When a client of designer Paul Lavoie spotted this home in Calgary, it was at a time when there wasn’t a lot of housing stock available—yet it had been sitting on the market for a while. The problem? Despite decent details like great moulding, baseboards and classic hardwood flooring, it was just… uninspired. “It suffered from builder beige,” says Lavoie, who was brought on board to liven up the space. “It was well constructed, but it was so boring.”

paul lavoie design western livingEymeric Widling

Lavoie and his team were tasked to “make it amazing”—to give it a brand-new energy with a riot of pattern and colour. “It really allowed us to flex our design muscle,” he says, “for someone who really wanted something a little glamorous in a formerly cookie-cutter house.” The process of wowing up the space began small, with a fabric sample Lavoie adored. “The theme of the fabric is exactly where design is heading—a new era of maximalism,” he says. Its Asian-inspired pattern would provide the basis for a colour palette of greens, blues, magentas and sunshine oranges, all dotted throughout the home. (The fabric sample is also now a modest little throw pillow that sits in the living room.)

paul lavoie designerEymeric WidlingNow, a boldly orange and graphic area rug in the living room brings both modern and traditional elements, thanks to its classic herringbone pattern. A pair of Victorian chairs that had once belonged to the homeowner’s grandmother stand in pretty symmetry beside the fireplace, reupholstered in a geometric fabric in orange, cream red and grey. “I thought they’d be off limits,” says Lavoie. “But she said, ‘As long as I have them in the room, you can do whatever you want with them.’”

paul lavoie homeEymeric Widling

The walls, once a masking-tape dull pinky beige, were given a cool mint-green hue. Swivel bucket chairs feature gold bases, and can pivot to either the conversation in the main room or toward the window for a quiet afternoon of reading. And magenta-pink vinyl ottomans are a perfectly bold, kid-proof style for the owner’s three children. “We wanted to have a Palm Springs, vintage kind of feel with the Victorian chairs, the mirrored cabinets,” says Lavoie. “To approach it like it wasn’t an Ethan Allen furniture store—to have a bit of whimsy to the room.”

colourful house calgary western livingEymeric Widling

The nearby dining area riffs on the living room’s wall shade with a soft green wallpaper featuring birds flying on a palm-leaf background. A bird cage-like Arteriors pendant light floats over the dining table—the latter updated with a custom silver lacquer finish, and paired with reupholstered chairs that were once in the living room, their gold fabric seats chosen to match the vintage yellow cabinet that belonged to the homeowner.

house paul lavoieEymeric Widling

Colour continues up to the second floor, both in the striped Missoni carpet that lines the stairs, and in the vibrant, hyper-coloured Cole and Son wallpaper framing the windows once you reach the second floor. A seating area on the top landing was designed as a quiet spot for the homeowner to read a book with her kids: cozy with a burnt orange chenille settee and a black leather ottoman to kick back with.

eclectic home decor paul lavoieEymeric Widling

And, finally, in one of the home’s quieter moments, the master bath is designed with plenty of sparkle and a more monochromatic palette. A wet room lined with pale-green ceramic tile allows for both a soaker tub and a spacious walk-in shower, and, for her, there’s a nearby vanity lined with antique-mirrored storage, and a pretty, soft aqua-coloured ottoman to perch upon.

paul lavoieEymeric Widlingcolourful house paul lavoieEymeric Widling

It’s a home that’s been transformed into a vivid, technicolour delight—and quite the departure from its uninspired and oh-so-beige roots. The skill with which this playful design all comes together under Lavoie’s deft guidance shouldn’t be underestimated. “It’s about the art of matching, but not matching,” says Lavoie. “It has to feel more like fashion, versus buying something off the floor at a furniture store.”

colourful sitting roomEymeric Widlingpaul lavoie calgary designerEymeric Widling