A throwback to the designs of yesteryear

Once upon a time, I thought I had style. If you imagine every bad 80’s stereotype for big hair, neon clothes and Flashdance-inspired garb that was me. I don’t know how I ever afforded all the hairspray I used and how it is even possible that I didn’t combust wearing all the rayon and polyester clothing – not to mention all the gaudy, plastic jewelry. I was the poster child for the 80s and I embraced the look with every ounce of enthusiasm that I could. I was not a neutral fashionista!

Recently I was able to visit a client whose home I had decorated almost 10 years ago. I remembered her after we got chatting and was amazed that she remembered me with such clarity. When I walked into her home I mentally travelled back in time to the days when I helped her with her home renovation. Not a thing had changed for she claimed she loved the design so much yet I was a little taken aback at my taste from yesteryear and how much my style has changed over a decade.

Styles were much frillier then and apparently I was really into a paint colour called ‘Sundried Tomato’ which is exactly as it sounds – a purplish based red that was a favourite of mine and was used without spare in this client’s home. My client was wanting to sell her property and felt that even though she loved the red that a new buyer may not feel the love but feel overwhelmed when they entered the rooms.

Taking cues from her current décor and existing tile, countertops and carpet we were able to pull off a soft neutral which opened up the walls and visually made the space seem bright and very open. The red paint took a bit of work to cover but she was able to use a decent primer and make the transition to a pale colour. I believe the client was ready for a change and using a lighter colour was the perfect solution to bringing her existing finishings a bright, fresh and renewed look.

When I look back at designs I created years ago I wonder at how my taste has changed so drastically. I still like strong reds and oranges (as I do still like bigger hair) but my overall view on homes has lightened and brightened considerably. The thought of painting an entire room chocolate brown is overwhelming whereas I would easily recommend that to a client in years past. Maybe it’s age or experience and maybe its just flowing with the times and the styles of the day but either way things have lightened up considerably and at this moment I can’t imagine ever going back to the dark and dramatic.

Hopefully your décor doesn’t travel as far back as 1984 and I hope that you love the house you are in regardless of the era and style. At the time we are choosing hairstyles and house colours we are completely entranced with that choice and it provides enjoyment even if we look back years later and wonder what the heck we were thinking!

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer/Ask a Realtor’.

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