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How to: Create accent walls
Looking to create an impact in your space? For an easy and inexpensive way to add a bit of drama to any room, consider creating a feature wall with an accent paint colour. Perfect for highlighting a focal point such as a fireplace or shelving unit, an accent wall commands the eye’s attention.
We checked in with five paint companies to get expert advice on where to feature an accent wall and what colour combinations pair well together.
Photography courtesy of Benjamin Moore
Go dark for drama
Using a vibrant colour on an accent wall is bold, but if you want a touch of drama in your space, go for a dark navy, charcoal or even black. A dark colour looks great against surrounding light walls and crates a space around a room’s focal point, like the fireplace in the photo above.
"When we choose the colours for a room, we try to use a dark colour to add drama,” says Benjamin Moore colour and style expert Sophie Bergeron. “In this case, black and blue walls work well together to add both drama and a sense of airiness. The blue (Gossamer Blue 2123-40) is very fresh and light while the black (Black Satin 2131-10) sets the tone for a more modern setting."
Photography by Stacey Brandford
Switch it up with colour blocking
Not all accent walls have to be a solid hue – get creative with colour blocking by adding a striped wall or a graphic pattern.
“These stripes feature the room’s soft hue alternating with an energetic pop of colour,” says Bev Bell, Beauti-Tone colour expert. “The combination creates a dramatic accent wall with a more cohesive and harmonious feel than if the wall was painted one solid accent colour.”
Photography courtesy of Farrow & Ball
Try a custom wallpaper
For an accent wall with a bit more character, try a graphic wallpaper pattern. Some paint companies like Farrow & Ball custom make their papers using their own paint colours, so you can co-ordinate with the surrounding walls in the room.
“The accent wall has encouraged a more adventurous approach to decorating, providing an opportunity to indulge in colour and pattern without the commitment of covering a whole room,” says Sarah Cole, Director at Farrow & Ball. “Try one of Farrow & Ball’s traditional damask paper designs such as Silvergate or St. Antoine in a contemporary colourway for a modern twist on a classic pattern. For a more contemporary design, try Lotus or Bamboo (shown above) for a really striking accent.”
Photography courtesy of PARA Paints
Use an accent wall to define a living space
Accent colours are great for creating a defined area in a multi-functional space (think open-concept loft or studio apartment). Paint a little nook to create a home office or an inset wall to define your sleeping space like in the image above.
“This bright, bold accent colour (Fresh Berries’ P5079-63) directs the eye to the main focus of the room – the bed,” says PARA Paints Senior Brand Manager Garry Belfall. “Used as a vibrant contrast to the more neutral base colour (Every Girl’s Dream’ P5219-14) as seen on the other walls, Fresh Berries perfectly complements this room and creates a bold, beach-themed oasis where you can escape from reality.”
Photography courtesy of CIL
Add a pop of colour to a black and white room.
Add some life to a neutral room with a bold colour that commands attention. Black-and-white is a timeless colour combination, but adding a vibrant hue gives it a modern edge.
“Cinnabar 50YR 32/460 from CIL is a trendy orange that, when paired with stark white and a graphic black-and white-print, is super modern,” says Alison Goodman, CIL Brand Manager. “When you’re dealing with a predominantly black-and-white colour scheme, a feature wall and its splash of colour is a must-have.”
Image: Chris Court, William Meppem / Styling: Justine Poole
Calling all PB&C (peanut butter and chocolate, naturally) lovers: This three-layer treat is the dessert of your dreams.
1 Lightly grease a 9" x 13" rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Place the almonds in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the coconut, dates and oil and process until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
2 To make the peanut butter filling, place the peanut butter, dates and rice malt syrup in a food processor and process until smooth. Spread over the base and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
3 To make the cacao topping, place the cacao powder, coconut oil and rice malt syrup in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and spoon over the peanut butter filling. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until set. Remove from the baking sheet and slice to serve. Store the slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Prep & cook time: 6 hours
BUY THIS BOOK
Excerpted from Life in Balance by Donna Hay. Recipes Copyright © 2016 Donna Hay, Photography copyright © 2016 Chris Court & William Meppem. Excerpted by permission of Harper Collins Publishers. All rights reserved.
