Colourist wants you to live dangerously
Banish those safe greys and beiges from your interiors
Kora Sevier has spent a lifetime studying and celebrating colour -- and that's evident when you step into her home.
The walls of the living room are green. The sofa is purple; the drapes, fuchsia and orange.
A Vancouver colour consultant, Sevier is passionate about paint and colour, and it shows.
"I love bringing colour into people's lives," says Sevier, who has her own company, kcolour. "It's all I do."
As a colourist, Sevier's goal is to breathe colour into some of the drearier palettes seen in some West Coast homes.
Sevier believes the Vancouver weather, and the grey, rainy winter days, can affect our attitudes about colour. In fact, she suggests, some people will be affected by that grey environment to the point that it will be reflected in the colours they choose for their homes.
"It can seep into your being," says Sevier, who suggests that in Montreal, people embrace colour to a greater degree.
"You don't have the grey that you have here. From the dramatic fall colours, to the intense quality of light in the winter, where the sun reflects off the snow and makes colours vibrate, you tend to see more colour there."
Sevier says there's something else that can affect our choice of colours: the active local real estate market.
"Because Vancouverites are so real-estate driven, they are afraid to stray from what I call masking-tape beige," she says.
Often, Sevier says, we tend to be caught up in the "I might sell my home soon [and therefore it must be beige] trap."
But she says we don't fall into that trap because potential buyers are necessarily interested in beige or grey. Rather, a fear of making a "colour mistake" can keep us from taking a chance.
With many of Sevier's clients, the initial reaction to climbing out of the beige rut can be a bit of a shock.
"I tell them that's natural, they are leaving their comfort zone. I suggest they live with the colour for a while and get used to it.
"Once they do, they never go back to beige."
Sevier was raised in Montreal and began her career in commercial photography. She pursued studies in fine art, and in set and lighting design, before starting a colour consultation and painting business.
Sevier then spent time in the United Arab Emirates, where she taught art and design and worked as an artist and colour consultant. When she returned to Vancouver, she joined Kerrisdale Heritage Paint and Paper as its in-house colour consultant, specializing in Farrow and Ball paints.
Sevier says the secret to creating a vibrant and colourful home is to consider the tonality of colours, since colour is all about relationships. Colours that may initially seem incongruous can blend beautifully if they have the same tones.
Her living room, which is anything but beige, is a good example.
"I tell my clients, if you were to photograph this room in black and white, all of the colours would appear to be a very similar shade of grey," she says.
"Naturally, as a colour consultant, I attempt to make people's surroundings esthetically pleasing. A beautiful room exudes a feeling of harmony, peace and comfort. Who doesn't need that in their life?"
Those who are preparing their homes for sale would do well to forget about beige and grey, Sevier says.
"Gorgeous trumps everything. Just make your home beautiful."
For more information, visit www.kcolour.com.