For the Spring 2011 runways, "Designers went positively colour mad, seemingly determined to use all the colours in the Crayola box — in one outfit," says the Star's Derrick Chetty.
With textiles embracing bold hues, walls, of course, can't be far behind. And, sure enough, Sico paints is already saying colour zoning - basically using blocks of colour to highlight walls and room features - "is the hottest trend in home decor right right now."
"It's all about using colours creatively to add interest to spaces and bring rooms to life," says Dominique Pepin, Sico's marketing manager. "People today invest more time in decorating their surroundings and are demonstrating this by using colour in unique ways to deliver personal style to their living spaces."
Pepin notes that colour zoning's a fun trend because it's inexpensive and has endless possibilities - you can paint whatever you want on the wall to add "a touch of fun, sophistication or flair."
Easy ways to try out the trend include painting a wall a different colour to divide a space, or using shapes to create the illusion of a headboard or fireplace surround, create a faux ceiling medallion around a chandelier or make frames for decorative mirrors, photographs or paintings.
To get started on a colour zoning project, Pepin offers the following tips:
More than a feeling: Decide how you want your space to feel, then examine where you can best place pops of colour, for example, you may want to make ceilings feel higher by painting a vertical stripe above a low table, or make it wider with horizontal stripes. Dress up a bare wall with a variety of shapes and colours or add a large square backdrop to highlight a painting or piece of furniture.
Give it a test run: Before you take the brush to the wall, sketch out your desired shapes. Pepin notes that circles, curved lines and overlapping shapes invoke a light, fun feeling while rectangles and sharp edges create a more serious tone. Find an arrangement that suits your eye, then measure and draw them out on your walls using painter's tape (for straight lines) or a pencil. Sico suggests using a paint brush instead of a roller to carefully fill in your shape. For the cleanest edge, limit the amount of paint on your brush.
Make it pop: Get colour inspiration from pieces that are already part of your decor - such as a favourite shade in a pillow or painting. Using shades from the same colour family provides a sophisticated, soothing look while contrasting colours packs more of a punch.
"When it comes to colour zoning, the only limit is your imagination," says Pepin. "Be adventurous - some of the most unexpected colour combinations can look terrific and make for a great conversation piece."
For more tips on colour zoning, check out Sico's Virtual Decorator or pick up their new colour zoning leaflet at a Sico retailer.
While Snowmageddon may have been "snow-verrated", there's no denying that the temperatures have been less than tropical of late.
And, according to a recent Direct Energy survey, conducted by Polaris Marketing Research, less than one-third of Ontarians felt their households were prepared for extreme weather. (As an aside, I can state that 90 per cent of my wardrobe is not prepared for extreme weather.)
“By implementing a few easy changes, which don’t include wearing a snowsuit indoors, consumers can lower their energy usage now and throughout the year," says Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas, Direct Energy. "An extreme drop in temperature doesn’t mean your bank balance should drop too due to higher energy bills."
And how are we doing at keeping bills down and staying warm at home? About 85 per cent of Ontarians bundle up during extreme cold, 56 per cent close shades and blinds to minimize heat loss and half close registers, doors and vents in rooms that are not being used.
Here are some ways to keep things comfy and cozy indoors, even when the weather outside is frightful:
1. Bundle up. Guard against chills with an extra sweater or blanket. Throw in a cup of hot chocolate and a favourite movie to make staying in even nicer.
2. Clear it. Max out your heating by keeping vents clear of rugs, drapes and furniture.
3. Use it or lose it. Shut the doors and vents in unused rooms to conserve energy, and dollars. If you have a chimney, conserve heat by closing the flue when the wood-burning fireplace isn't in use.
4. Program it. No one wants to heat an empty house all day, but no one wants to come home to freezing temps either. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to lower your home's temperature when you're away or sleeping - and raise it when you're on your way home.
5. Lock it down. Sealing leaks around doors, windows, letter boxes or keyholes with weather stripping and caulking could save up to $108 per year - and reduce indoor drafts.
6. Stay safe. To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, keep all venting clear of snow, and install CO detectors in or outside of all bedrooms in your home. If you already have detectors, check their expiry dates (they generally last about five years) and replace if necessary.