The problem with your room isn’t always the paint colour. Often, it’s that the room hasn’t been styled yet. And a good designer can recognize the difference.
There’s almost nothing that makes me happier than styling a room which is really when the look and feel or another way of saying it–atmosphere–enters the room.
You can fill a house with very expensive furniture, but if the decorating ends there, without the artwork, accessories, area rugs, and lamps, it feels. . . flat and unfinished.
Before you blame the paint colour, try decorating.
Whenever I ask for ‘Ask Maria’ photos, often I’ll receive pictures of rooms where readers think that the problem with the room is with the wall colour, but really it’s simply that the room has not been styled yet.
I spend a lot of time teaching styling in my Specify Colour with Confidence events. When you leave my workshops, not only do you suddenly have confidence to choose the right colour for everything from paint colours to countertops, you also leave a better decorator.
Sheryl and her husband have four beautiful children, however, they are almost all out of the house, so they recently moved into a smaller home they had built in Aldergrove.
She asked if I’d come over and help with her dining room.
Styling this Chic Mid Century Modern Home
During my consultation with her, we chose a new table, dining chairs and a new light fixture. That day, we also went out shopping for a few accessories, her living room didn’t need much.
And then when I arrived to photograph her fabulous and colourful interior, I brought a few more vases, throw pillows and lamps to complete the look.
Here are the before and afters:
After – Sheryl’s dog Luna | Paint Colour SW Crushed Ice
Sheryl and her husband Tim both love orange, so they both agreed that was the perfect colour for the sofas in their new build.
Did you know orange is the colour of joy, sunshine, enthusiasm, creativity, success and health? Orange is also the colour of social connection. So, if you’d like to have more friends in your life, introduce some orange into your home (or peach, which is back on trend).
It’s also the perfect mid-century modern colour combined with bright blues and turquoise!
Sheryl found the stump down the road from where she used to live with the intention of turning it into a coffee table someday. Their new house was the perfect time!
This is one of Sheryl’s pieces (below). I love the casual–I-just-finished-painting-this–feel of the trees on a pad of paper, propped up on a stand. I decided it should be front and center above her sofa (below).
This house has the perfect combination of cool and warm. Nothing brings grey to life faster than colour!
Read more: 4 Ways to Decorate around your Charcoal Sofa
Sheryl’s dining room needed another hit of orange so I moved the orange lamp from this room and installed the blue lamps on the cabinets flanking the fireplace.
I found more of Sheryl’s artwork in the hallway so I included it in this vignette (above).
A pencil cactus just belongs in this style of interior, doesn’t it. I had this one out on my deck all summer and it got too big to display in my house, so I asked Sheryl if she wanted it. It’s perfect right here.
Mid Century Dining Room Style
The dining room had the biggest transformation.
The countrified counter-stool height dining table came from their last house. She knew it wasn’t right but wasn’t sure what to buy, which is why I was there to help. And this is where a professional designer can save you money… we can save you from buying the wrong thing.
Sheryl and her husband Tim both love the outdoors which is evident by the artwork she painted for the dining room – all trees from the mountains of BC.
The builder light fixture also had to go. I like how the new black chandelier visually relates to the black trees in the artwork.
A few of Sheryl’s artist brushes.
Adding colour to the kitchen.
Sheryl’s kitchen really needed colour! She loved the two counter stools she found on Craigslist, so I suggested adding chairs that were similar in height and look.
She had already replaced the builder lights with these ones from IKEA.
After (new counter stools similar)
Every kitchen needs a small table lamp somewhere (below). It’s one of 5 lamps everyone should have in their homes.
Photography by Maria Killam
I love the classic and timeless small-scale subway tile Sheryl chose for her kitchen.
We found these fabulous plant pots (above) on our first trip to HomeSense. They are the perfect focal point for this kitchen, and are a great way to repeat the orange from the living room with potted plants.
Kalanchoes are one of my favourite styling plants because they last a long time (usually approximately one month).
Sheryl with her dog Luna!
Sheryl confided now that her home is finished, and her dining room is complete, she’s actually looking forward to having people over! That’s the best result of all!
Living in a beautiful home makes everyday feel like a luxury.