I love color.
I love the circus, Broadway shows, Dr. Seuss, and old fashioned lemonade stands. I love those rainbow swirly lollipops, and painted dishes, and old fashioned gumball machines… butterflies, flowers, Willy Wonka’s candy land, and springtime in the South. Color is everywhere in everything, and when I’m at home, I like to be reminded of all the things that make me happy!
So when it comes to decorating my house…color is just the natural fit for… the natural me!
The thing about color though, is that just like Emily…it scares most people.
I’ll never forget one time my mom wanted to paint her living room pink…a soft shade of it, but instead with one wrong color choice it looked more like….
Eventually she got it right, but not without having to repaint the room a few times!
And therein lies what everyone is pretty much afraid of…
But with a few tips, you can be on your way to colorful bliss too!
My first word of advice when dealing with color is… .just pick something you love to start.
For example, in my house, I fell in love with this polkadot fabric and covered my sofa with it.
Well, that led then to a couple of chairs using colors that I pulled from the polkadot fabric. When using color you want to make sure that there’s something in the room that can anchor it all together. For me there is usually at least one fabric that has most all of the colors that I’m using in the room. I call it my “anchor fabric” because in it… the whole room comes together.
But sometimes, the inspiration can come from something other than a fabric. Maybe it’s a painting, or a piece of artwork, maybe even a tile you got in Spain?!? My biggest rule of thumb though, is that no matter what it is…
So that’s tip #1. Start with something you love!
Tip # 2 is…when choosing paint, do yourself a favor and get samples of several!!!
Most paint stores can mix you a small amount of a selected color for about $5 per color. If you’re not exactly sure which shade or hue or tone is going to be right in your room…don’t settle til you check out a few (and by that I mean maybe 3!) And when you get them, paint big ol sections of your wall (or large pieces of poster board…maybe 2×3 foot sections) with each of the colors. And don’t just paint one wall either. Each wall will look different as the light from both your home and the outdoors will cast shadows and whatnot. So something that may look really grayish on one shadowy wall, could end up looking electric pale blue on a wall directly facing a window that gets morning sun! This brings me to Tip #3.
Tip #3 is…when you paint a few colors to choose from, give yourself couple of days to look at them. Morning light is brighter and harsher…afternoon light is more golden. So before you choose that lemongrass color you love, make sure that afternoon light isn’t going to turn that soft color into something straight from Ghostbusters! Give yourself a little bit of time when choosing color…look at it at different times of day, and remember that if you love it the most at night…that’s just ridiculous because you’ll be sleeping all that time! So love it well….for most of the daylight hours!
Tip #4…. Just like with mixing all the whites and creams and neutrals that Emily does a bang-up job combining, you are gonna want to spread around the texture and pattern love with color as well. Color itself is interesting, but don’t feel the need to overdo it on mixing in a million different patterns too if you’re just getting your feet wet here! As a general rule I like to have a variety of patterns going though. Maybe a main fabric with a larger scale design with lots of color, then what is called a ditsy print…you know, a little dot or pattern that repeats over and over throughout the fabric, maybe a stripe as well, a wonderfully textured solid…do you get where I’m going here?
Let me show you some rooms here now that I LOVE about as much as I love Cadbury Easter Candy…ok, well maybe more…but in the end, a cream egg is much cheaper to get hold of!
All of the following are by a designer that I’m pretty much obsessed with named Mayme Baker out of Greenville, SC. She doesn’t know I practically stalk her fabulous taste, but boy do I wish I could crawl into her color-lovin’ brain and just soak up some of her leftover creativity! Just look at this eye candy!
Color, pattern, and texture abound! The woman does color beautifully!!!
Check out this room….
Gorgeousness oozing. I love how the ceiling color is brought back down to floor level with that fun shamrock shaped ottoman of the same color family! She anchors her colors with the fabric on that pair of club chairs, but injects more color using fun pops of the lime, and then aqua on the doorway mouldings.
<—–Or this one.
Notice the use of neutral chairs, but how the room is injected with lime green in the accessories, and coral in the pillows and bookshelf backing. The use of stripes on the candles, ottoman, and even the contrasting colors on the bookshelves create a cheerful and fun effect!
<—-Here again…injecting fun pattern, color, and texture, but she uses a solid sofa to anchor the room. I’d be willing to bet money that what started this room was the fabric on the chairs, and probably those really awesome pieces of matching pottery. (So, even though the room is anchored with the large sofa, it’s kept together by the pattern on the chairs and pillows.)
I love how this room has lots of neutrals, but the color injection is done in a few unexpected places. Check out the inside of that china cabinet that you can see just barely over the top of the sofa. And that orange pillow with the flower…take that away and the sofa could almost be any old plain sofa from….oh wait…don’t miss the contrasting green welt and banding on the bottom of the skirt. Love how she takes something “plain-ish” and gives it life! She keeps the area under the table at the back rich looking with a persian rug, and the artwork and accessories add a softness back into the room as well. Genius I tell you!
So before I leave you to drool back through these pictures, let’s recap!
Step 1. Love something
Step 2. Get paint samples
Step 3. Take time to love it, and your paint more
Step 4. Add Pattern, Texture, and more color!
And…a few fun colors that I just can’t seem to get enough of!
Emily was leaving a fun quote on my site, so here’s one for you all to enjoy!
“Love of beauty is Taste. The creation of beauty is Art.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson