“Does it say ‘wow’ yet?” Self-proclaimed colorist Cynthia Ferguson often wondered this while she was designing the vibrant home she shares with husband Tim De Groot. The principal designer, who has two grown sons, waited years to renovate and redecorate her circa-1930 home in North Toronto, so missing the opportunity to go all-out just wasn’t an option. “To be a true maximalist, you’re not trying to match patterns or colors,” says Cynthia. “You’re setting out with no rules other than more is more.” The bland-averse designer puts her money where her paintbrush is, using splashy colors such as jet blue and cherry red throughout her 1,100-square-foot home.
Pushing decorating boundaries while appeasing clients is a challenge most designers face. “Brighter color palettes are a harder sell in Toronto,” says Cynthia. Covering walls in lively wallpapers can also take some convincing (Cynthia admits even she wouldn’t go near wallpaper a decade ago). But when you’re decorating your own space, the sky’s the limit. “Now my eldest son teases me that if he stood still long enough, I might wallpaper him, too!”
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