House tour: Narrow Victorian family home
Personalized with heirlooms and vintage pieces, it houses old memories and new traditions, which will no doubt become chapters in the family's ongoing story.
For Erin and Daniel Shearer, it’s imperative that each piece in their home have a history or personal meaning. So it only makes sense that Christmas is an especially important time of year, even more so now that it’s shared with their two little boys, William, 2, and Quinn, 5 months.
The narrow 1,500-square-foot Victorian home in Toronto’s east end allows no space for superfluous stuff, which is why the couple is adamant about filling their home with furnishings that tell a story. The pair of wood-framed sofas in the living room, for example, belonged to Daniel’s parents, and one still has a wobbly finial that Daniel’s head long ago knocked loose. And a pine dresser in the nursery belonged to Erin as a child and was once lovingly refinished by her dad.
In the entryway, a miniature ladder - the first piece Erin and Daniel bought together - holds pride of place on the console. Natural seasonal decor such as a fir wreath and paperwhites, lends the home a festive, but not overly festooned mood.
Homeowners Daniel and Erin Shearer and son William sit on a sofa from Daniel's childhood home. It was spray painted and reupholstered fr their small living room.
Their spare, almost Scandinavian decor style carries into the holiday season as well, when the house is adorned with natural greenery, seasonal flowers, simply wrapped giifts and no-frill Christmas ornaments.
The serene and spare decor carries into the dining room, with its farmhouse-style table, basic black chairs and wooden bench. The graphic artwork pops against the pale grey walls and simple furniture.
The dining table is kept simple with fresh sprigs of greenery effortlessly displayed in various clear glassware, while a few antique lanterns lend a rustic touch.
When the couple bought the house, the kitchen had already been renovated, but as a designer Erin wanted it to reflect her taste a bit more. Granite countertops were replaced with butcher block, and a large apron-front sink was added.
In the back room off the kitchen, an industrial-style metal shelving unit functions as extra storage for cookbooks, bar supplies, wine and liquor.
The small eating nook off the kitchen is reserved for late dinners a deux after the little ones are in bed. The wooden pedestal table belonged to Erin's parents.
2015 paint colour trends
The biggest names in paint share the colour trends that will dominate Canadian homes in 2015.
Paint has long been touted as one of the easiest ways to update a space, from treating the walls to a fresh coat in a new hue to giving an old piece of furniture a new lease on life with a few strokes. Just pop that can open, and voila – in a few hours, your home can be transformed into an entirely new space. This year, paint companies are all about promoting serenity and calm, introducing colours that provide an escape from the stresses and hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Read on for the hottest palettes gracing Canadian homes in 2015 from the biggest names in paint, like homegrown masters CIL to across-the-pond traditionalists Farrow & Ball and environmentally friendly local paint manufacturers Homestead House. Icy blues, vibrant teals, pale greens and even spicy yellows – colour is on the horizon for 2015 paint trends in a major way.
