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A tasty lesson in monochromatics

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The mister and I took a last minute trip down to Mexico last week, and on the way back we stopped in at a favourite eatery in Winnipeg south before the drive to Brandon.

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I’ve always thought this place was just so interesting and cozy. Everywhere you look there’s a new finish or material to take in. It’s not a brightly fashioned eatery, rather one designed around a strong monochromatic scheme — however, the mix of contemporary and timeless materials and finishes gives the restaurant such a strong and enveloping atmosphere.

If you’re wondering just how many textures and patterns you can meld together for a polished look in your own spaces, take a few cues from this gorgeous commercial space.

Woods, Stones, Tiles

What works so nicely in this eatery is the mix of like-tone wood, stone, and tile finishes — because they’re similar in colour, they don’t overwhelm the space and make it too fussy looking.

Often we visit spaces that have too much going for them, and they quickly become a visual turn off. A playful balance of textures comprised of worn woods, jagged stacked stone, and sleek mosaics helps richen up the large and open space, giving it a certain warmth and depth. Don’t be afraid to mix these materials in your own spaces — sticking to just one or the other sometimes isn’t enough of a statement, and your space can end up feeling flat and lifeless without several of them working together.

Patterned Fabrics

Still touching upon a scheme of warm browns, charcoals, and sands, the quirky drum shade fixtures throughout the space add hits of fun and fluid pattern to an otherwise fairly sophisticated mixture.

I strongly believe every space needs some kind of pattern or mix of patterns to help elevate and keep it fresh feeling. Rather than infuse pattern on the seating and upholstery, installing it overhead has given the eye something to catch on to while moving throughout the eatery. The same can be done in a home setting: draperies, drum shades, and even upholstered headboards can all benefit from a splash of interesting and unexpected pattern.

Eco Resin

Although not a common design element in residential settings, Eco Resin (as I call it) is a fantastic commercially used product that is beginning to catch on with residential designers and builders. Focusing heavily on texture, natural elements such as bear grass, willow, bamboo, Capiz shells, coconut, twine, rattan, and numerous others are pressed flat between two pieces of resin... resulting in a superb glazing finish that can be used in interior wall cutouts, cladding for a bar area, countertop material, and even as inserts in kitchen cabinetry.

Every space needs a play on texture to make it well rounded and dynamic. Consider something like an Eco Resin for something unique and organic.

Pop of Contrast

Not every space needs to have a bunch of accent colours worked into the scheme — in fact, some of the most successful interiors are planned around a lack of colour to tell you the truth.

What I love about this eatery is the use of a single accent colour, cleverly tied in throughout the space to add just enough punch and interest. The use of orange works beautifully with the mix of browns, creams, and chocolates — giving the space just enough contrast from the monochromatic scheme to keep it vibrantly alive and enveloping.

If you’re planning new paint, or new decor this year try sticking to a ratio of 75:25 for the best results: 75 per cent of the materials and finishes should be selected within the same colour family (such as grays, sands, creams, or charcoals), and 25 per cent can be picked from a single accent colour (orange, turquoise, Aubergine, or yellow are perfect options).

That careful balance of monochromatic and a single feature colour will give you all the structure and fun your spaces need.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 12, 2014

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The mister and I took a last minute trip down to Mexico last week, and on the way back we stopped in at a favourite eatery in Winnipeg south before the drive to Brandon.

I’ve always thought this place was just so interesting and cozy. Everywhere you look there’s a new finish or material to take in. It’s not a brightly fashioned eatery, rather one designed around a strong monochromatic scheme — however, the mix of contemporary and timeless materials and finishes gives the restaurant such a strong and enveloping atmosphere.

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The mister and I took a last minute trip down to Mexico last week, and on the way back we stopped in at a favourite eatery in Winnipeg south before the drive to Brandon.

I’ve always thought this place was just so interesting and cozy. Everywhere you look there’s a new finish or material to take in. It’s not a brightly fashioned eatery, rather one designed around a strong monochromatic scheme — however, the mix of contemporary and timeless materials and finishes gives the restaurant such a strong and enveloping atmosphere.

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