In October 2014, I invested in a colour workshop with Maria Killam to become a Certified True Colour Expert™. During our course, we also discussed decorating around colour and how to ensure your undertones would not clash. It was during this course where Maria warned us that being able to identify undertones now will be a blessing and a curse. Little did I know at that time that she was 100% correct!
Decorating Around Colour
Once a year Rick and I head to Maui for a minimum of two weeks. I never advertise when I’m away (you will never see posts from me on any of my social media sites) until after I have arrived home. It is our favourite destination to get away from our winter (that never seems to end this year), enjoy our long walks in the sun and sand, and just get away from the day-to-day grind of work. When we travel to Maui, we typically stay in the same area (Wailea/Kihei area) and we walk every morning on ‘our’ beach (better known to most as Keawakapu Beach).
Can you see why we love to walk this beach every day?
We typically start at the Mana Kai (which is one place we have been lucky enough to stay at), and walk ‘our beach’ to The Andaz, and then hop on the path and walk all the way to either The Four Seasons Maui or The Fairmont Kea Lani and if we haven’t stopped at either of those two, we stop off on our way back at the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort. We typically stop one of the hotels for a water break. It takes us about 1.5 hours to walk to the hotels and then about 1.5 hours to walk back. Can you see why we need a little pit stop?
A splash of conservative colour: The Four Seasons Maui
When we have a little pit stop at The Four Seasons Maui, we typically go straight to the lobby as they have the BEST lemonade that I have ever tasted!
So generous of The Four Seasons Resort to provide the recipe!
While enjoying the delicious ‘Awaphui Pākē, the large lounge area is filled with furniture where there is colour to be found. While the colours are not bright (clean colours), they are consistent with the Hawaiian theme of the hotel.
In The Four Seasons Maui, most of the larger furniture is darker. The use of colour can be found in their toss cushions (as you will see below). I would categorize this hotel as very ‘conservative’. While it still evokes a tropical feel, I feel the textiles used are ‘safe’. Nothing too splashy yet enough of a splash of colour to give you that tropical feel. I will also note that none of the cushions had changed since last year. I’m not sure when the hotel had a makeover, but I would guess that a refresh of this space will be coming soon.
I love the use of rock for the base of the furniture
Just enough of a splash of colour with the toss cushion
Moving forward: The Fairmont Kea Lani
This is typically the last hotel on our walk so when we get here, we are ready for a drink of water! While sipping on our water, I started to look around. The first time I visited this hotel I instantly fell in love with some of the flooring. To me it clearly was with the ‘Hawaiian’ theme but most importantly, I felt this floor was timeless! I wish I had a better picture of this floor to really show you the pattern (sorry – but we were extremely hot and thirsty).
Looks like hardwood yet it is very durable tile. And yes – a very ugly foot shot 😉
Sections have been updated
What I loved about this lounge was the direction they have gone with decorating around colour. The timeless floor allows the textiles to be easily changed out (and they have been since we have been there last year). The use of a blue/green cushions with just a splash of colour (see area rug below for the splash of purple) really gave a fresh feel. Although I love the colour in the area rugs, I’m not a huge fan of the design (as I feel it’s not with the tropical feel).
I do love the colours in the area carpet (easy thing to change out over time).
The use of grey loungers along with the blue and green give a very light and refreshing feel.
Sections need updating
As we were in the lobby, I said to my husband,
See what happens when you don’t put in a timeless fixed element?
Lobby floor tile that is everywhere! Just beyond the rail is the wonderful lounge with the timeless floor that is pictured above.
The floor tile looks like it was original to the hotel (which was built in 1991). When I saw this tile I immediately thought of one word: ‘dated’. Now that’s not the emotion you want to have when you’re staying in a luxury hotel. Can you imagine how expensive this is going to be to rip out and replace?
Want to hear something funny about the tile in this lobby? As Rick and I started to get up you will never guess who we saw. I’m telling you – never in a million years will you guess. Are you ready?
We saw a worker measuring the tile floor! (Did you think we saw some kind of celebrity???) Kea Lani means ‘heavenly white’ so while the lounge is moving in a more modern direction and colour has been used, my hope is that this luxury hotel chooses to be decorating around colour to maintain its homage to traditional Hawaiian architectural influences (by keeping its fixed elements timeless). My guess is that when we are back next year there will be work done to replace this dated floor tile. I can’t wait to see what is in store for this hotel!
Contemporary Transition: Marriott Wailea Beach Resort
In 2016, this resort went through a $100 million dollar renovation. Can I just say here how wonderful it would be to have that kind of budget! WOWZERS. You can certainly tell that money was spent as there are many ways you can see how this hotel has been decorating around colour.
It all starts at the Grand Lani that greets you.
New and Fresh
As you can see, lots of grey has been used (although grey is a trend, notice how it has been used in the furnishings and not the fixed elements). While grey and blue have been used, you can not ignore the green that mother nature provides (oh those palms are just delightful)!
This is the spot where Rick and I stop to have our glass of water if we stop at this particular hotel. The water station is located just to the left of this photo. This is the tile that lines the wall where the water is located.
Love the use of fish scale tile – especially in this colour.
As you can see from the textiles that are found in the Grand Lani, in addition to this wall tile, that ocean blue is the colour of choice for the main decorating colour.
Mixing the old with the new
While I love the addition of the natural wood along with the ocean blue, I feel there is something missing. If you notice in the image above, the ceiling beams and tile are quite creamy (those are fixed elements). The stone on the side tables and end tables are white and grey. For me, that is a mix of dirty and clean. I would have loved to see just a splash of yellow with a toss cushion to tie it all together (but of course, that is my own personal opinion and I happen to love yellow).
Decorating Around Colour
While I love to be on holidays, I also love coming home (well – not to all this damn snow I have to say). I loved that while we were away our basement drywall was mudded, taped and primed (oh I’m so glad I got to miss that extremely dusty and dirty stage or renovating). I’m looking forward to starting the ‘decorating phase’ of our own basement development. I’m glad to be coming home to projects that ran smoothly while I was away and glad to be coming home to upcoming projects (with one starting today)! I love that the Aloha Spirit rejuvenates me and I absolutely love to be on holidays with Rick. My god – if you don’t know my husband all I can say is that he makes me laugh almost daily (even though I happened to be sick almost the entire holiday).
What a difference 6 hours makes. From sand to snow in a blink of an eye!
If you think you have had enough of winter and are ready for way to add some colour into your space, check out my Design Work Sessions. It may be just the little spark you need to refresh your space.