As decorating addicts prepare to revamp their spaces for autumn, Real Style chatted with Toronto-based interior stylist Janette Ewen about her favourite colour scheme and design elements. The well-known Canadian stylist, who co-hosts the W!Network program Inside The Box with Ty Pennington, shares her best techniques for creating a welcoming space and gathering décor inspiration. Here’s what she had to say about her dream home and the challenges of being a Canadian décor professional.
Real Style: What is your favourite area of a house to design?
Janette: I think it would be an area that not many people have, but it would be the cocktail lounge. Every home that I do, I put one in. Entertaining to me is as important as design. So it would probably be the living dining space. I love to create lounges in peoples’ homes, with great bar carts, and books on the wall. I love social, and making your home an open and warm place with a touch of formality. So that is my favourite place by far. You can have a little more fun too because the function is to make people love life more in those rooms. That’s where you can have fun things like great artwork and quirky sculptures. I live an off the wall life which is probably why I am drawn to that!
Real Style: What does your dream home consist of?
Janette: Okay, well it is in Palm Springs! I love mid-century modern. There are so many great houses there. I would love to buy Liberace’s old house which is not mid-century modern, it is a little more God-like, but I would make it a bit more modern. It would consist of some of the best artisan craftsmanship. I would love to just collect pieces and know the story of each piece, and then mix in a lot of antiques so the whole home really tells a story. And it’s not all mid-century modern but incorporates some quirkiness, some handmade pieces and just a lot of good, positive energy.
Real Style: How would you describe your favourite colour scheme for a home?
Janette: I am really into chartreuse, and I love it with grey and kind of a natural cream. I wouldn’t do the cream in paint; I would do it with something like sheepskin. So I love a lot of muted tones but then I also love bold tones. Right now I am going through a pastel phase so something like a soft chartreuse, a faded mauve, and all that pastel goodness. There is something very visually yummy about it. If you took a bowl of salt water taffies, that is probably my colour right now!
Real Style: What is the biggest challenge of working in the industry as a Canadian interior stylist?
Janette: I think that it is actually a bonus. I have been really embraced in the U.S. which is really interesting. I think the biggest struggle is Canadians putting limitations on themselves. I think we completely underestimate the market in Canada. I mean I am known to be a little more extravagant and quirky with my designs. So many of the people I meet that go through some of the homes I design, some people either love it or hate it, but at least they are talking. As a Canadian designer, I want to invite more conversations and challenge people as opposed to just making a beautiful, chic room. What are we pushing for? What emotions do we want people to feel in a room? It is really important to try pushing things and try experiencing things and have fun with it!
Real Style: How do you keep up with the latest interior design and décor trends?
Janette: I travel a ton. I am totally an addictive traveler. I love experience. I don’t really look for what other people are doing. I actually don’t read a ton of design magazines, I will look at them here and there but I like creating my own trends. If I feel an energy from people that are doing something that I like, I will explore it but I think travel is the most important thing and you just see things emerging and I want to explore why they are emerging in that area.
Photos: Janette Ewen
Related Link: Canadian Interior Stylist Janette Ewen Shares Her Fall 2015 Design Tips
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