When you read this interview, you’ll see where I came up with some of the best questions I’ve been asking the colour experts on this blog! This interview [about me] is the un-edited version (with photos to keep it interesting) of the one published in BC Home this month:
[BC Home] What is your favourite colour? [MK] Yellow. It’s the colour of sunshine and happiness and I have loved it for as long as I can remember with orange coming in as a close second.
Interior by Sarah Richardson sent to me by one of my first subscribers, Victoria Austin – Thanks!
[BC Home] What colour would you like to see banished from all paint decks?
[MK] Pinky Beige. My colour theory students have asked me why I dislike the colour so much and I guess it’s because I’ve seen too much pinky beige carpeting from the 80’s. Also it’s an easy mistake for a non-professional to make. They are thinking “hmm. . . light brown, that has to be the most neutral colour right?” But just like you can’t do ‘light red’ because it’s pink, light brown is pinky beige. And on the paint chip it looks like such a lovely warm beige until you get it all over your walls (or your tile, countertop, backsplash, etc) and see that it’s pink. I have had so many clients say to me “Please come and help me select a beige, every one that I choose ends up pink!”
Well if you’re going to do it, this works 🙂 from flickr
[BC Home] How would you describe your own personal style?
[MK] Fresh, Contemporary, Warm and Comfortable. Walking into my home fills me with happiness and I like to create that kind of environment for my clients as well.
[BC Home] Where do you like to shop?
[MK] The homes I decorate for people always end up styled and finished, so I’m always on the lookout for accessories. My first stop is usually Homesense because if you can’t find it there for a song, then you know you are going to pay more going forward. I also love the Pottery Barn for accessories I can’t find anywhere else (in Vancouver anyway) the Urban Barn for end tables and occasionally a great piece of inexpensive, colourful art. And I always go to Chintz & Co for the best silk flowers.
[BC Home] What was your biggest design faux pas?
[MK] The very first decorating course I took in the 80’s (when faux finishing was still hot) my instructor described how she faux finished 70’s brown paneling by first covering it with drywall mud to create texture, then she sponge painted flowers in 4 different colours. Well I did the same thing for my bachelor uncle’s house (which I was decorating at the time) but it ended up way to busy. I had to fix it as I painted and the wall ended up red with forest green stems and navy blue flowers! Every time I came to visit I would cringe looking at that wall until it was finally painted out last year!
[BC Home] When it comes to design, what’s hot?
[MK] What’s hot is the combination of yellow and gray. Not surprising since yellow is Pantone’s colour of the year for 2009 and gray is the next best neutral to go with it.
[BC Home] What’s tired?
[MK] I’m over the brown trend. It works to ground a space (just like black) but I think all those espresso brown kitchen cabinets will soon go white because as people move away from one trend they usually go to the opposite extreme.
[BC Home] Can you give me a tip or two on hiring a designer for a rental space, i.e. on the client doesn’t plan on staying at forever. For example, what design elements can pack a maximum punch for a minimum buck?
[MK] Every home we live in has custom requirements for furniture. I would always recommend a sofa and 2 chairs over a sofa/love. They are easier to move around to accommodate a new space. Also the dining table in this space was from IKEA for $300 and the chairs were custom, however in a new space, a different table could be purchased using the custom made chairs. The picture frames [RIBBA] from IKEA are a classic way to create maximum impact when you have a lot of wall to cover. In this loft, photographs from my client’s travels were used to personalize the space in addition to adding drama and colour. And of course the row of MALM dressers ground the focal point wall and also provide extra storage.
Creative Director and Founder of Understanding Undertones® and the Killam Colour SystemTM. Decorator, author, speaker and internationally sought after Colour Expert. See Colour DifferentlyTM with Maria Killam.