colour Archive


Pop of Colour

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group

Summer is all about an abundance of energy, fun, friends and family… and that sounds colourful to say the least! Colour will literally raise your energy levels, attract good energy, conversation and laughter.

Inside and outside, this is the season to enjoy a bounty of colour in your décor. Bouquets of hot pink peonies, fuchsia, tangerine and pineapple coloured throw cushions, turquoise vases and red corals all come home. Don’t be afraid of too much colour or to be creative with your hue combinations. In the past, we have shyed away from neighboring hues on the colour wheel being seen together but not this year. Top designers are creating fabulous rooms using neighboring hues such as yellow, orange and pink, even adding in a punch of red or yellow, turquoise, fuchsia and purples with no regrets. Always grounded with a foundation of neutrals, we love to see these fresh palettes in our spaces. They are crisp, clean and fresh in their appeal.

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group - Pop of ColourDreaming of colour in your rooms, but not sure how to get started? First, find inspiration. While sipping a delicious, chilled glass of chardonnay on the patio (designer tip: keep stainless steel wine glass in your freezer for just such as occasion, they keep wine cooler longer and look very on trend) flip through the latest issue of your favorite fashion magazine, find an ad or runway shot of a colourful outfit or even a scarf and a bag and use this as your inspiration. Next head to your local paint store and pick out paint chips that are in the picture, grab them all, both the neutrals and the brights. Do not edit the colours. Head home and on your dining room table surround the picture with all the paint chips. Now, pull your favorites and place them to one side. Keep the remaining chips on the other side of the inspiration photo. I bet you’re saying wow, these colours look amazing together but how do I use so many and can I really mix it up like this?

Next, pick up the phone and call your favorite designer, and arrange for a consultation so that you two can collaborate to find great wallpapers to bring colour to a wall or two, maybe even consider painting a ceiling and of course move in the bright, colourful accessories to add all the ‘wow factor’ you’re looking for.

Colour is the easiest way to inspire fun energy and inject passion into a room. Remember that hot colours such as shades of yellow, orange and red will raise your heart rate, increase levels of conversation and appetite, while cool shades such as blues, greens and violets will soothe the spirit, and create calm, restful spaces. It’s a great skill and an invaluable tool knowing how to use colour and to also not be afraid to use it and to mix creative palettes.


Warming Up

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, Warming Up

I’m watching the weather channel as Arctic cold fronts move across the provinces and folks are kept at home due to heavy snowfalls, this is perfect, as it gives us time to add some pattern to our rooms. Pattern will bring colour, warmth, texture and style to any room.

So many of us our terrified of adding pattern. What if it’s too loud? Too bright! Too bold! Too big! What if it clashes? What if it’s just too much? Relax and trust your designer instincts and go for it, pattern will make a statement and bring more wow to your rooms that any other element.

Okay, so now I have you starting to think ‘pattern’ but what kind of pattern? Horizontal stripes, chevron stripes, oversized damask, graphic, geometric or a large organic, yes, yes and yes again. With pattern the trend this year is go large and in charge, bold, a whole lot of fun, a whole lot of style and a whole lot of impact!

How can you put pattern on the wall? Paint it on, paper it on, hang fabric, graffiti your walls, use back lit stone or acrylic panels, beveled mirror or fabric panels or laminate boards. Alternatively put pattern on the floor with a fabulous area carpet or great pair of boldly upholstered chairs.

Designer guidelines for pattern:

  • In small spaces cover all four walls with the pattern, if you are only brave enough to cover one wall try adding pattern on the ceiling. Just because a room is small (think powder room or dining room) doesn’t mean you need to use small scale pattern, in-fact a large, oversized pattern will make the room look larger and feel more sophisticated.
  • If there are other patterns in the room they must be at least one third smaller in scale to ensure good proportions. Mixing patterns is right on trend so go ahead and try!
  • When using big, bold, patterns it is imperative that the colour palette be consistent and flawlessly executed. Messy application will ruin the effect of the pattern and confuse the eye.

Look to fashion for your pattern inspiration. We saw a lot of colour blocking with bold geometrics this season- could this work on your walls? Absolutely! Asian inspired designs and brocades are also on every page of Vogue this winter. Try reupholstering a set of arm chairs in a wonderful brocade or look for a modern flocked wallpaper or hand painted silk to add colour and pattern to special feature walls. Humor is always welcome at home and in our wardrobes and we are seeing the rise of pop art and the ‘creative chic’ so try adding a quirky pattern like Tetris blocks or bubblegum balls to your home surfaces. If you want to add pattern, put your fears and inhibitions away and just do it. You’ll love the results, and it’ll come together more naturally than you think.


Necessity Not Accessory

Imagine a room without accessories. Personally, I can not fathom such a space for it’s the accessories that add the personality and soul to a room. Accessories are provisions for great spaces.

