drawn to ? Ladner designs her collections precisely around this idea . She sees her brand as a unique style ( pretty , worldly , sophisticated , and vibrant ) as well as a unique attitude ( lively , approachable , charming , and fun ). The goal is to create enticing pieces that naturally draw in you and , by extension , the guests in your home .
5 ) GO SEASONAL
Ladner uses seasonal themes to easily and inexpensively change up her design schemes on a regular basis . Cozy winter nights can mean thick patterned throws , lush area rugs , and glowing candles , while spring ushers in bare floors , crisp linen throws , and cheery , new accessories .
6 ) DON ’ T BE A STRANGER
Ladner stays on top of style trends — it ’ s part of her job — but that doesn ’ t mean she depends on them heavily for all her new product development ideas . The point of décor , she says , is to make you happy and let you express yourself . Don ’ t go so ontrend that you feel like you ’ re walking into a stranger ’ s home , with nothing that particularly excites you or suits your personal style . At the same time , don ’ t play it so safe that your home is a sea of monotone beiges and creams . Make your home a living space you will love !
7 ) DON ’ T OVERDO IT
Ladner notes that common sense comes in handy when setting out on a design mission . It ’ s not hard to see that if you paint your walls a bold color , like red , your furniture should be fairly neutral . On the contrary , if your walls are beige or gray , it ’ s best to introduce some colorful or patterned pillows , furniture , or
other accessories . If you can successfully create a balanced look in your room , then you have probably done a pretty good job .
8 ) LIVE THE CULTURE
Today ’ s youth culture is all about being your own person . Skirt lengths can be short , medium , or long ; hair can range from stick-straight to dreadlocked ; and piercings and tattoos usher in a whole universe of individuality . Take a lesson from this generation and introduce a sense of individuality directly into your home . If you like something , pure and simple , that means it ’ s the right choice for you . It really doesn ’ t matter what the magazines say or what your designer recommends . Think for yourself and choose what will make you happy .
Ladner recalls the time she met a woman who had her heart set on an extremely expensive French oven as the centerpiece of her new kitchen . The oven was available in a wide range of colors , from neutrals to very bold . The woman knew what color she wanted — had long dreamed of , in fact — a beautiful , cerulean , medium-shade blue . Her decorator , however , was sensibly trying to steer her toward a cream or light grey colour . Ladner had no choice but to intervene . “ If you ’ re going to spend that kind of money for an oven once in your lifetime ,” she told the customer , “ absolutely get the one you want .”
In reflecting back over the past decade , Ladner is proud of the brand she has created and the overwhelmingly positive reactions she has received from her customers . Ladner and her husband enjoy entertaining and seeing how their friends — who often stand in for market research subjects — react to the new looks and accents in their home . “ There ’ s a zeitgeist that goes on in the field of design ,” she says . “ And I ’ d like to think that I continue to be in step with it .”
A . BRIGHT COLOURS Brightly coloured throws and fabrics can perfectly capture the beginnings of a new season .
B . COLOUR OF THE YEAR Pantone ’ s “ Colour of the Year ,” a pleasant yellow-green hue , symbolizes nature and is a perfect accent colour .
C . COBI ' S PICK Ladner ’ s favoured colour palette of rich reds , golds and oranges reflects her taste in clothes and complements her skin tone .
Cobi Ladner , past editor of Canadian House & Home Magazine , is one of Canada ' s leading design and decorating authorities .
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