Category Archives: Interior Design Tips

The Colour Secret To Boost Creativity

If your work demands creative thinking, (and whose doesn’t?!), decorate your office with blue

Image of office with blue accents

That blue wall could help with creative thinking. Of course, the blue cushion on the window seat wouldn’t do any harm either! Source: Pinterest

Good colours are more than decoration; they are functional. They can actually support us in living our best lives.

A recent article in the Huffington Post shares how blue can help you be more creative. This makes it a great colour for offices or other spaces where you need to innovate or solve problems.

“There’s a reason we love gazing up at the sky and out at the sea so much — the pretty blue hues put us in a relaxed mood and help our minds wander to the most creative of places. A University of British Columbia study found that while the color red helps develop sharper memories, the color blue helps unlock your imagination.” (14 Ways to Bust Out of a Creativity Rut, Alena Hall in  06/05/2014)

Here are three ways to bring blue’s creativity-boosting power to your work space.

1. Paint the walls.

Blue paint for work spaces

Some beautiful blue paint colours.

How to choose blue paint

Many people have trouble choosing blue paint. Blues that look pretty on a small swatch can feel juvenile when blown up on a whole wall, and very pale, clean blue walls can feel cold and insipid. (Although pale grayed blue can be wonderful to make a ceiling seem taller.)

Blue generally gets warmer as it gets darker, but context is critical when it comes to finding just the right one for your space.

For great wall colours, look to more complex blues — blue grays, blue greens, or blue/gray/green blends are generally work well.

TIP: You can often find great blue paint colours by looking at
the gray section of a fan deck.

2. Integrate blue through artwork.

Draw inspiration from sky and water even in a windowless urban office. Source: Pinterest

Blue looks great with pretty much any colour scheme, so adding a great piece of artwork or two can be a great way to bring blue into your existing space.

A beautiful landscape painting or photograph has the added advantage of providing you with an instant get-away. Lose yourself in the scene and let the creative ideas percolate.

If you like your artwork less representational, that’s great too — the important thing is that you choose something that resonates with you.

3. Add colourful furniture.

Inject a large dose of a favourite bold blue with a painted credenza or bookshelf.

The current trend for painted furniture gives you a great way to add a big hit of strong colour to your office without touching the walls.

If you can’t find exactly what you want, you can create your own. Add zing to bookshelves or a vintage credenza with a couple of coats of chalk paint in your favourite shade of blue. Now you’ve got something that is both lovely to look at and packed with practical storage for office supplies and important files.

Colour is Context

As with all colour, blue will be affected by its environment. A gray blue that feels cold and unappealing in a north-facing room may be perfect in south light.

The colour of your floors, trim and other furnishings will also play a role in determining which blue will look and feel right. Adding a cool blue item to a room with warm wood tones and yellow-beige walls will have a very different effect than would adding the same item to a room with cool gray walls and flooring.

If you’d like help choosing and co-ordinating the perfect colours for your space, contact us to book a Colour and Decor Consultation.

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Designers share tips for bringing the indoors out

I’m always glad to see the latest issue of Covet Magazine come out, but I’m especially thrilled to see this one because I’m in it!

Covet – Spring 2014. Image via Pinterest. Click through for full credits and to read the magazine.

Covet is an award-winning design and lifestyle magazine that showcases “amazing talent and really cool things that can be found right here in Winnipeg.”

Naturally, as a Winnipeg colour consultant and interior decorator, I was delighted to be invited to write this issue’s Ask a Designer column, and I’m looking forward to being a regular contributor.

Since the theme for this issue was “indoors and out”, I invited three of my fellow decorators to join me in sharing their favourite ways to bring the outdoors to your indoor decor.

Would you be surprised to know that colour was tops on my list?!

You can read my article and get the perspective from my colleagues on pages 72 and 73 of the online issue here.

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Bringing the feeling of outdoors into your home can make it happier and healthier. Check out my favourite tips for bringing nature inside.

Love what you see? You can subscribe to the hard copy or electronic issues for free. Here.

If you’d like help to fill your home with the perfect-for-you balance of classic elements, current trends and harmonious colour, contact us to book a Colour and Decor Consultation.

 

 

Use Green Like Mother Nature Does To Create A Spring-Fresh Look You’ll Love Year-Round

Three Tips For Getting Green Right

Mother Nature knows her stuff when it comes to decorating with green (although, sadly, she’s been hiding her talents from us over the long cold winter). Here’s how to translate some of her best techniques into green you’ll love to live with all year.

How to decorate with green 1

Mood board by Carol Standil Colour & Design

1. Find an inspiration. Creating a colour scheme is not only easier from a jumping off point, it’s also a lot more fun.

Image via Crateandbarrel.com

While you could use a solid item such as the sofa as your jumping off point, it doesn’t offer much by way of clues for where to go next.

The floor runner, the artwork, or the fabric swatch at the far right of the mood board above would all make great starting points for a colour scheme because they each contain several different colours, all inspired by nature, that can help you create the perfect palette.

Image from Duralee.com

2. Clash a little.

Yup. What makes nature so perfect is that it’s not perfect. Mother Nature knows that all greens look good together and she mixes them with confidence.

Use your inspiration piece as a starting point to layer multiple shades of green into your space, but think mix rather than match.

You still want to create a balanced palette, but tossing in one slightly clashing element will help make your space more interesting.

3. Keep the envelope neutral and soft.

Image source: Better Homes and Gardens via Pinterest

Mother Nature uses lots of saturated green in her spaces, but she’s got a lot higher ceilings than you do, and a lot more space.

When bringing green indoors, one secret for creating a perfect balance that you’ll be able to live with for the long term is to keep the walls and larger elements more muted. This can help to create some of the sense of space that’s found in nature.

Try painting the walls in a soft neutral colour with a slight green undertone, rather than with an actual green. And consider a sofa in a greenish beige or khaki.

Limit stronger shades of green to artwork or accessories you can easily change out.

For those of us in Manitoba, decorating the interiors of our homes with green can provide a welcome and healthy visual relief from the white landscape that greets us outside our homes for several months each year.

If you want help to create the perfect green palette for your home, contact us to book a Colour and Decor Consultation.