The following is a guest post by Carmen Dragomir, an interior design guru at esQape design inc. Carmen maintains an off-shoot of our site called Carmen’s Corner. It’s full of helpful and inspiring design tips for any kind of home. Check out part 2 of her post here!

I don’t know about you but I cannot wait for spring to arrive! Winter is almost gone with its long nights and short days, and I can definitely feel the arrival of spring, look around you it’s almost everywhere :) from nature to retail stores, you know when spring is coming. And if you have been shopping for clothing recently you probably noticed two big trends — colour and patterns.

This is the perfect time to decide if one or both are for you. As you try to decide where to start your condo decoration, keep in mind that trends come and go but you can keep them with you as long as you like.

As pointed out in few previous blog posts about trends, colour and how to go about incorporating colour trends without taking the risk of investing too much money in something temporary, I encourage you to consider how important is colour for your own personal space.

What I believe is the most important factor to consider is that your home should reflect who you are, so select a colour palette that is close to your heart and have fun with it.

When choosing colours and patterns there are 2 main categories you have to consider: temporary (easy to change) and permanent (or almost- more difficult and expensive to change).

If you choose to go with a colour splash just for the season and for the entire year not sure if you will keep it for a longer period of time, think of investing in accessories, area rugs, wall features.

Should you choose to go with more of a permanent colour accent, consider kitchen cabinets (either lower or uppers or both), backsplash tiles or back painted glass, light fixtures and key pieces of furniture (like an accent chair or a sofa), window coverings.
This year’s colours selected by Pantone vary from soft hues to strong and powerful. Each colour can become the focal point in any room or throughout your condo space. There are also a few colours that can be combined for some of you who emailed me questions about how to mix more than one accent colour in the mix of neutral background colours.

So let’s start:

Tangerine tango is the colour of the year! It can be such a strong colour when paired with dark neutrals but also soft and fluid when mixed with various hues of whites and off whites.

Here are 2 paint colours selected from Benjamin Moore Canadian website- see the two coordinating colours below.

Here are few scenarios:

– Use this colour sprinkled in large surfaces like floors or walls- this powder room is the perfect place for a bold pattern that takes over the entire room, what it’s called small space big drama!

You can also add an area rug like one of these two, for either a strong pop of colour or just hints of it- either way your space could look spectacular!

Solar power is one of those colours that definitely change one’s mood in any room. It can be paired with either cool or warm neutrals from off whites to deep rich tones of grey, taupe and brown. Yellow and white is a guaranteed happy combination, either in accessories or use on large surfaces.

If you live in a loft, a yellow runner is a definite pop of colour and could be the main accent of the open space, see in the image below how the white and yellow is predominant and the dark exposed edge of the stair is a very subtle yet strong background that holds the yellow tone and helps it stand out even more.

The 2 colour combinations from Benjamin Moore shows you how you can combine it with either warm of cool neutral tones.

The ‘maple gold’ colour would work well with either of the 2 neutral below if used as wall colours.

The ‘golden bounty’ tone of yellow — more of a mustard hue — can be combined with the dark colour ‘durango’ for the walls and perhaps the ‘graham craker’ colour can represent small accents used in front of the dark wall colour.

Used in small proportions for accents only, yellow works beautiful with white and grey tones and the stripes from the bedding in the image below shows how subtle yet vibrant this accent colour can be in a small or large space.

Viceroy Hotel is a perfect example of to abundantly use yellow as the main colour in a room, used for more than one surface! I know this is not easy for many of you to pull together, but if you look at this image you can see how yellow is predominant yet very well balanced within the room. If you think about it, many other colours could be used in this ‘formula’.


Bellflower is a wonderful lilac tone, can be paired with both light and dark, warm and cool neutrals. ‘charmed violet’ is the Benjamin colour paint I selected as being close to the pantone trend. While paired with white this colour can create soft feminine spaces, when used just as accent with the predominant colour being the dark paint ‘wrought iron’ and darker variations of lilac and purple, the space could be very dramatic to say the least.

Sodalite blue is one of the trend colours that could be trendy for more than one year, as it works perfect with either cool or warm greys, black and white.

‘Symphony blue’ paint colour from Benjamin Moore shows how soft this blue hue looks when combined with the two sandy tones below. For a more dramatic effect, pair this colour (or darker variations) with grey/charcoal colours and metallic textures and white for a sharp contrast. Whether used as a background colour or accent, navy blue will always create powerful masculine condo spaces.

Cabaret is a great tone of hot pink part of the pantone trends for few years now. This is one of those colors you either love or hate, but it can definitely create drama in a small space like this powder room.

Benjamin Moore’s ‘peony’ paint color shows how vibrant this tone is when coordinated with cool tones of greys and white.

Used for more permanent accessories like this very comfortable sofa I spotted at one of the shows in Europe , this colour can be the ‘here I am’ color in any room.

Sweet lilac looks like ‘cabaret’s softer and lighter version, definitely a girl’s colour. You would be surprised though to find out that many people choose this color for their kitchens, in a (sometimes successful) attempt to create a retro look.

Paired with white it creates very soft and light filled with bedrooms with a ‘summer like feeling’ throughout.

Also area rugs like the one in this image can add just a touch of color in a space that could be white and grey throughout. Best would be to add few more small accessories around the seating area.

Check out part 2 of her post here!

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