by Lisa Freeman
I’ve been working in the decorating and design industry since 1986, a long time. When I do an on site/in home consultation, this time is spend getting to know the new client, taking a look through their home, discussing their wish list and answering some of their questions.

Over the decades here are some of the more popular questions I have encountered:

Do my floors and furniture have to match?
No, woods typically don’t have to match, if it is furniture and flooring. In the kitchen, however, wood cabinets should share tone with a wood floor in the same space. Painting wood furniture is a popular look now too; to refresh upholstery legs or marked wood accent tables consider painting them. It’s a quick and easy way to revamp a piece and add some colour into a space that may have a lot of wood stained furniture. Painting kitchen cabinets also offers a great way to refresh and update the look.

I like adding black to my space, when is it too much?
High-contrast colours make a room feel smaller. The less contrast in a space, the larger it feels, whether the colours are all light or all dark. Black, or more recently, dark brown, has been added to spaces to help balance a colour scheme. Like white, black has a neutralizing effect and offers a break to the eyes as they survey all the colours of a space. Black can also add depth and dimension to any room. Likely you have black in your room if you own any electronics, wrought iron or stainless steel appliances, so you may not need to add more if any one of these is present. I often suggest to clients to take a photo of the room/space they are working on. Sometimes that offers a fresh perspective and allows you to view the room as a whole so problem areas are easy to identify.

How do I know how many colourzzs to use in my space?
You can create a successful colour palette for a space with anywhere from one to five colours. But limiting the number of colours doesn’t mean you have to limit the range of values (tints or shades) of each of those colours within a room. You could use even more colours, but you need to be aware that the more colours used within a space, the busier it can feel, which in turn can make it feel smaller. With fabrics I often mix several patterns in one space. They have to have similar values of colours, and to add interest mix the textures. Even in a monochromatic colour scheme, texture is the way to instantly make the space come together. Accent walls come and go in trends; the accent wall has to be a wall that is a focal area in the room, like the wall behind the bed or possibly behind the sofa. You have to be careful with accent walls, sometimes they can appear like you ran out of one colour of paint and carried on with a different colour.

I want to add more grey colours to my home.
This is a popular comment too, pick up any decorating magazine and you’ll see lots of grey; warm, cool tones in every room. Revere Pewter from Benjamin Moore is a great tone of grey, it mixes well with the warmer tones if you’ve decorated with a lot of earth tones and want to update. For accent colours, think about adding in some navy. Browns and blues work well together and the addition of a grey could pull it all together.

If you need help pulling your decorating plan together, call or email to book your in home consultation.

Happy decorating!
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