Renovation & Design

CONNIE OLIVER: Making your indoors a work of art

Bringing the dark grey paint colour onto the ceiling and down the walls, capping the room, adds a wonderful elegance to this eclectic living room.

The column I wrote that ran on Jan. 11 was all about using what you have to create an eclectic decor.

This is a great way to update your home affordably while maintaining a unique space. However, some of you will no doubt want to take it a step further by infusing your special brand of style.

You know these people -- just a touch more unique and unusual than most of the population. These are people who need to march to the beat of their own drum by creating a truly one-of-a-kind living space. They may opt to renovate an old church or fire hall as their home or a warehouse loft apartment with soaring ceilings and exposed brick. They frequent flea markets in search of weird and wonderful items to use in their decor, from vintage bicycles to use as pot racks to architectural salvage finds that add real interest to their space.

Unusual paint colours and treatments will no doubt adorn their living quarters, like the unique paint treatment over the fireplace pictured here. The wonderfully graphic pattern and palette of Dulux paint colours certainly make for an interesting focal point in this room.

The traditional fireplace takes on a whole new look with the modern paint treatment above. Instead of the expected practice of hanging a great painting over the fireplace, they made the wall itself an art piece. Techniques like this, while time-consuming, are affordable and changeable when desired. That is the beauty of paint.

Bringing the dark grey paint colour onto the ceiling and down the walls, capping the room, adds a wonderful elegance to this eclectic living room. Most of us will play it safe and just paint our ceilings white, but seeing colour up there makes us think twice about the norm. You can't put a name on this style of decor, which makes it truly unique.

While this particular room style may not be for everyone, it definitely gives us food for thought. Perhaps the one colour you choose for the focal wall in the dining room could be enhanced with a graphic paint treatment in keeping with the style of your space. Maybe the experience of soaking in your claw-foot tub could be enhanced by a ceiling treatment in the bathroom. Why couldn't you make a coat rack out of something unusual such as a garden rake? Who says door trim has to be white?

When you open up to the possibilities, you might be able to pave the way for new and wonderful decor ideas. If not, you can learn from others by noting unique decor trends and ideas.

The adventurous souls who see things just a bit differently than most help bring us out of our comfort zone. While we may not follow in their exact footsteps, we are given ideas that may have otherwise sat dormant in our psyche. Thank goodness for these free spirits! Their artistic flair helps the rest of us reach a little further to enhance our homes. They pave the way for us to try new things and explore unique items to use in our decor.

The bookshelf I featured on Jan. 18 came from another person's great idea. When I happened upon the picture of it, I just had to make it. Other ideas that I've happened upon recently include:

-- Making a windowsill herb garden from vintage teacup-and-saucer sets

-- Using old workboots in a grouping as outdoor garden containers

-- Attaching painted wooden clothespins to the wall to hold hand towels or notes in the kitchen

-- Using an old stand-alone metal cheese grater, painted in a fun colour, as a jewelry rack for shepherd's-hook earrings

-- Nailing an old leather workboot to a tree or post for use as a bird-nesting box

-- Capping fence posts with old boots attached upside down

-- Using colourful rubber boots as indoor planters

-- Use painted driftwood as art; hang from the ceiling for more interest

-- Halve an old globe to use as light fixtures

-- Paint an old metal colander to use as a ceiling light fixture

If you have any great ideas you'd like to share, send me an email and a photo.


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