As decorating enthusiasts prepare to usher spring into their spaces, Real Style chatted with Love It Or List It Vancouver host Jillian Harris about the season’s latest home décor looks. Known for her love of classic sophistication, the Peace River, Alberta-born interior designer talked to us about incorporating refreshing neutral hues into your home and decorating on a budget. Here’s what Harris had to say about rejecting trends, embracing imperfect yet timeless interior design and her absolute favourite rooms in a house.
Love It Or List It airs Mondays on W Network at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Real Style: Describe your favourite new interior design trends for 2016.
Jillian: I don’t love the word “trend”. I feel that spaces should be a huge reflection of your personality and your life experiences. Once you start to worry too much about trends, you’re focusing on what other people like as opposed to where your heart is naturally going. I think based on what I love personally, I used to love a lot of really bright cool whites, really glossy, really clean, really crisp. Now, I’m leaning towards things that are more wrinkled, a little more worn in- creams, oatmeals, greys, warmer whites. Things and materials that can handle the test of time and that don’t necessarily stay looking beautiful, but the more worn in they get, the more personality they get. I’m hoping that in 2016, we fuss less about everything being perfect and we are just okay with everything being a complete disaster.
Real Style: Do you have any tricks or techniques for redecorating your space on a budget?
Jillian: People always tell me that they would like to see more colour in my spaces. The problem I sometimes have with colour is that if you add too much colour and you can’t get your space perfectly clean, then it can look messy. One of the things I encourage people to do (if they’re on a budget) is to stick to a neutral palette. If they’re sticking to a neutral palette or a monochromatic palette, then the space is going to look less busy and you’re going to be allowed to let it get messy (without it looking so busy).
Sticking to oatmeals, creams and pure whites on a budget is easier. Also, when you’re working with colour, often you have to select a specific fabric or finish because it has to coordinate and has to match. Then, that’s where you end up spending money. If you stick to a neutral palette, as long as it’s white and cream and oatmeal, it’s going to go. You don’t have to be so fussy. It also allows you to not have to get pairs of things. You can get mismatched pillows, chairs and sofas, and that allows you to start looking at discount items. A set of dining chairs might normally be x amount of dollars, but now if one is broken, you can buy one for $25 and not have to have everything matchy-matchy.
Real Style: Which colours do you predict will be popular in home décor for the next couple of seasons?
Jillian: Obviously, I’m a huge fan of whites and neutrals, but I always seem to gravitate toward light blushes, corals and golds and mixed metals. I’m still a huge fan of a robin’s egg blue or dusty blue (like a beautiful robin’s egg blue chair). I’ve never really been a huge fan of purple and I don’t really see that changing, but also muted and diluted colours and monochromatic palettes. Maybe having some dusty blues, but also all of a sudden a pop of a royal blue.
Real Style: What is your favourite room in a house to decorate, and why?
Jillian: I love kitchens so much. They’re harder to renovate obviously. My favourite room in our house is the TV room, just because it’s the most comfortable. I like decorating nurseries, we don’t get to do them that often, but I feel like nurseries are really fun. They get my clock ticking, and I feel like there’s something about having a child at home that makes it a home and kind of crowns it.