Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


If you can relate to fashion to discover your own design style, how about you start looking at your favourite colors? Are you a black and white type of person or color is present everywhere in your wardrobe?

Did you know that our ancestors believed that color can hold magical powers and can be used to attract good spirits, heal the sick and send away bad spirits? While many people are sceptical even when hearing the word “spirit” color is truly one of the elements that are present everywhere in nature as well as technology.

Almost every industry uses color in one way or another. From fashion to design to psychologists to biochemistry and of course advertising, color can prompt you to eat faster, perceive identical object differently, have different moods, feel different and see different.

When it comes to designing spaces, what's most important is to surround yourself with colors that make you feel comfortable. Unlike houses, condos have a more defined space. There are few elements that play an important role in choosing the color of your condo, here are just few of them:
  • Does your condo have a great view or should the focus be on the interior space?
  • What is your kitchen style (shape and type of finishes) as in most small condo spaces the kitchen occupies a large portion of the open space.
  • Do you have a color that brings back warm memories?
  • It is very important to remember to use colors that give you a certain feeling and not because a color expert says so, and if you're not sure always consult a close friend.
  • Considering the impact colors can have on the overall design of your condo unit, wall paint is your lowest and best investment.
Here are 5 tips for choosing paint colors for your condo.
1. Make a list of all the benefits your current space has- for e.g.: bright, sunny, cozy, high, open...
2. Make a list of everything that you are not happy about: be specific- is it the height, the lack of natural light, the furniture, the fabrics...
3. Where do you think color needs to represent a focal point? Here are some guidelines: a dining room wall, kitchen bulkheads, den walls, bedroom headboard wall, ensuite.
4. Look at your existing furniture, artwork and accessories (especially large items like area rugs and window treatments) and take pictures of everything that stays.
5. Bring all the answers together and analyze them- look at the main color that repeats in your current furniture, accessories, area rugs, throw pillows, window treatments. This is the color your eye will see the most in your space therefore when selecting paint colors for the walls you have to incorporate that particular paint color or the complementary tone for that color. If you will purchase new furniture ad accessories, keep in mind that painted walls represent a large surface in your condo, so plan ahead what would you like to see more- the wall color or what's placed right in front of the all.

As a rule of thumb look for large ticket items (sofa, area rug, drapery) to be in neutral shades (whites, tones of grays, warm taupes, creams and off whites) and allow accessories and small items to add the visual punch. Keep in mind that most condos have the kitchen close to the entrance, therefore the cabinets are the largest ticket item seen when entering an open condo space. So work with your cabinets and make sure you create the WOW factor- after all you really liked the cabinets before you purchased that particular condo unit.

And again think of fashion- it has very similar rules when it comes to a classy look- keep it simple for the eye to read and understand the message you are trying to convey, design is nothing else that a message, sometimes more clear than others. This is why bad color choices could ruin a great design and a very simple design could become extraordinary just by using the right colors.

Send your questions about paint colors by March 21, 2010 at and you will be notified when the answers will be posted.

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