresh.

Use decorative accessories to pull colour and unify the spaces

Even when you add colour to your home with painted walls, it is still important pull your colour scheme throughout the home. The easiest way to do this is with accessories such as artwork, throw pillows, bedding, and drapery.

When placing accessories like vases, statues, or mirrors, it’s good to use a colour that contrasts the wall behind it. In our example, we used white vases with white flowers as statement pieces against the green wall and used green and mauve throw pillows on the white sofa.

Keep furniture neutral

As designers, we tend to keep the furniture as a neutral in the space since these pieces aren’t as affordable to change as paint. When selecting furniture it is always a good idea to select something that will look good with a wide variety of colours. That way, whatever colour of paint you decide to go with in the future, the furniture will easily adapt with your changing colour scheme.

It's safe to say that adding colour to your house can be a difficult process, from having to narrow down your options to only a couple of core colours, to buying accessories that blend nicely with the colours you selected. In the end, the process is worth it. The path to using colour can lead you to experience a home that feels fresh, looks beautiful, and still allows you to express yourself boldly. Colour styles may come and go but with our advice, we hope to help you to use colour easily and allow you to understand the importance of how colour makes you feel when you walk through your front door - like it’s your home!

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