A simple change in colour scheme can dramatically change a space, creating an environment that is experienced in a completely different way.
In a recent Architectural Digest story about designer Alexa Hampton’s bedroom in her Manhattan apartment, artistically layering sumptuous colour and textures completely transforms a too-bright room into a space that invites you to escape, sink in and relax.
Deep receding tones and adjacent hues are perfect for anyone who wants to feel enveloped in warmth. Hampton chose a luxurious deep plum wall covering by Gracie as her background canvass.
Layered up from this rich colour base are carpets and a bed tester in a coordinated fabric. Accents follow the classic lines the designer carried throughout her apartment, in keeping with the building’s architecture. The effect was created by simply changing out the wall treatment, tester and carpets, reusing the window treatments, art and furniture. Check out the full story here.
As calming as a dark palette can be, we often turn to calming sea colours to provide a spa like experience in a bathroom. A HGTV viewer completely changed the feel of her dark tiled, dated bath area to give it a light lift into the new century. I have to note here that the window air conditioner unit above the old tub is worrisome and removing it solved two problems. A pale sea green wall colour softens the entire space, while constructing a traditional wainscot and surround makes a style statement. Changing out the hardware, a very cost effective smart move for even the smallest renovation, updates and extends the style chosen. My mother had an obsession about keeping wood natural, never painting it. I don’t share her view on the subject, and we see the benefit of painting out old wood here in the small window painted to coordinate with the wainscot and panelling in this renovation. This makeover was done on a small budget of around $1,000 illustrating how cost effective but dramatic a small colour and decor change can be.
Since I mentioned natural and painted wood, let’s look at how a decision to go either way, or mix and match, defines a space.
In this first space, the combination of white painted beams and skylights makes for a bright and modern space, with natural wood making an appearance in a china cabinet and tables. As the beams disappear into the expanse of the ceiling, the height of the room is extended. The painted window and door trims makes for an easy on the eye transition to the outdoor space as well. The flooring appears to be slate or other natural stone, which brings another organic, grounding element into the space.
In most spaces, all natural or all painted wooden surfaces are overwhelming. I’m a huge fan of breaking it up and mixing natural and painted surfaces. This example from Keystone Projects Ltd. shows a perfect balance with coffered painted ceiling, window and door frames and natural wood floor, posts and fireplace wall. The neutral wall colour strikes a balance, bridging painted and natural elements.
This sitting room’s dark stained beams accentuate the room shape and ceiling height. An elegant entertainment area, the beams create a cozy and inviting space while providing a transitional style on which to base furnishings. Note the light colour rug, a good choice to pick up on the wall colour and break up the dark wooden floors and beams.
A subtle colour palette is created with light wood beams that describe the uncovered wooden pitch of the ceiling. Blending with the river stone focal wall and neutral painted trims, a modern rustic lodge atmosphere is achieved. Window treatments, flooring and creamy toned furniture are drawn from the colours in the stone wall.