Home for the holidays
One morning, after her husband had gone off to work, the owner of this Toronto home pulled out the paint and rolled pale grey-lavender colour onto the walls, saying goodbye to her formerly dove-grey living room. What was the reaction when her hubby came home? "He accused me of painting the house pink! But he loves it now. How could he not? The living room is so warm and inviting."
When they first bought the house two years ago, the couple and their two daughters were charmed by the quiet, subdued feel of the home. All the walls were various soft greys, and their furniture was masculine and restrained. But after living with it for a year, they agreed it was too sedate for their taste. So, little by little, they added colour and pattern throughout. The dining room is a deep purple. "My friend's living room was that colour, and she had some paint left over, so I took it home. If I didn't like it, the most it would have cost me was only a gallon of paint and half a day's work!
"The master bedroom is on its third (and final) colour. I wanted something really soothing—I tried calm blue and creamy whites," says the homeowner, "but in the end, chalky white walls were the perfect complement to the cream-upholstered bed and the watery-blue accents.
"For Christmas, all I need to do is add a tree and display lots of ornaments. It's a breeze to set up."
There's something to be learned from this fearless attitude toward decorating. While most of the furnishings are classic and neutral, the walls and easy-to-change accents are where the fun's really at. And isn't fun what decorating should be about?
Tip : Mix up your pillows. A black velvet sofa is the perfect background for a bunch of mismatched throw cushions. Silk, faux fur and velvet in assorted shapes and sizes work beautifully together.
Get this look: Paint, Gown, Para. Christmas tree, Sheridan Nurseries. Custom sofa, Angel Interiors & Custom Upholstery, 416-537-9169. Throw pillows, Home Sense. Ornaments, Superior Studio. Rug, Elte.