Eating & Drinking

DESIGN NEWS: Colour Confidential’s Jane Lockhart comes to town (for free consultations!)

Lockhart will be giving free mini-consultations on Saturday, June 23, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Sears Home Pinecrest

Jane Lockhart, host of Colour Confidential, wants you to call it quits with that colour that can’t commit. With over 20 years of experience and her own interior design show on W Network, Jane Lockhart knows her stuff. She’s making the trip from Toronto for an appearance in Ottawa this weekend, but took a time-out to chat with Ottawa Magazine’s Emma Paling first.

Why did you get into interior design?
I’ve been in interior design for 22 years now. I know it sounds like such a cliché, but I always built dollhouses and things like that ever since I was a little kid. I don’t know why, it’s just always been my thing. It’s probably because, in a strange sort of way, I never had a good home life, so I think a good home represented that for me.  I planned to go into architecture all along, since grade seven, but as I got further into my education I realized interior design gave me more flexibility.

How did you end up as the host of Colour Confidential?
I actually pitched the show to a producer I was working with at the time, who I was friends with. I graduated in the ‘80s during the recession, so I actually started out working at Benjamin Moore. One of the things I noticed there was how scared people were of colour. So, fast-forward 10 years later, I said to the producer, “I really find it amazing that we can do all this renovation work for people and the only thing they comment on is colour.”

What can redesigning a room achieve?

Jane Lockhart can show people how to incorporate a dark colour, such as black, into their space.

Well first of all, it can make it less stressful to be in that space, which I think is something people kind of overlook. There’s a plethora of shows that talk about how to make more money, but I think one really important aspect [of design] is helping make your life easier or simplifying your life. Planning a room should be number one about lifestyle – how to make your life easier, how is it really effective so that you can do what you need to do in that space that would be different from somebody else’s. Number two is planning for financial gain in the long run. For me, I need my space to not talk to me. I don’t want any communication. But when I go to a bar, or a restaurant, I need that space to talk to me. It needs to have interest, and be visually stimulating. So I need a home space that’s not stimulating, but a highly stimulating space at work and when I go out for entertainment.

How can colour affect the feel of a room?
In the simplest form, it changes how a room feels. Basically we see colour through our eyes, but we also feel colour through our skin. We sense it in a variety of ways. Colour really evokes feelings – some colours come at you, which makes you really irritated, and some colours disappear, which makes you happy. For instance, I live in a white space, but my artwork and accessories are bright. So if I’m really irritated by turquoise, I can put it in the other room. But I could also look at that yellow piece and get a lift. I just don’t want it all around me on my walls. It helps define a space. It changes the mood of a space. It can make a space appear more expensive, or less expensive. It can add light or brightness to a space, and it can also add interest and playfulness.

Part of the Jane by Jane Lockhart furniture line, the Barry Chair

What are the interior design trends for summer and fall this year?
We are seeing lots of graphic patterns. So zig-zags and plain stitch ikat patterns. If you lived during the ‘80s, it might look slightly familiar. There are lots of stripes too. The other key thing is there’s a lot of bright colour on furniture today. Not just in the low-end, where colour typically existed in accessories and easily disposable items. That’s changing and we’re starting to see lots of colour in chairs, and throw pillows, even sofas. That’s a really big trend – a lot more colour in our homes, on pieces of furniture. Contrast piping is one we’re seeing in fashion and home fashion. It gives furniture kind of a modern feel. We’re also seeing either lighter, crisp coloured walls, or walls that are considerably darker. So that mid-range colour – gone. That nearly nude, not-really-committed beige – over.

Do you often find that interior design trends follow fashion trends?
It used to be that there was a longer gap. When I first started in the business, there was contract design and then there was residential design. Contract design is everything that’s in the commercial industry, which was always really fashion-forward, but that’s changing.  Residential and contract really follow fashion now. It used to take two to three years to see trends from fashion show up in homes, but now it’s six months. It’s almost simultaneous actually, because there are so many different channels. People are so much more tapped-in today — it’s really easy to get that information. You don’t have to go out to a restaurant, look at it, then think about it, and then try to find it in residential.

What can we expect on Saturday?
Saturday we’re going to be doing a slideshow presentation of some of the trends, so that people can see them and understand them. Then I want to help people, so if you come with your pictures, or your fabric swatches, I can help you put together your colour scheme, or pick your fabrics with you. Whatever it is that you need to get started. People always ask me “What’s the worst mistake people make?” and I have to say, the worst mistake people make is doing nothing, or thinking about doing something and not getting to it until they want to sell their home. Why rip yourself off?

Lockhart will be giving free mini-consultations on Saturday, June 23, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Sears Home Pinecrest, 2658 Iris St.