Refresh your living quarters by incorporating 2017's hottest colours into any room in your home.
This year’s interior design trends are fun and edgy — and that includes 2017's most covetable hues. The four colours topping the charts? An enchanting purple, a lush green, a smooth caramel and a lavish navy. These fantastic four possess a cocooning quality, whether you opt to paint a whole room or accent it with a piece of furniture or an accessory. Seek decor inspiration from 2017's top colours below.
Editor's Note: A saturated purple makes a bewitching backdrop.
Image by: Benjamin Moore
Our favourite purple paints:
Shadow 2117-30, Benjamin Moore.
Starry Sky 70BB 21/147, Dulux Paints.
Premier Infinity Lilac Feather PR16T38, Canadian Tire.
Beauti-Tone You Look Mauve-lous SC169-0, Home Hardware.
Editor's Note: Call it forest or hunter, this green packs a punch.
Image by: Farrow & Ball
Editor's Note: This soothing tan is a balm for sore eyes.
Image by: Canadian Tire
Editor's Note: A perfectly inky blue is sure to bring the drama.
Image by: The Home Depot
Many people believe it’s harder to sell your home in winter than summer. But there are a number of real advantages to selling during the cooler months, says Kathy Monahan, an agent with Forest Hill Real Estate Inc. in Toronto.
For one thing, removed from the sometimes frenzied action of the spring market, sellers can take a little more time to consider offers, and with fewer homes on the market, there’s less competition. And don’t worry, says Kathy: the things that lead people to make new home purchases -- a new job, a growing family, up- or downsizing -- happen all year round, and there are still plenty of buyers out there. In fact, winter is a great time for playing up your home’s cosy, family-friendly charm.
Start with the exterior
As with any time of year, make sure that the house looks well maintained and cared for, with eavestroughs clean and minor repairs taken care of. While you can’t paint in winter, washing paintwork and siding with warm soapy water on a mild day can make a big difference. Make sure the windows are freshly washed as well; winter light has a way of highlighting grime.
Tend to foliage
Make sure that shrubs and tree-branches bent down with snow don’t obstruct walkways or entrances; brush the snow off or prune if necessary. (It won’t hurt them.) Ensure that the walkway is shovelled and ice-free before every showing; not only is this a courtesy and crucial to making the home look well maintained, but if a visitor slips and is hurt, you could be liable for damages.
Adorn the entryway
A wreath on the front door, Christmas lights and a garland hung on the doorframe or front porch present a welcoming entry. Plant urns with festive greenery, the fuller the better: along with cedar or pine boughs, tuck in sprigs of holy, dried berries, magnolia leaves, corkscrew hazel or red osier branches, with silver ball ornaments and perhaps gold wire ribbon woven through the arrangement.
Make a good first impression
Once a prospective buyer comes inside, remember that you may have only 10 to 15 minutes to make a lasting impression. (A small but crucial point for unoccupied homes: make sure the heat is turned on several hours before the showing. All the window-dressing and staging in the world won’t entice buyers to linger inside a home that’s freezing.)
Romance visitors’ sense of smell by lighting fragrant candles or placing bowls of potpourri in main rooms. A time-honoured but still effective trick, especially on a cold winter’s day, is to have a pot of cider simmering on the stove, or cookies or fresh bread baking.
Protect the floors
To protect your floors, put down rubber mats by the door for snowy boots; buy a few pairs of comfy one-size-fits-all slippers from a department or discount store for visitors to wear while they view your home.
Light a fire
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, light a fire and let it glow during the showing. Put big, colourful poinsettias in each main room, including the kitchen; consider more modest winter flower arrangements or amaryllis blooms in other rooms, such as the bath and master bedroom. Decorate banisters and mantels with pine garlands (natural ones impart a delicious, nostalgic fragrance); a decorated and lit Christmas tree or menorah enhances an image of home and family.
After the holidays, seasonal decorations can be taken down, but urn arrangements and even the front door wreath can stay up for the rest of the winter, if it isn’t too Christmasy in design. Make sure you continue to maintain walkways clear of ice and snow, and think warm thoughts!
