Interiors: Sold on colour – #Toronto #realestate


Sold on colour

It’s a myth that a house must be painted beige to sell fast. You don’t turn on buyers with bland, these designers say


Sheryl Steinberg

From Friday’s Globe and Mail


Think shades of beige, grey or white work best to sell a home? Think again, colour designer Janice Lindsay says.

The author of All About Colour says the tendency to “bland it out” to allow prospective buyers to envision themselves in a space is a mistake. “Colour done right is way more likely to sell than just a whitewash.”

Moreover, decorating or staging a home using monochromatic, tone-on-tone neutrals is simply old-school, Ms. Lindsay says. “The [younger] generation is kick-ass about colour. They don’t want [their homes] to look like their mom’s and dad’s place.”


All photos by Virginia Macdonald Photographer Inc.



Erin McLauglin, editor-in-chief of Style at Home magazine, agrees. She recently resuscitated her husband’s childhood home using vivid colours, such as Watermelon and Trinity Blazer Blue, straight from the Canadian decor magazine’s new Beauti-Tone Paints collection at Home Hardware.

She says the circa-1920, four-bedroom house on a quiet, winding street near Toronto’s High Park neighbourhood had “great bones,” but it was bland and “nothing had been changed since his parents bought it in the mid-1970s.”

With an imaginary young family in mind, Ms. McLaughlin teamed up with Feasby & Bleeks Design to redecorate the home and give it sales appeal. They used paint chips as a springboard for selecting an eclectic mix of fabrics, wallpapers and paints and breathed new life into the home before it was recently listed for sale.

Notwithstanding Ms. McLaughlin’s desire to use many colours from the collection to “punctuate” various rooms for an upcoming editorial feature in her magazine, she was wary of cluttering the 2,500-square-foot home with too many random, competing colours and making it feel dark, small and stuffy.

As a result, there are common threads of bold colour subtly connecting rooms on the same level of the home, such as the rich ochre introduced in both the formal living and dining rooms though each room has its own distinct modern palette. Similarly, the front foyer and new white kitchen both have pale-blue ceilings to unite the zones.




In fact, the store-bought kitchen has a blue tinge cast by the ceiling, co-ordinating drum pendant light fixtures and robin’s-egg-blue glass cabinetry doors flanking the stainless-steel exhaust hood.

Both the salability of a white kitchen and Ms. McLaughlin’s goal to give it warmth and personality played roles in designing the streamlined space.

“There’s nothing wrong with a white kitchen,” she says, “but you see them again and again and again. I wanted to do something that felt fresh and that cut the sterility of a white kitchen.”

To those with an existing white kitchen that feels a bit too boring or hospital-like, adding wow factor can be as easy and inexpensive as painting the ceiling black, says Ms. Lindsay, who also designed a paint collection for PPG Pittsburgh Paints. “Black is a very under-utilized colour.”

It’s also interesting to note the intentional lack of colour in the hallways that connect the vibrant rooms in the home. “I call that the palette cleanser,” Ms. Lindsay says. “Energetic colours that bump into each other are hard on the psyche. But if you create a room in a colour palette and then you come into a neutral hallway, then you’re ready to take the plunge into another colour again.”

But even the neutral hallways come with a twist. Ms. McLaughlin painted the upper and lower hallway walls and trim in the same shade of off-white. One is in a flat finish; the other is in eggshell for a hint of visual interest. “The way the light reflects on [the paint],” she explains, “it gives the illusion that they’re different colours.”




In rooms infused with intense colour and/or pattern, she added plate rails to break up the walls to give the illusion of taller ceilings and ensure that the rooms look airy. Both the upper walls and ceiling were painted a pale cream. “It’s a neat trick,” she says. “You can’t tell where the wall ends and the ceiling begins.”

According to real-estate agent Janet Lindsay (no relation to Janice), the home’s “sumptuous use of colour, fine details and classic appointments with a slight edge” will appeal to a buyer looking for a finished, ready-to-move-in home that marries timeless design with hits of modernity.

The Chestnut Park agent, who just listed the house for $775,000, says she has seen the use of colour dramatically increase over the past two years. She points to decorating media and young home buyers looking to express their individuality with interesting colours, patterns and fabrics.

While the home is being sold unfinished, many of the furnishings and accents are available for sale through retailers such as DeBoer’s, Elte and Weavers Art, which helped Ms. McLaughlin stage the home.


Special to The Globe and Mail



About Tariq Sultan
Dear Readers, I am a dedicated Toronto, Ontario based real estate professional who has been successfully meeting and exceeding the needs of his clients for past several years. I am actively involved in the insurance, financing, and mortgage industry. Real estate is not only my career – it is my passion. I strive to continuously provide my clients with exceptional service to ensure they are fully satisfied when it comes to their real estate needs. For any real estate related inquires contact me today, I will be happy to assist you. Best wishes, Tariq Sultan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: