Wow! Colour

9 vibrant lessons to liven up your space

Lesson 1: Focus on architectural details

A neglected wall niche becomes distinctive with a strong splash of colour the same shade as the opposite wall. We reclaimed it to display homeowner Dee Gibson’s favourite cookbooks. Dee owns Toronto caterer Gibson & Lyle. Corbel shelves, HomeSense.

Lesson 2: Highlight artwork

A tangy orange stripe (Tangelo, all paint Benjamin Moore) defines the dining area and makes Dee’s artwork pop out. Dining table, Hardware. Chairs, Mieda Design. Light fixture, Kim Cook. Art, Scott Lyall. Painting, Chameleon Paint & Specialty Plaster.

Lesson 3: Paint the floor

Painting the dull oak floors a glossy dark chocolate (Bittersweet Chocolate) creates dramatic results. Now Dee’s dining room has a sophisticated feel that sets the stage to highlight the weathered barnboard table, sleek dining chairs and striking light fixture.

Lesson 4: Use colour to create focus

Refacing and then painting the fireplace a soft purple (Purple Hyacinth) creates a visual focus for the seating area. The aged marble hearth was removed and replaced with simple glass tiles edged in aluminum to give the raised firebox a fresh finished look.
A sculptural wood stool, perfect for extra seating, is set with vases of tropical blooms for an added punch of colour. Glass tiles, Saltillo Imports. Stool, Caban. Upholstery, Mieda Design.

Lesson 5: Accent with a mix of colourful patterns

This cheery combination of striped cotton, dot velvet and soft bouclé fabrics adds zing to Dee’s living room. With their easy-to-make envelope covers (no zipper needed), you can change your cushions according to the season. Cushion and teak chair fabric, both Kravet/Lee Jofa.

Lesson 6: Express your personality with colour

To make Dee’s home look cosy yet chic, we paired off-white walls and trim (Timid White) with an unexpected soft lilac shade (Purple Hyacinth, all paint Benjamin Moore). The combo goes perfectly with her modern and vintage furniture, including a treasured teak chair. Leather Madrid chair, Nuevo. Munjoy rug, Urban Mode. Rustic bench, Hardware. Sofa, lamp, plants, planters and vases, all IKEA. Stool, Caban.

Lesson 7: Mix and clash styles

Colour unifies the different styles in the room. The shades in the mod rug reflect the hues used throughout the room while its swirly pattern echoes the chairs’ traditional curves. Upholstery, Mieda Design. EG side table, Caban. Jilly rug, Urban Mode. Star light, Hardware.

Lesson 8: Create comfort zones

Warm pink accents paired with rich chocolate walls create a comfy get-away-from-it-all spot in the bedroom. For dramatic appeal, we used an oversized floral print to update a pair of 18th century-style Bergere chairs.

Lesson 9: Use dark colours to invoke a restful mood

Dee’s all-white bedroom was so bright that she was always woken by dawn’s first light. To cut down on ambient light and cosy up her room, we painted it a luxurious warm brown (Chocolate Sundae) and velvety pink (Crushed Velvet, both Benjamin Moore). Bed, bedside tables and lamps, all IKEA. Chocolate linens, Caban. Chair, curtain, sham and bedcover fabric, all Kravet/Lee Jofa. Drapery throughout and bedcover made by Luxe.