Debbie Travis: Experiment to see if bold colours suit you

Dear Debbie: I inherited a few pieces of furniture from my aunt’s mid-century modern collection when she drastically downsized to a tiny apartment. She has decided to travel the world, or at least parts of it, and has changed her living requirements at home. Lucky me. But not sure how to make the turquoise chair work with my rather bland decorating.

Sasha

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Lucky you is right. Furnishings and accessories that we inherit don’t always suit our style. But sometimes they teach us something about ourselves that we might not have known.

Instead of thinking about how the turquoise chair doesn’t work, ask yourself if you like it. That’s the key. If so, experiment with ways that it could fit.

It is natural for most of us to be timid about colour. Especially strong colour. That chair demands to be noticed. Just like a red dress or bright yellow shirt says here I am, look at me. There is nothing wrong with strutting your colour. And it can be done in such a way as to not overwhelm you or your space.

That red dress would be more flattering with a pastel pink scarf to soften the effect. What about white pants with the yellow blouse? And for your chair, in a cheerful and stylish bedroom, pale tones of buttery yellow on the walls and cool shades of green on the bed soften and balance the strength of the turquoise as shown here from thespruce.com.

Decorate around a bold colour with neutrals taking most of the wall space. The bedlinens are also neutral, but the glorious turquoise pops up as part of the design on the curtains and a throw cushion.

Until you are used to the chair, drape a light yellow or green blanket over the back. Or add a cushion. Enjoy your inheritance. I bet it will soon be your favourite piece.

Dear Debbie: I am a bit of a hoarder, not crazy yet but I do have difficulty finding ways to make my rooms look reasonably neat. My partner has just moved in and I feel a crisis coming on. How do I manage the mess?

Lillah

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Choose a bookcase that will enhance your room as well as the items you have selected to display.

You know what I’m going to say: To begin with, do a purge. Painful at first but once you take a good look at what you are saving you will discover that you just don’t need or want all that stuff. And what a perfect way to welcome your partner.

Next is to create places for storing and viewing what you really do care for. A good set of shelves, one for each room, will get you started. Group together collections that tell your story like the pieces you have saved for a reason. Whether it’s books, miniature cars, old perfume bottles or postcards, display them so you can enjoy the memories.

If it’s something larger like posters, paper a wall with them. Is it shoes? Line them up along the bedroom wall. I’ve never understood the need to hide away what we hold dear no matter what it is. Then ask your partner to do the same.

Choose shelving that enhances your stories. Floating shelves promote an airy feeling, good for a minimalist vibe. Wooden shelves with wrought iron brackets are country style. Built-in bookshelves garner a more formal façade offering a feeling of permanence. Next pick a colour to paint the shelves if they aren’t already finished.

Blacklacquerdesign.com demonstrates the splendour of shiny green that surrounds an eclectic mix of objects.

 

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