Tired of winter, with its slush and snow, cloudy skies and bone-chilling winds? Aren't we all? Luckily, interior designers are, too. As the crocuses sprout and leaves start unfurling on the trees, décor showrooms are bursting with colour. Gone — or at least moved to the background — are the neutrals that have dominated interior design for the last few seasons, says Vanessa Pokrzywa, interior designer at Imperial Carpet & Home in Toronto. "I think people are just kind of tired of grey, grey, grey," she says. "They want that touch of colour."
Her clients often begin by picking a dramatic area rug and then planning the rest of the room around it. "Once you've got the carpet, you've got all the colours there," she notes, adding that other pieces such as drapes, pillows, throws and furniture can be drawn into the new palette.
So what colours are winter-weary Canadians craving this spring? A kaleidoscopic variety, it appears. Ms. Pokrzywa has seen a rise in the popularity of traditional carpet designs distressed with golds, as well as a comeback of floral patterns in bold pink, pastel blue and lilac. Other hues coming on to designers' radar this year — particularly for accent pieces — include tangerine, bright yellow, turquoise, forest green and fuchsia. Richly coloured carpets resembling paintings are also popular, as are fabrics with a somewhat tropical vibe.
If all of this sounds eclectic — well, it is, as shoppers are becoming more adventurous.
What colours are winter-weary Canadians craving? Everything, say designers, from bold pink and green to floral patterns in carpets and décor. (Credit: DECORIUM)
Free to be you
Christina Coronna, in-home designer at Kennedy Galleries in Etobicoke, Ont., notes that the season's new colours are being combined in intriguing ways, such as geometric prints, and in fresh combinations, such as navy and salmon. "Today, there's such an opportunity to choose what suits you," she says. "It's just total freedom."
The increasing availability of sturdy upholstery fabric built to withstand high traffic has also increased the range of options for homeowners, she says. It's now possible to get protective fabric in a soft weave that allows you to use light colours on furniture without fearing every muddy-pawed dog or snack-toting child. If you've ever wanted to electrify a room with a bright yellow sofa or a pair of pink chairs, this might just be your year.
Tara Lindsay, a buyer at Decorium, a furniture and décor showroom in Toronto, is seeing the rise of the floral print. "The beauty of working with floral patterns is that it introduces a whole combination of different colours into a space. You can combine all of these colours into one print, which really creates a unique feel and brightens up the space."
Pieces with purpose
As downsizing baby boomers and their home-seeking offspring continue to fuel the compact condo trend, people are also looking for smaller carpets and furniture with a light, whimsical feel, says
Ms. Pokrzywa. Lighter, more playful fabrics are replacing the Moroccan-style carpets and structured damask tablecloths that dominated recent seasons, as clients look for a less formal look.
Shoppers also want multi-functional pieces that can do double or triple duty in a small space — ottomans that function as footstools, seats and storage units, for instance, says Ms. Coronna.
Lighter and brighter
Walls, too, are getting a fresh facelift. While designers are continuing to use a focus wall to inject an electric note of colour into a room, wallpaper with an airy feel is roaring back into fashion.
"We've seen a huge resurgence of grasscloth," says Ms. Coronna, adding that leading designers such as Kate Spade are increasingly adding wallpapers to their décor lines.
Even metals are getting lighter and brighter. The big news on that front is the rising availability of champagne-finished metals on lamps and tables — often as a way to draw together a range of metallic tones on a variety of pieces. "Monochromatic worked for a long time, but people are looking to add a little more interest to their space," Ms. Coronna explains.
This content was produced by The Globe and Mail's advertising department. The Globe's and Mail's editorial department was not involved in its creation.