Colour me confident
This week’s Hot Home Products looks at the trend toward stronger colours in home décor. One of the easiest — and most affordable — ways to achieve this is, of course, with paint. As homeowners become more colour confident, many are also playing with it — using blocks of colours — to create an effect, or to define space.
If painting is on your to-do list this Spring, you might want to experiment with colour blocking. If you do, the folks from Sico (see top pic above) suggest that you first decide what effect you want to achieve. In a small space, for example, a horizontal stripe, either on one wall or all four, creates the illusion of width. I also love the look of wide bands of colour, in a subtle palette, all the way up a wall (see pic above from Pittsburgh Paints). A large block of colour can also provide focus for a favourite painting or piece of furniture.
Remember that curved lines create a more casual, fun look, whereas the sharp lines of squares and rectangles tend to suggest a more formal design. It’s a good idea to map out your design on a piece of paper before measuring and drawing it on the wall with a light pencil. Use painter’s tape (I like Scotch Painter’s Masking Tape ) for straight lines. Use a paint brush rather than a roller - as you would for a stencil - and don’t overload your brush.
Pittsburgh Paints reminds us that the ceiling offers a great canvas for an extra touch of colour. So don’t always set the default to white. If your room seems too vault-like, add intimacy and warmth by “lowering” the ceiling with a hue that’s darker than the walls. If the ceiling’s too low, go lighter.
And if you have a room with sloped walls or dormers? I have to admit that in rooms like this, I’ve always painted them out in one colour, because I could never figure out where to switch out! A similar problem might apply if you live in an open concept space. Here, Pittsburgh suggests the technique of chiaroscuro, a palette made of a single color used in different hues. This will add visual interest and variety without chopping up your space.
If words like chiaroscuro have you scatrching you head, or if you want to learn more about how colour affects the perception of space, check out this Color Theory primer.
Now, aren’t you dying to get painting? I know I am. In fact, I’m using three (!) new colours from Pittsburgh Paints for a hallway that desperately needs an update. Check back here soon for before and after pictures and tell me if I got it right!