FEATURE // ‘Winter Prairie’ with Fireclay Tile
When Fireclay Tile asked us to complete a concept for their designer ‘Story’ series highlighting our favorite Fireclay colors, I knew exactly where to find the inspiration I needed - right here in our backyard.
Read below to see how the concept grew from a photo I snapped on the way to a client meeting into a unique color palette that feels both classic and contemporary.
Growing up on the Canadian Prairies, our four seasons are so distinct. Our winter is long here so you have to learn to find things to appreciate about it in order handle the sometimes frigid temperatures.
The winter colours in the landscape here are truly beautiful, perhaps even more so than at the peak of summer. The leftover harvest grasses are poking through the tops of the snow drifts and red-twig dogwood bushes add their crimson hue to the scene. Mix that with a fresh snowfall + some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world and you can’t help but feel inspired.
To kick off this concept, I put together a Pinterest board to nail down the feeling we wanted to create… check it out + give us a follow while you’re at it :)
THE ‘winter prairie’ COLOR PALETTE:
The Canadian Prairies are endless color combinations, tonal neutrals, and texture galore. The Fireclay Tile palette I chose refers to the faded blues of the winter sky, the crispness of the snow, the washed-out gold of leftover autumn, + the tonal browns of farm fields. Frost is such a nice white with warm undertones the mix nicely with the icy tones in Crater Lake. Antique is a unique brick-colour that I can envision as a floor in a more shapely profile like Ogee or Star & Cross. While I’m not typically a ‘pink’ person, Mushroom has an almost muddy quality to it that makes it really relatable. Combined with the cool tones in Flagstone and the natural feel of golden Birch, it fits in perfectly. With so much of the trend being towards lighter colors, I find myself craving a chance to use moodier colors like Magnetite and Basalt.
My Design Philosophy
Great design is just as much about how a space lives as how it looks.
I believe design should be accessible to everyone, whether you’re a D-I-Y-er or are looking for full project design services.
There’s almost nothing I love more about my job than taking the stress out of the design process + watching my clients find and embrace their personal style. It seems like our cultural gets so caught up the the ‘rules’ or the ‘right’ decisions but we aim to incorporate creative functionality + quality materials into each design while adding a fresh perspective to each individual’s unique style. It’s okay to break the ‘rules’.
ON FINDINg inspiration…
Go for a Drive
While travel (near + far) always inspires me, lately I find myself even more inspired by the colours of the Prairie landscape. If you’re stuck for inspiration, try ditching the screen + just going for a country drive - it usually brings a new colour palette to mind.
Look to Nature
While there’s no right way to choose a color palette, it can feel less perplexing if you look to colors found in nature. Of course there’s such a wide range but that’s the beauty of it + I believe our Creator has already conceived the most beautiful color combinations the world has to offer.
KELSEY’S DESIGN TIPS:
Prioritize Your Budget
Do as much planning in advance of starting your project as possible + consider splurging on a main feature or one that affects multiple spaces in your home. Then scale back in other areas if necessary + plan for other ways to save.
Think about your space in layers + add a variety of textures that have a similar, but varied composition. At Farmer’s Daughter Interiors, we especially love designing with natural materials like cotton, wool, jute, wood, + linen.
Explore Your Options
Take time to learn and understand the materials you’re going to be using in your project and ask questions! If thinking about it feels overwhelming, enlist a design professional — it’ll be worth every penny. Don’t believe us? Take it from a happy client: “…the best investment we could’ve made”.
Pair Cool and Warm Tones
Incorporating a balance of both cool + warm tones will keep your space from feeling too cool or too saturated. At our Century Bath project, we used varying tones of white, balanced those warm tones off with a crisp robin’s egg colored vanity, + added in a honey-colored wood accent to provide some contrast. The result is a bathroom that feels fresh but home-y.
Highlight Handcrafted Variation
Materials that have a natural or handcrafted variation add depth + interest to a space without overwhelming it.
Respect the architecture
While you don’t have to stick to mid-century vibes just because your home was built in the 50’s, considering the architecture of the space in question is a good place to start. Consider sight-lines, shapes, scale, + natural light when making material + finish selections to achieve a finished design that looks like it was meant to be.
Vary the Tone
Instead of aiming to perfectly match all the colors in your space, consider varying the tones by one or two shades for a thoughtful + collected color combination.
Create balance with scale
Play with scale by mixing smaller tiles with larger tiles to ground and streamline the room while still offering visual interest. Using two main tile shapes, even if they’re different sizes, creates a cohesive + simplified look.
Choose What Makes You Happy
Your home should ultimately be a reflection of the people that live there—you!
Choose materials and furnishings that bring you joy when you use them + add personality to your space through things that hold meaning for you.
To read the full Fireclay Tile Story or order your own ‘Winter Prairie’ sample pack, head over to our feature on Fireclay Tile!