Priceless Heirlooms Speak Through Colour


An old friend and client stopped by earlier this week to get colour and material-selection advice for the furnishing of her new guest room. While discussing various options, she was drawn to an opaque blue bowl that sits amidst books and magazines on my coffee table. As we both took the time to admire its subtle qualities, we realized that there was something about this colour – a light, delicate blue, that seemed to make us both happy!

As an interior designer, I must effectively apply colour and its many mental and emotional associations to create coolness, cleanness, cheerfulness – whatever mood my client wishes to express.

Do you have a favorite family heirloom that has been treasured and cared for over long years? Or maybe a painting or piece of jewellery that you have cherished and admired? These special belongings and their design elements can help inspire a room.

As for my friend, her decision was made easy. We chose blue for the wall behind the sandy- coloured, custom-made, upholstered headboard. A wasabi-green fabric was selected for the cozy chairs in the room to offset the dark wood chest of drawers and walnut hardwood floor. Knowing Emily, I think she will enjoy the new look and colour pallet of her guest room for a long time – a space uniquely reflective of her personality.


Your prized possessions not only inspire, but tell the story of who you are too. My blue bowl that shares space with my mugs of coffee and morning papers?It’s something I remember from my early childhood, kept in my aunt’s glass cabinet, under lock and key. It was passed on to me as a present – she always knew I had admired its subtle shape, colour and design. A cherished heirloom that speaks to me of a past and a person that was dearly loved.

A year ago I met another vancouver interior designer who became quite enchanted with the piece. His mother has the very same bowl! It made the long journey from France to Canada with his family some years ago. While I never knew where my aunt’s bowl originated, my fellow designer graciously shed some light on the subject! I like to think that our precious bowls knew each other in a more distant life of years past.

I have often wondered if our beloved items could talk, what stories they would have to tell. I know, however, that when we use these objects as design inspiration, their stories are told all around us through carefully chosen fabrics, wall colours, and room design. What story is your home telling about you today?

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