Don’t match your furniture to your paint, they said. Don’t mix similar colours (reds and pinks or greens and blues), they said. Painting your ceiling anything but white… a MAJOR design faux pas.
We don’t know where these design MYTHS originated from, but we are eager to show you that you don’t need to colour in the lines and follow all the old-fashioned design “rules” to create a wonderful space in your home.
Colour Myth #1: Certain colours CANNOT be paired together.
Many people think that you can’t mix warm colours with cool colours, or that you can’t mix two warm shades together in one space. This is really up to you and your personal taste and design style – every home is different and no one is to say what you CAN or CANNOT do.
Have you ever heard the saying “blue and green should never be seen”?? For the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, organizers chose bright hues of cobalt blue and grass green to create a fresh and fun brand, and many other companies jumped on board to create matching décor and clothing items.
Selecting the perfect shades that will complement and enhance one another: a crisp pale green paired with a smoky blue-gray creates a rich and modern colour scheme for this home office.
Office: 2132-40 Eclipse (Right Wall), 2146-50 Rainforest Dew (Left Wall), OC-122 Cotton Balls (Ceiling)
Colour Myth #2: My ceiling & trim MUST be white!
Ceilings & mouldings are white because white is extremely reflective and people believe that it will reflect more light into the room. White is also the colour of the spray texture, and most people just don’t know what else to do with the ceiling.
In the past, ceilings were always painted and sometimes even wallpapered to create a strong design element. Textured ceilings need to be painted at some point, and that doesn’t mean just white! If you are not ready for actual colour, a soft white will make a room look more complete by not drawing the eye up to the ceiling. A bright white always makes a ceiling stand out.
Consider a darker hue to add drama to a dining room space (like #2050-10 Salamander or #1609 Temptation).
Dining Room: Stone Hearth (CC-490 ; Walls), Marshlands (CC-512; Ceiling & Wainscoting)
You can also enhance a soft neutral palette with a bolder choice to highlight the architectural elements and trim, as below.
Bedroom: OC-86 White Blush (Walls), AF-190 Boudoir (Ceiling), AF-140 Pensive (Trim)
As for trim, look at beautiful heritage homes and you will see that the trim is often painted a bold colour that adds character to the space.
Consider branching out with your ceiling and trim paint colours – it’s just another opportunity to continue your design scheme and personalize your home into a space that is uniquely YOU!
Fruit Shake 2088-60 is painted on the walls and trim. This creates a soft and eloquent bathroom.
This is another image which shows how painting trim and wainscoting a colour different than white can add sophistication to a space.
Colours: Stonington Gray (HC-170; Stair Risers, Trim & Wainscoting), Lacey Pearl (2108-70; Walls), Almost Black (2130-30; Acccent)
Colour Myth #3: Dark colours make a room appear SMALLER.
Not always the case, and mostly dependent on which HUE you select. Warm colours advance (or make you feel like the wall is closer to you) and cooler colours recede (or feel like the wall is further away). If you wanted to make a room feel larger, consider a cooler colour like blue, blue-green, cool purples or greys. Warm colours such as reds, oranges, yellows will make a space seem smaller, as the walls will be ADVANCING toward you.
Contrast between light/dark can also have a huge impact on the overall appearance of a room. A space will appear smaller if you have crisp white walls with heavy black furniture, as opposed to if you were to match navy blue furniture with navy blue walls for a more cohesive and overall spacious look.
Keep in mind that some rooms are just small! A powder room will not increase in elbow-room regardless of what wall colour you select. As these spaces are often totally separate from the rest of your home, feel free to have some fun with it and try something different and unexpected.
Stonington Gray HC-170 compliments the depth of Iron Mountain 2134-30 in this subtle but dramatic kitchen.
This modern nursery says “so long” to little-girl pink in favour of a decorative treatment that’s more stylish and sophisticated, yet retains its feminine focus. Walls drenched in chocolate sundae (2113-10) are balanced by a sweet pink ceiling. At the floor and ceiling, deep moulding in Chantilly lace (OC-65) conveys a sense of polished refinement.
Colour Myth #4: Paint colours must exactly match furniture.
Whoever came up with these design “rules” clearly didn’t like to think outside the box! Wall colours don’t have to match the furniture/fabrics used within a space – often times a lighter shade of the same hue, or a totally contrasting colour will make a space look its best.
The only time where you might want to coordinate wall and furniture colours was if you had something you wanted to HIDE, or fade into the background. That ugly brown couch that you haven’t gotten around to replacing, might just look better when paired with a dark chocolate brown accent wall behind it.