The history of colour
Purple has long been a colour associated with royalty. In ancient Phoenicia, the dye was painstakingly acquired from tropical sea snails, hence its exorbitant price and royal status. Its regal overtones continue today, and purple continues to be a high-impact, intriguing shade. Paint in 'Deep Purple' Available at: CIL paints available at Rona and Walmart Price: See stores for details
In contemporary times, designer Coco Chanel was highly influential in making black a chic choice for interior design, including her use of black-and-white walls and trim. Once considered morbid, this darkest of hues was a particular favourite of the designer. We think the injection of sexy black in this foyer evokes Chanel’s interior design style.
Pink was overlooked for centuries in favour of red, only coming into favour in the Rococo period of the 18th Century when it often appeared in patterns with blue. In the 19th Century, it represented young masculinity (boys dressed in pink clothing), but today it’s usually associated with femininity, as seen in this beautiful feminine bedroom.
The English designer Syrie Maugham is largely credited with introducing the public to the all-white room in the 1920s. Before then, the dark colours of Victorian England reigned supreme, but Maugham ushered in an era of white-on-white. Even books on display were jacketed in white vellum paper. This airy room is a crisp, updated all-white space in the home of Style at Home senior style editor Ann Marie Favot.
According to Blue: The History of a Color, this hue was once shunned by the ancient Greeks for being “ugly and barbaric.” Over time it gained favour, particularly during the French Revolution. Today, writer Michel Pastoureau says that most Europeans and Americans cite blue as their favourite colour. Blue is a chameleon, bringing energy when in a cobalt shade like this, but tranquility when in soft watery shades. Cobalt Glaze 570B-7, Behr, price upon request.
Red has always been popular in China, as it is associated with luck. In North America, red was used most widely during the Victorian era when ruby red and crimson walls took centre stage in formal sitting rooms. In modern use, we’re more likely to see red accessories, like these high-impact stools and drapes.
Ancient Egyptians believed the colour green offered protection and they used it often in paintings of Osiris, the god of the afterlife. The Impressionist painters of the late-1800s, such as Monet, introduced a wider-than-ever palette of greens into the contemporary design vernacular of the time. Their art influenced the array of green that’s used to suggest verdant earthiness today.
Humble brown has been a salient colour in homes for as long as homes have existed. It’s the colour of wood, soil and rough homemade cloth. Ancient Romans looked down at it as a colour of poverty, but being that it is the colour of natural wood, brown has never been considered unstylish in terms of interior design. It had a big burst of popularity in the early 2000s in the form of chocolate brown. Designer Jonathan Adler mixes it with orange in his master bedroom here for a strong play in contrast.
It’s unlikely you would have seen yellow used in homes in the Medieval era, as the colour was associated with Judas and, thus, betrayal and heresy (and not to mention the range of fabric dyes and paint colours available was limited.) By the 1700s, better synthetic and natural dyes became available and the colour regained popularity. Decorating with yellow has been popular in kitchens for at least a century, and is commonplace in nurseries as it is gender neutral.
Sticky toffee sauce makes this apple currant cake even better!
Tiny chunks of apple baked into the batter makes this cake moist and delicious.
1 In large bowl, using electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in yogurt and vanilla until smooth.
2 In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using electric mixer, beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in 2 cups of the chopped apples. Set aside.
3 Filling Combine remaining 1 cup chopped apples, brown sugar, currants and oats. Spread half of the batter in greased 10-inch springform pan; add half of the filling. Repeat layers.
4 Bake in 350°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool on wire rack before removing sides of springform pan.
5 Sauce In small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water together until smooth. In small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add cornstarch mixture to saucepan along with brown sugar and apple juice; whisking well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
6 Drizzle sauce over individual cake slices. Sauce can be served warm or cold.
Tip: This cake freezes very well.
Cooking Time: About 7 minutes
Baking Time: 60 minutes
Makes: 1 cake (16 slices)