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Ulya Jensen
Interior Designer

Change your décor with paint and stains

In recent years with a huge resurgence of getting back to our history and heritage, tried and true crafting and decorating with vintage objects has come back into the limelight. Reclaiming wood and furniture and reusing what we already have has taken over the design world. But don’t be afraid to put your personal mark on it!

Bold pops of colour

What I love about paint is that it instantly rejuvenates your furniture, walls or fencing. Combining white with bold pops of colour makes a statement in any space. It is easy to make miss matched furniture work together by simply unifying the colours. Even with old furniture, a new colour palette can make it look modern and current.

Children’s rooms are a great place for painted furniture. It will reuse dated furniture and keep you on budget.


Playing with the paint finish makes a difference as well: use glossy finishes for a modern look and a pearl finish for a softer look.


Rule of thirds for interior walls

Interior wall colour has really changed over the years. Paint used to be very dominant on walls and really stood out in a room. The “accent” wall was everywhere!

Then we saw paint go much softer and cooler. We see greyed down versions of the complete colour palette.

One of my favorite design rules is the rule of thirds. It ties in perfectly with the cooler colour trend; If you don’t have at least 1/3 cool in your room, it will never be balanced. What easier way to add a hint of cool then to chill down your paint colour?


Wall panelling is perfect for paint

When I see old wall paneling, my first choice is always to paint it. Not only it is an extremely cost effective way to make major change, I just love the texture of the vertical lines and coffered panels.

Many feel you will lose the beauty of the wood if you paint it; I think the beauty is intensified, and you actually see the woodwork better. The details come to the forefront instead of recede.

As long as you prepare the surface properly with a light sanding and a great primer, this colour will last for years. So what are we waiting for?


Take it outside

To add some country chic to your outdoors space try painting an old chest of drawers or old picture or mirror frames and hang them on your fence.  Having sophisticated furniture pieces outside really ads unexpected character to your space. The beauty here is that our climate adds a patina that just keeps getting better.

Old flea market finds, or pieces with damaged surfaces are the perfect choice. Try finding some old wicker furniture or iron furniture to re-invent. Your creations will become a real conversation piece!

When it comes to exterior colours, another option is to stain our fences and decks; old or new.  Stain is perfect for protecting and preserving wood and adding colour.

I am a big fan of the historical stain palette. Fencing looks great in subdued old world tones. Historical colours are classic & never go out of style. Try using a darker colour for a dramatic look, or a soft yellow or green to add just a hint of colour. It is the perfect backdrop to a small or large space. So go ahead, grab the pressure washer to clean and prepare your surface and get staining!

Ulya Jensen
Interior Designer
Ulya lives in Ottawa and is the founder and director of Ulya Jensen Interiors. In addition to that, she can be seen on HGTV’s Home to Flip. @ujinteriors

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