This funky bedroom exemplifies how you can paint a BOLD accent wall in a contrasting colour to your furniture or fabric colours.
AF-25 Paper Mache (Walls), 2076-20 Royal Flush (Right Accent Wall), 2027-40 Grape Green (Accent Fabrics)
Colour Myth #5: BLUE for boys & PINK for girls… No exceptions!
This statement is almost as cliché as not wearing white after Labor Day – whatever that even means. You can have a lot of fun in your home, without feeling the need to conform to the most common or expected looks.
Try painting your daughter’s room in soft shades of blue and green or select a warm chocolate brown with red accents for your boy’s space. The most important thing is to consider the personality of the person whose rooming you are painting, but feel free to think “outside the box”!
From pale sea mist (2147-50) to smoky winter lake (2129-50) to soft blue grass (CC-640), a trio of complementary shades distinguishes this cozy, colourful hideaway. A great way to introduce more colour into a space, this bold colour blocking technique accents the architectural details of the room to create an inviting retreat for girls of any age.
Super-Charged Kids Bedroom: In a kid’s bedroom, this bright orange adds a splash of fun!
Oriole (2169-30; walls), Marscarpone (AF-20, ceiling & trim), Pear Green (2028-40; accent)
Colour Myth #6: All white rooms look larger
We flip through the home decor television shows and see light grey’s, subtle greens and antique whites. One thing to keep in mind when getting your ideas from home decor shows is that most of them are painting with resale in mind. That’s a whole other ball game!
When painting for your own home, using accent walls and soft tones layered over one another, you can create interest and depth without making the room smaller. Don’t be afraid! If you are having trouble, come drop by or pick up the phone and give us a call. We are here to help you!
There is nothing more timeless, classic, or serene than a well-composed paint palette of white on white.
There is nothing more timeless than a white on white colour scheme and Sharon Grech has designed a beautiful example, seen below. The colours she has chosen work with similar undertones but have contrast. Contrast is very important.
Hazy Skies (OC-48; Walls and Ceiling), Chantilly Lace (Oc-65; fireplace)
Colour Myth #7: Colour continuity means the same colour throughout
Many people assume that they need to pick three colours from the same colour chip and repeat them throughout their home. If you have done this already, that’s okay! Sometimes there wont be enough difference or contrast between the colours.
If you are looking to pick you own colour palette and would like to have more fun with colour on the walls, you can select a common neutral. This one neutral may be painted in the living room or kitchen (whichever room you choose) and then repeated throughout the home in fabric or furnishings. You can use this common neutral to unify adjoining rooms, keeping with colour continuity but creating each one with it own purpose.
The two rooms below would work well together in a home. Notice how Bedroom One is more neutral but uses accent colours in the painting and pillows that correlate to the wall colours of Bedroom Two. The ceiling colour from Bedroom One is repeated in the headboard of Bedroom Two. These two bedrooms are just one example of using colour continuity through furnishings coupled with paint.
Bedroom One: Iceberg (2122-50; walls), Rocky Road (CC-470; ceiling), Flurry (CC-100; trim)
Bedroom Two: Nimbus Gray (2131-50; walls), White Dove (OC-17; ceiling & trim), Gypsy Love (2085-30; accent)
Colour Myth #8: You can only use a maximum of 3 patterns per room
There are many ways to add interest and keep the eye moving throughout the room. Today, designers are using wallpaper, accent pillows and custom fabrics to move the eye throughout the room. Do not be shy! You can use more than 3 but it is important to keep size and style in mind.
Painted signal flags and a deep navy accent the room’s architecture, while bright yellow and rich crimson add dynamic splashes of colour. Notice all of the different patterns form the carpet to the flags and pillow cases. They are connected through repeating colour tones and theme.
Breath of Fresh Air (805; walls), Jet Blue (CC-870; accent wall), Flags: (Lemon Drops, Deep Rose, Breath of Fresh Air, and Winter Snow)
Colour Myth #9: Decorate around the sofa
The sofa is often one of the most expensive pieces in the home and because of this, many people want to decorate around it. Whenever there is an item in your home that you are not particularly fond of (couch, cabinets, countertops), paint the walls a similar colour. If there is something you are proud of and want to show off, paint the wall a contrasting or accenting colour – otherwise your sofa will just hide with the walls!
BELOW: In this light, low-key living room a light calm blue-grey imparts Zen-like tranquility. This blue complements the couch with the undertone of grey on the walls but still stands apart so that the sofa will not blend into the walls.