Western Living Magazine
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Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
WL Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an Emerging Interior Designer 2022: Studio Roslyn
Designer Melissa Ennis gives us her top tips to brighten any room without a dramatic reno
Spring is finally here! The birds are back, florals are in, and we can finally open those musty windows and let some light in. But how are we supposed to achieve that bright spring look if natural light isn’t in the cards? Designer Melissa Ennis, who designed this beautiful kitchen, knows how. Here, she shares her top tips for making any space look bright and beautiful.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the fairest room of all? Mirrors and other reflective surfaces such as glass and metals are the perfect accessories for bouncing light around a room. Use artificial light in calculated spots, Ennis advises, while using task lighting to illuminate your focal points. It’s all about angles, so try to find the right balance of mirrors and light to give you the brightest space.
They say a good coat can make an outfit; the same is true for a room. A few coats of the right paint can completely change the esthetic of a space. Lighter paint colours (Ennis suggests Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White) can brighten up any space even if natural light is unavailable. If a small bathroom is giving you trouble, Ennis advises using Pearl to really bounce the light around the room.
If there’s any light coming into the room, make sure to invite it in! According to Ennis, think critically about window coverings. Blackout or wooden blinds will likely keep the room darker and should be avoided if you’re after a bright space. Instead, try an exposed look with semi-sheer or nude coverings.
Let’s face it: storage is always an issue. While open and simple storage is the best way to achieve that coveted bright look, we’re wary of putting everything out on display. Ennis’ solution? Consider doing a mix of open and closed storage, hiding some belongings you want tucked away while still keeping key accent pieces out for that bright and open look.
Although we’re shooting for bright, be wary of over-whitening a space. “I always like to add a touch of black to ground the space,” Ennis says. It gives the eye a focal point, while light surrounding pieces open the room for that coveted bright appeal.
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