We really should start calling them the ‘necessities’ instead of the ‘accessories’, for without them there is simply no life, just structure. My design team and I love all aspects of design, the space planning, the interior architecture, window dressing and so forth but we get especially excited when we get to begin accessorizing a room. This is when the room comes to life, the soul emerges, the personality of its inhabitants finds their home.

The problem with accessories is that all too often we simply and without much thought fill a room with them, resulting in a room with too much stuff that means nothing to anyone and tells no story. I want your accessories to tell me about you, I want your accessories to tell me of your travels and where you dream to go, I want your accessories to make me laugh, yes accessories, as with art, can and should have a sense of humor. Bottom line is that I want the accessories that fill a space to be meaningful to both the architecture and to those that occupy the space.

For example, all too often we throw in a few toss cushions that add some colour which is terrific as long as we love that colour but did you think of the message that the texture of the cushions convey or that the pattern or motif helps to tell the room’s story. The same can be said of throws. From the area rug you use on the floor and please size it appropriately – lately I have been seeing far too many area rugs that are simply too small for the room- which then makes the room appear cramped and small. Go big or go home, which you already are but you know what I mean! Think, think and rethink every accessory in a room, from the photographs and their picture frames to the art on the wall to the lamps and their shades, to the coffee table books-every accessory needs to be thoughtful and ‘designed’ to tell your story. I was reading through my design blogs this morning and came across a fabulous vintage blue based lamp that the designer had put a new red lampshade on-it was fabulous. The thoughtful addition of the red shade made the base modern and unique and a true pop for a room.

Never just fill a space with things, take your time and be thoughtful and reflective of who you are and what your rooms say about you. People love to come to our house as not only is it constantly revolving as I move pieces in out and around but there are just simply so many stories to be told from the things we have brought home. Our souls are exposed at home, this is the goal, the ultimate desire of any space is to make you look and feel fabulous and of course at home. Look at accessorizing as space as a treasure hunt which will be on display in your rooms-now that’s fabulous

I was out in the herb garden yesterday gathering herbs to bring in a dry so that we have fresh organic herbs through the winter months which seem to be arriving far to quickly I might add!! But anyhow its great to know that drying herbs is as simple as turning on the micro wave. Simply wash the herbs and remove the undesirable stems. Dry on paper towels or in your salad spinner. Then line the bottom of the microwave with paper towels and lay the herbs onto the towels and turn on full power for approximately thirty seconds. Repeat at thirty second intervals until the herbs are dry and crunchy. This may take several minutes. When the herbs are dried, remove from the microwave and store in glass containers.


Design is More About Physiology Than the Look

Physiology of Design

Gifted designers know that design is more about how a space makes you feel rather than how it looks. A room can make you feel restless or at peace, a room can make you feel bathed in luxury and abundance or it can leave you feeling inadequate and resentful, it can make you feel safe and secure or vulnerable. The spaces in which we inhabit have a profound effect on our mental well being as well as our energy levels and general sense of well being and accomplishment. Having said that, it does put a lot of pressure on us to design spaces that fulfill our needs externally and internally, we need to understand that decorating is not so much a look but rather a point of view. A well designed room can truly enhance our lives and make us better people and improve the quality of our lives, great design should be measured by the quality of the lives that it expresses rather than the quality or the expense of the materials and the items that are in the space.

A colleague of ours literally studied and dissected cadavers at a medical hospital for more than year to understand the effect that colour and the quality of space has on our internal organs. Knowing how great the impact design has on our well-being, should we not then put more focus and emphasis on the state and design of our spaces? Theses statements also bring to light the importance of understanding how a room is put together that it is not about pulling in a bunch of pretty items that are well matched or suited to a particular theme- none of us are that one dimensional and we now understand the importance of using design to express our personality. When aiming to design a great space and we should all aim for greatness regardless of the budget or size of the space, it is about understanding the importance of colour, scale, texture, balance, proportion and humor and how all of these elements relate to one another and those of us who will spend time in the space. Every element affects us and we therefore need to evaluate it and its relationship with every other element in the room as well as our personal relationship with that particular item, colour, texture and object before it goes into the space. For example – colour if you choose a particular shade of blue paint  you need to ask yourself if you adore this exact colour, how does it make you feel? The books you sit on a coffee table… are they books that you love and want to share with friends? How about a painting that you want to hang on the wall – can you sit and stare at it in awe for hours, does it always make you smile or provoke a sense of thoughtfulness? These are questions which need to be answered, from wallpaper to end tables and everything in between, if we are going to design a space let’s do it right and live better. Surround yourself with things that make you live and feel better, love everything in your home and your home will love you.

Edit, edit and edit some more-if you don’t love something then remove it from the room. Less is definitely more when it comes to design, most of us have about thirty percent to much in any given space.