Welcome to another installment of Spruce Home Decor, a blog series by fab urbaneer team member Kim Alke. Yup, not only is Kim an amazing realtor, but as the purveyor of her own home furnishings shop she harbours an exceptional talent and expertise in design and decor.
Today, Kim talks about the power of white walls and smart colour choices!
I have a confession to make, dear Reader... I refuse to paint my walls anything but white.
There! I’ve said it.
It wasn’t always like this. In fact, in my earlier days as a young homeowner and renovator, I delighted in my Benjamin Moore swatch book. I pored over it for days, selecting accent walls and bold colour statements for every space in my house. In fact, I even went as far as using Ralph Lauren’s sand-textured paint in deep navy for a feature wall complimented - if you can say that - by dark taupe walls that were actually a little... greenish. *gasp*
Sufficed to say, when it comes to paint, I’ve done it all. I should own shares in Frog Tape.
Over time, I found myself growing tired of my décor choices. I tried swapping in new pillows, throws, and art on a rapidly rotating timeline until I realized it was my wall colour that was the problem.
That's when I decided to throw away the colour chips and challenged myself to live with white walls and... well.... my life was forever changed. The subtle hue of my vintage tufted chesterfield has never looked so fresh. The dark winter evenings seem, somehow, sunnier. And I’ve upped my accessories and art game – big time. The most surprising thing? By ditching the painted walls, I’m learning about my colour preferences - and their application - more than ever!
If Scandinavian design has taught us anything, it’s how to use white as a sounding board for colour.
Photo by Sköna Hem
For many of us, living as streamlined as Scandinavian design requires is not practical or possible.
So when it comes to expressing your self, know your style, choose accessories you love, showcase your collections, and have fun!
Is your look more bohemian?
Image courtesy of decoist.com
Or does your aesthetic lean to contemporary?
Image courtesy of HGTV
No matter what your style, the liberal use of white on your walls creates a canvas that allows you to highlight furnishings and accent pieces that are truly you.
Here are a few fun and EASY ways to start playing with colour:
1. Know your ratio.
Similar to men’s suiting think: 60-30-10. 60% is your dominant colour, 30% secondary, and 10% accent. I started with 60% white (maybe that’s cheating) and grew my colour palette as I found pieces that fit my style and that I loved. In the example below from Phina’s for the Home, 60% of the room’s colour is the walls (white), 30% from the upholstery, and 10% colour.
Image courtesy of Phina's for the Home
2. Don’t overlook an accent pillow.
Accent pillows are a fantastic way to start adding colour to your space. They also help you build your dominant colour palette while adding interest with pattern and texture.
3. Add an unexpected twist.
Sometimes finding a fabric that fits you scheme is tricky – so why not spray paint a lamp! If that’s too crazy, find a collection of coloured objects - like candles - with an interesting shape. Check out these beauties by Denmark’s Ester & Erik.
Image by L'Oreal. Candles available at Spruce.
4. Try at least one big piece.
Whether it’s a bright saffron sofa, an art piece, or a sculpture, get gutsy when showing off your style.
Colour pop iron furniture & trophy heads courtesy of Bend Goods. Available at Spruce.
Ready to give it a try? Here’s some more inspiration for a new adventure with white walls!
Images courtesy of Sköna Hem
~ Kim Alke, and the urbaneer team
Did you know Kim's excellence as a realtor includes offering Buyers and Sellers savvy design ideas and solutions when faced with a property challenge? Be sure to visit Kim at her shop Spruce on Parliament, enjoy more posts in her unique blog series, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. She welcomes being of assistance.
Like what you've read? Consider signing up below for our FREE monthly newsletter on housing, culture and design, including our love for Toronto real estate and other unique urban homes!