Choose a mood, choose a colour to live the life

2009-11-20 12:07

AS this year ebbs out and one looks forward to the magical year that 2010 promises to be, this is the best time to re-evaluate your life, your surroundings and more specifically your habitat. Where better to learn that than at the feet of expert DIY and home-decor celeb Debbie Travis?

The UK-born self-taught interior designer has a cult following as the host of The Painted House, a show on DStv’s Style ­Network that is syndicated to over 50 countries. The Canada-based DIY guru also has a weekly magazine column syndicated all over North America.

Travis was in South Africa earlier this month to impart priceless tips, suggestions and information in a series of workshops that armed a host of men and women with ideas on how to make their homes fashionable and more appealing.

One of the cardinal rules Travis operates by is “choose a mood, choose a colour”. She reckons whites and chocolates are calm, gentle, harmonious and minimal; turqoise and aquas are cheerful, uplifting, whimsical; while pinks and purples are joyous, spirited and happy.

Greens are flamboyant and nostalgic; blues classical, comfortable, timeless and memorable; while reds stimulate conversation and green/blue is calming.

She insists that trends and decor follow fashion closely, further arguing that with the economic disaster that characterised this year, bling found its way back into wardrobes and overflowed into our living rooms and bedrooms. That explains the blinding silver belts, metallics and ­sequins that have been seen on the catwalk and fashion ramps, and pieces of furniture and accessories, in the same vein.

“Nostalgic is coming back, the Laura Ashley (the late Welsh designer who ­became a household name as a designer of colourful fabrics) type of look,” she says.

Travis breaks up for us all the trends of next year in three different looks:

New Classic: This is about flowers, patterns, patchwork sofas, prints that make you feel homely and richer, textures that have a little bit of bling and shine. Cheap and cheerful accessories, softer oak and splashes of colour.

New Modern: This look is about mixing and matching, and is less clinical. The ­layering makes your home warmer and not resemble a hospital room, bronze taps instead of stainless steel are the way to go, mosaics should be in different colours, ­sofas resemble material used in making men’s suits. The chequered board pattern, African deep gold, yellow and black and browny greys define the look.

New Zen: This is about layering of plain whites, white-tile flooring and wood, ­personal photos and images imprinted in ceramic tiles or blowing up your photos and turning them into wallpaper, tinted glass with rich colours.

Some of the new trends
Wallpaper is getting eclectic, tone-on-tone paper is popular. Don’t be afraid to experiment with wallpaper in your bathroom. Black and white is still a classic.

Walls have become a canvas, they are not a background object. Turn them into pieces of art with colour and accessories.

Ceilings are recognised as part of decor and therefore need to attention such as painting them the same colour as the wall, not the usual white.

Anaglypta is back in fashion. The paintable wallpaper that was all the rage in the 60s is back.

Stencilling has been around forever and it’s still easy to do as a poor man’s decoration to achieve that country feel.

Words are back. Having words written on your wall will glam up your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom.

Experiment – reds and yellows look happy. For children rooms, boys really like purple and black instead of the usual blue.

Don’t paint your dining room green, it makes people look ill, though it works with jewellery. And last but not least, keep red out of your bedroom.

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