North American favourite Benjamin Moore announced Guilford Green as their Colour of the Year for 2015, a stunning silvery green that complements both modern and traditional styles seamlessly. "Homeowners are ready to experiment with colour and are more confident with making unique design choices for the home," says Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Creative Director. “Guilford Green is the perfect thread to connect nature, spaces and interiors with colour schemes that signify fresh energy and growth.” Where to use this colour Versatile in nature, Guilford Green can be used in a number of rooms in the house, but also on a number of surfaces. “We chose Guilford Green as our 2015 Colour of the Year because it can be the hero or the highlight in any room, enhancing the architectural identity of a space,” says Ellen. “When used on a ceiling or trim against a more saturated colour like in the photo shown here, it reads almost white, so it’s really a fresh approach to neutrals in the home.” Guilford Green HC-116, Benjamin Moore
For 2015, classic British paint company Farrow & Ball chose to highlight colours that offer up a sanctuary from the stresses of modern day living, like Light Blue. A soft blue with a silvery quality, Light Blue is intended to create an interior where colours shift and change like the landscape, transforming the home into a serene and calming space. Where to use this colour Combined with cool greys like Blackened and Lamp Room Gray, Light Blue works well in kitchens and bathrooms to give these spaces a feeling of relaxed movement. Pair with chrome and white accessoriesto get the most impact out of this icy blue. Light Blue No. 22, Farrow & Ball
PARA’s colour of the year is the rich, celestial navy blue Spectrolite (shown here on the wall next to the fireplace). Radiating feelings of serenity and clarity, Spectrolite’s deep hue is inspired by the universe and its powerful, awe-inspiring colours. Where to use this colour Bold and dramatic, Spectrolite would look great as an accent colour on the front dooror an interior wall, juxtaposed against softer, more neutral colours like PARA’s delicate off-white Princess Cut (PPF57). Because of its dark, serene hue, consider Spectrolite for a space used to relax and unwind, like the den or bedroom. Spectrolite PF73, PARA Paints
This year, yellows take a turn away from the softer tones of 2014 and move towards bolder and more dramatic hues, like CIL’s Curry Spice. “This standout shade works wonderfully as a unique hit of colour to liven up a room, especially when combined with grey, white and soft blue,” says Susan Forint, CIL Colour & Design Expert. Where to use this colour “Curry Spice is fabulous as an accent colour on a feature wall or on a single piece of furniture, such as a sideboard in a family room, a dining tablein a kitchen or on a nightstand or in a child’s room,” says Susan. Curry Spice 45YY 62/805* DL19, CIL
From the Deep Dreams palette of Behr’s 2015 Colour Trends comes Essential Teal, a vibrant and profound green-blue in a rich jewel tone. “Essential Teal expands on the turquoises and aquas we have seen in recent years,” says Erika Woelfel, Behr Paints Director of Colour. “This dark peacock blue works well with gray and brown neutrals, and accents like fuchsia, purple or yellow.” Where to use this colour “Essential Teal can transform a bedroom into a dreamy and energetic landscape,” says Erika. “When used on a wall, whether it’s as a feature or all-over colour, it contrasts well with clean white trim and dark brown furniture.” Essential Teal T15-3, Behr
Techies by day need a retreat at night, and Sico’s colour trends for the year create a calm, serene environment and much-needed respite from our busy lives. The soft, washed-out Intrepid Blue provides a welcome balance to the energetic colours of 2015 and is associated with minimalistic styling, clean lines and simplicity. Where to use this colour “Tranquil and grounded in nature, Intrepid Blue would be best used in the bedroom or bathroom, providing a calm, serene environment and much needed retreat from busy days,” says Mylene Gevry, marketing manger for Sico. Intrepid Blue 6022-31, Sico Paint
Canadian paint brand Homestead House Paint Co. offers up a number of beautiful colourways for furniture makeovers, and their trendiest for 2015 is Inglenook, a blue grey from their environmentally-friendly, 100% acrylic Fusion line. Named after a recess in the wall near the fireplace where families would have a settee or dining table, Inglenook is meant to evoke the feeling of warmth and coziness that comes from the small “nook” close to the fire. “It pairs well with white and neutral linens, but can also provide an interesting contrast against charcoal grey and deep, rich blues and browns,” says Jennylyn Pringle, manager of Homestead House Paint Co. Where to use this colour “Inglenook works well in a bathroom or kitchen where it can be used on the cabinetry or accent furniture,” says Jennylyn. “Pair it with a Carrera marble countertopfor an elegant, sophisticated look. It adds a touch of modern farmhouse that fits in with the city or country.” Inglenook, Homestead House Paint Co.
As part of Style at Home’s Country Colour Collectionwith Beauti-Tone, Junction is a casual classic colour that fits your home as perfectly as your favourite pair of jeans fit your body. This deep denim is a member of the ‘York’ palette, a combination of blues, beiges and taupes reminiscent of the large Tudor Revival homes in Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods. Where to use this colour Try using Junction on the walls of a hallway or a dining room, accented against wainscoting painted in Beauti-Tone’s Kingsway, a warm neutral. Junction FD094-4, Beauti-Tone, available at homehardware.ca