Tangerine, looking brighter for spring

Design ideas from Christa Robinson, an interior designer based in Maple Ridge

  • May. 4, 2012 7:00 p.m.
Christa Robinson

Christa Robinson

If you are hungry for a few changes this spring, designer gurus are touting tangerine for 2012. Not so much for the spring table, rather for the walls, or the sofa, or, better yet, small accents that don’t dominate the room, but show you are in the know and ahead of the curve when it comes to this year’s trends.

This tangy citrus is the inspiration for the bold show-stopping shade of orange chosen as the pantone colour of the year. Who knew?

Christa Robinson did. Robinson is an interior designer based in Maple Ridge who decided to slow down, start a family and specializes in local design.

“Using bright colours is a way of getting an energy boost as our economy picks up,” she says. “It means things are looking brighter.”

After working commercial and residential design for much of the last decade at a couple of Vancouver firms Robinson says she now sees local buyers and renovators are becoming more curious and adventurous.

“They want to do something that is different and unique and that’s a great way to start,” she says.

There is no longer hard and fast rules when it comes to colour and she points to Benjamin Moore’s decision to go with the much more muted Whythe Blue as its choice for the walls this spring.

“This shade is a lovely calm colour,” says Robinson.

She prefers keeping walls a neutral shade, such as Whythe Blue, and suggests using “way-out -here” colours like Tangerine as accents and accessories instead of painting  your entire dining room in this year’s trend.

This way you can enjoy the fun until next year’s must-have idea takes over.

This savvy design tip also allows you to get a chance to play with colour and not break the bank. Try choosing a few spiced-up pillows or a picture frame. Find a bouquet of bright flowers or change the vase you put them in.

Colour isn’t the only way to spruce up your home for spring. There are other trends that are taking off in the design world. Robinson points to other simple and cost effective spring trend that will spice up your décor.

Try playing with scale. Bring in an oversized lamp or a larger-than-life mirror to change up a room with little cost or time.

“Just keep it to one item per room and make that item interesting,” she says.

Wallpaper is also a winner this season. But not just any wallpaper. New technology has created a decorating phenomenon where people are designing their own wallpaper, uploading it to the web and watching their ideas go viral.

“Anything goes really,” Robinson says. “Bold colours and strong graphic elements are best.”

As usual, kitchens and bathrooms are the focus for new ideas, and Robinson notes different trends are taking hold in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Gold hardware and sleek cabinetry are taking off downtown, where builders and designers cater more to young urban buyers, while quartz countertops, clean looking subway tiles and more traditional cabinet styles are winners locally.

Bathrooms are changing this spring with trends taking hold in all price ranges. Raw showers or wet rooms are very popular. These include large tiled areas with rainfall showerheads and large glassed-in showers.

“Tiles are hugely popular,” Robinson says, noting that you can get the look with less expensive tiles or by using long tiles in herringbone patterns that cost less. Other bathroom must-haves include heated floors, freestanding tubs and wall-mounted faucets. Even relatively small changes such as adding suspended lights in the can make a big difference.

“Try to be creative with what you have,” suggests Robinson.

The key to following trends no matter what the season, is to often to make small changes and use small flashes of colour to ensure that spicy tangerine doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth come the middle of winter.

• Go to www.ccsrdesign.ca for more info on Robinson’s local designs.

Ridge Meadows Home Show

If you are looking for other spring design ideas you will get a chance at the Ridge Meadows Home Show’s Home Makeover Showcase, May 4-6 at the Albion Fairgrounds. Eight-time PNE prize home designer Ronnie Vanstone of Design Alley will host this stage and will include kitchen designer Al Pattison.  Visit www.ridgemeadowshomeshow.com for more information.