Lighten up

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Photos Mike Chajecki

Go neutral

Neutral colour palettes are a trendy choice that many designers like us gravitate toward, thanks to their versatility and broad appeal. Think about it… it’s very difficult to offend someone with neutral hues. Furthermore, a neutral colour palette is easy to layer up for winter and lighten up for spring. When choosing large-scale colours for your home, such as wall paint, flooring and bigger furnishings such as a sofa, choose muted earthy whites and cream tones.

Change up your fabrics

Pack up your heavier materials, such as corduroy, velvet, wool and chunky knits, which are great for creating a cosy ambience that’s ideal through the fall and colder months. Replace these with cooler, natural fabrics such as linen, cottons and jute, in a tighter weave and colour palette. Bring these textiles into your pillows, throws, window coverings and even change out your area rugs. In the bedroom and bathroom, crisp white bedding and white towels are our go-to for creating a relaxing, spa-inspired feel that instantly soothes and uplifts the soul.


Tips – Take your neutrals a step further with a monochromatic colour palette, which can lend a lighter, more laid-back aesthetic by virtue of its simplicity. Bonus – monochrome is also an easy way to make a room appear bigger and brighter.

Incorporate texture

If not executed thoughtfully, a neutral or monochromatic space runs the risk of falling flat. Add personality to your interiors by playing with texture and a variety of different materials. Think outside the box and look to furniture and light fixtures as textural targets. Consider wood, wicker and straw. Play with different metals, and juxtapose finishes such as glossy and matte surfaces to bring lots of visual interest and depth to your design, while maintaining your monochromatic colour palette.


Light it up

While lighting seems like a fairly obvious addition to every room, you’d be shocked at how many people disregard its importance and the potential impact it can have on the overall ambience. A poorly lit room can appear small and uninviting – not ideal by any means. Layer in different light sources throughout the home, incorporating ceiling fixtures, sconces and lamps in corners, tabletops and sitting areas. This will brighten up dark corners, enhance the room’s function, and highlight key points of interest such as unique architectural features, collections and artwork.


Tips – Enhance the natural light in your home by strategically positioning mirrors near windows. Mounting a wall mirror opposite a window will amplify the natural light and double your views! Similarly, propping a tall, vertical mirror against the wall can create the illusion of a doorway.

Of course, with the days getting longer and the sun on our side, natural light should be top of mind at this time of year. Draw the curtains open, or better yet, remove them entirely if privacy isn’t a concern. While you’re focused on your windows, go ahead and give them a good cleaning, inside and out. You’ll be amazed at how much more natural light floods your home when you remove the window grime of winter.


Designers Eugenia Triandos and Korina Khamis are Co-Founders at Hibou Design & Co. With more than a decade of experience, this Montreal-based multi-disciplinary design firm has become known for creating both stylish and well curated interiors. The firm provides complete bespoke residential design services throughout Canada & North America.

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Eugenia Triandos and Korina Khamis
Designers Eugenia Triandos and Korina Khamis are co-founders for Hibou Design & Co. With more than a decade of experience, this Montreal-based design firm provides complete bespoke residential design services throughout North America.