Home & Decor

Designer Genevieve Gorder shares her top colour tips

(NC)—When designing a home, colour is one of the most powerful tools to add life to a space, says Genevieve Gorder, one of television’s best known interior designers.

“Painting is one of the simplest ways to incorporate colour into a home, but people often feel intimated by it until they have some guidance. This must be why so much of our country is beige and off white,” she laughs.

Take a look at this snapshot of answers to the most frequently asked colour questions, compliments of Genevieve Gorder:

Q: How do I use colour to tie a room together?

A: Use the different elements that make up a colour palette in a way that they balance each other. It’s a juggling act between neutrals, grounding shades, highlight and accent colours. Having the right balance among these different colour components is the best way to tie a room together.

Q: How are accent colours applied?

A: From the palette, they are used for emphasis. These paints are often bold or vivid and are used sparingly. However, if you play with the palette and create balance for this powerhouse tool, you can easily paint a whole room in an accent colour.

Q: Any tips for working with bold paint shades?

A: Create a sense of balance throughout the room, as you would with any colour. For example, if I put the vivacious Luscious Green from Valspar (one of my personal favourites) onto a wall, I would break up those big planes of colour with enough highlights (whites and creams) and grounding colours (greys and blacks) so that it isn’t overwhelming. Neutrals would be chosen for the contents of the room along with small sprinkles of accent colour, like yellow.

Q: What if, on the first stroke, we feel the colour was a mistake?

A: Allow a couple of days to see how the colour looks at different times of the day and in different lights, and consider the feeling it creates in the room. If after that you still feel you made a mistake, don’t let it deter you. Magnificence comes with risk. A very special colour, one that will give you joy in that room for decades, is right there waiting for you to discover it. There’s actually a unique program this season that really takes the fear out of trying something new. From now until October 8, Valspar Paint is offering a complimentary replacement colour to anyone who has a change of heart about their first choice. This is in partnership with home improvement retailer, Lowe’s, and the details and offer terms are available at loveyourcolour.ca.


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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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