During the last One Room Challenge I blogged a little bit about the process I go through to build a design scheme. Today I am going to expand on this topic and provide a few helpful tips if you are starting a project of your own!

But first, if you are new here a very warm welcome to my cozy corner of the internet. My name is Lisa and I am an interior design expert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I have 5 kids ages 6 and under and I live in a semi-detrached bungalow in the north end of our city (home to the best baseball team in the world… I digress!) and with a family of my size with a house so small (1290 square feet on the main floor!) by necessity I have had to learn real quick how to design homes that help families thrive (and cut down on the clutter in big ways). I really love helping busy families get the most out of their spaces.   

For the One Room Challenge, this amazing thing run by Linda at Calling It Home where people are challenged to design a space in 6 weeks, I am tackling my home gym to help my family make the most of it. Personal fitness has recently become a big priority for me and completing this gym is a big motivation for me to keep the healthy lifestyle up. Plus, it was kinda difficult to work out in a space that was basically a storage locker for my Christmas decorations. Check out the horrifyingly ugly / non-organized space here.

To build a design scheme, here are some quick steps to consider:


So to build a scheme I really like to start somewhere- and in this case, it's going to be the floor. In my laundry room I created a patterned floor out of porcelain tile and thought it might be fun to again be daring with my floor choice. I'm using this rug from FLOR called the Frug in Cobalt:

It's going to be fun and graphic, and I love it will be soft underfoot to absorb the impact of using weights and jumping around. 


Once I have an item to start with I allow it to serve as the driving force of the colour scheme. So I'll be pulling the cobalt blue and neutral grey and using them in millwork (going to do some accent shelving or gables in cobalt against white or light grey cabinets… so excited!). I will also jump on over to Pinterest to search for images in my colour palette to serve as inspiration. Look at the gorgeous images below (and forgive me I searched and searched but could not find a source- if anyone knows please let me know so I can credit properly!) This allows you to have a visual reference point for the colour palette of the space- I know I can get distracted really easily by new items I see- and something think if I can squeeze them in to a design even though I know they won't work- having a visual reference board can help dissuade you from making choices that simply won't fit.  

3. FOLLOW THE 75-20-5% RULE

A simple tip that I have developed as a result of designing tons of rooms for television where you have to make a really strong visual impact in a short amount of time is the 75-20-5% rule. Essentially this means a principle colour is used for 75% of the space, a secondary colour is used for 20% of the space and a surprise pop colour that might not relate to anything at all is 5%. So in my gym, that is likely going to mean the blues in the carpet will be my 75%, whites / greys in the cabinets and walls will be 20% and a fun surprise colour shade TBD will be my 5%! 

To learn more about the One Room Challenge and see the featured 20 designers click here, and for the link up participants click here.