INSPIRED WALLS: Where to start

Oct 12, 2016 

The hardest part of decorating and choosing colours is finding a starting point or inspiration  It is too hard to choose.   With the internet we see so many cool ideas and we are exposed to so many ideas that we love…….  often we are overwhelmed and end up doing nothing. We become frozen by all the possibilities. So the big question becomes: where do we start?

The other night the sun set was so beautiful and so delicate. Sadly I could not make my camera catch the blueness of the sky, it was so blue.

The next day on my Intagram was a photo from one of my favourite color Instagramers. If you love colour check her pictures aurelycerise.

When I saw it I immediately was struck by the fact that I had been awed by those colours in the sky the night before.

A lot of designers use their surroundings to be inspired. My favourite color designer, Donald Kaufman talks about going outside his client’s house and letting nature inspire him to choose the palette for the inside.

This is a picture I took up on the rocks of Georgian Bay.

Rocks of Georgian Bay

Looking through my photos this is what I found……

The green shutters and mottled pink stucco of this building in the south of France. I can see those pinks in the rock and the smokey greens in sun bleached moss.

Pinks & smokey greens

And look at the grey and the pinks in this picture.

Greys and pinks

And then look at this pottery that I photographed at Maison two years ago. Who would have thought we could have found those colours together in a natural setting

Pottery photographed at Maison

Art is another beautiful way to get inspiration. By simply taking a favourite piece of art you own or  a famous piece of art you wished you owned and pulling out colours and matching them to paint chips is a great way to put together a colour scheme.

This  pictures came from a colour workshop I participated in. Now obviously these colours are dark but you can lighten them down while staying in the same colour family

Colours from the same family

Small things can act as an inspiration too. When I was working on an apartment in Paris, the client and I fell in love with a tile and it became the inspiration. You can see my color notes in this picture.

Inspiration from small things

Here is a peek at the results. The green flowed from the back splash in the kitchen into the book cases and furniture.

The results

Almost anything can be your inspiration. I love this fabric from Designers Guild. Tricia Guild is another designer who has an amazing sense of colour. Often when I am helping a client to choose colours we will go to some of my favourite fabric companies and look at beautiful fabrics.

Even if my client falls in love with a totally unaffordable fabric, I will get a sample such as the one in the photograph below. I can build a colour palette and use the fabric as inspiration. We may order a small amount for pillows or a chair or not at all if it is really crazy expensive.  As you can see there was no shortage of colour coming out of this beautiful fabric.

Inspiration can be a dress, your grandmother’s favourite tablecloth, a photograph, a tree anything you can think of.  And if you can’t find anything in your house look outside.

Look outside for inspiration

Even in the dessert where one might think there is so little colour, the houses in Palm Springs had fantastic coloured doors. And like the dessert that surrounds these homes you see so many beautiful shades of complex grays and taupes. And then out pops a little surprise of colour.

A little surprise of colour


Sometimes I will walk into a client’s space and immediately know what the right colour is.  I have no idea how I do this but it happens quite often.  I love when that happens and so do my client!

If you need some expert advice  or inspiration call me.  416-577-4744 or email me at

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