Colour Flow – From One Room to Another

Calgary’s Nyla Free is one busy designer. Little wonder as her work is fresh, original and always engaging.

Watery blues from the oil painting that dominates in the dining room are echoed in the sofa’s toss cushions, creating harmony and flow within the space.

How do you create flow from one room to another? Do you think flow is important? 

Lazy Days of Summer

  • Looking to renovate their Kiawah Island vacation property, a Connecticut couple turns to designer Erin Glennon (RIGHT) to create a space that is vibrant, clutter free and suitable to rent to occasional guests.
  • In the foyer, a whitewashed Shaker style console with distressed finish handles hastily tossed keys and provides an ideal perch for sea glass lamps. Stacked orange boxes complement the sea green colour of the lamps and provide additional storage for smaller items such as flashlights or even beach-ready flip-flops.
  • LEFT: Sophisticated colour pairings and nautical details, like the navy and white valance on the window, combine to provide the master bedroom with the desired coastal style. The rustic bench at the foot of the bed and Moroccan area carpet add texture and comfort without being too formal. For the upholstered headboard, Erin opted for a practical Sunbrella fabric in a crisp white.
  • Undaunted by previously dark and dated interiors, Erin added painted white beadboard wainscotting to the living room, simultaneously enhancing the room’s natural sunlight and adding architectural interest.
  • White’s such a useful colour for providing a backdrop to the vibrant hues and patterns so well-suited to vacation living. “Now the living room reminds me of a Jack Johnson song—relaxing but not boring,” says Erin.
  • The biggest challenge may have been the dining area. It’s a pretty tight space and yet it needed a table large enough to seat 6 people. In addition, two of the three walls are sliding glass doors, which meant we had to sacrifice a serving buffet. We used the large scale print to anchor the space and create the room’s dramatic focal point.
  • “Don’t fuss. Keep it casual with a collection of mismatched vases.”
  • Aesthetically this room reflects a slightly more rustic interpretation of the Kiawah landscape through the textured banana leaf headboard, antlers and plaid woolen throw. The small portraits above each bedside table are by local artist, Alaina Michelle Ralph.
  • “A bed that sleeps more than one person should always have an end table on each side, no matter how small,” insists Erin.
  • The Kiawah Island, South Carolina property overlooks a lagoon with ocean views beyond. Though their vacation property is four states away, the owners say the setting is a perfect antidote to cooler New England temperatures back home.

Dabble Savvy: To create a cohesive colour story, lay all fabrics on a large table and consider the flow and harmony from room to room.

“I really like the idea of furniture blending into the walls to create an airier feeling in vacation homes,” says the designer.

First Bedroom Featured
The wall colour, Benjamin Moore’s Natural Elements, reads as a light neutral but actually changes as the day goes on, becoming more greenish-blue. “This is one of my favorite wall colors,” says the designer. “I use it to create bedrooms that are, above all, restful.”

Dabble Savvy: A portrait adds a personal element to a room, especially when it’s an original piece rather than a print.