by Debi Anderson, Barking Dog Studio –
When it comes to design, finding your own style might come easy to some, but others not so much. Ask yourself a few questions. Start with your space, one room at a time; how do you want it to look? As much as you might like it on its own, does this piece of furniture fit with what you want to achieve? What colours are you drawn to? Could you live with that colour on a statement piece in the living room, like a wall unit?
There are many different design styles out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose one now. It’s also OK to mix and match styles! You probably already have the pieces to pull a room together, but just need help finding the right way for it to work as a whole.This is where you bring in your friends – let them help with the process. If you have been friends for a while, they will know what you like or dislike, sometimes even more than you realize! If something works but you just can’t stand the colour, chances are you can paint it to make it fit. Have a paint party on the patio and update what you already own. Redoing a favourite piece gives a fresh, new look to what you already love and it is way cheaper than buying new furniture. What do you have to lose, except some elbow grease and a can of paint?
There are paints out there that were made for repainting what you already have. Two chalk paint brands, Country Chic Paint, made in Duncan, and FAT Paint, made in New Westminster, are personal favourites and are available at Barking Dog. I spend my time repainting things that just need a pop of colour … or maybe the owners’ colour palette has changed. It happens: trends come and go, and repainting furniture can help you keep up with the changes. Repainting furniture has been done for years but the chalk paint product lines are fairly new and very diverse. If you feel intimated by where to start there is help out there for you.
In my own space I have chosen things I adore and can’t live without. Most things are painted with chalk-style paint, but some are not. It is honestly a big eclectic mix; I’d call my style a cross between comfortable rustic and farmhouse (without the chickens). I use my great-grandmother’s iron and brass bed frame – sure I could buy a shiny new one but why, when it makes me happy when I see it? There’s also the table my father made in the ’70s that is now mine; not only is it a conversational piece, but I remember him making it for the family. My style didn’t happen overnight: it evolved over years of searching for that next great find.
I’d say don’t worry about the Joneses, whoever they are – just immerse your space in whatever you love. In the end it is you that has to live there.
For more information visit www.barkingdogstudio.ca.