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16 posts from August 2009

August 31, 2009

San Francisco & Color

I'm in San Francisco this week for a few different reasons.  First, I'm meeting up with AIA to chat about Architecture Month and their Tour of Homes that's happening this September.  I'll post a video soon of what that's all about.  I'm also working with Pottery Barn on a video that will air on their site about color and paint.  Both are great projects that I'm very excited about!

Have you seen the new Pottery Barn's Hot Ideas For Fall Color?  This is one designer's eyebrow being raised at great finds for the upcoming season!  I'm smitten (yes, smitten) with three things in their new line.

Pottery barn quilts 1

Quilts usher in the season of warming up with friends and family and Pottery Barn has a very nice selection this fall.  I've been in touch with the designer of the Patchwork Rings quilt and will share her thoughts on color and design in a separate post in the upcoming months.  As it turns out, she's really a fabulous designer and has an incredible gift that I can't wait to blog about soon.

Pottery barn wine bottle chandelierPottery barn wine bottle chandelier detail


I've been searching for a unique chandelier for my breakfast area and found this very clever one from Pottery Barn that I have to share.  It's so raw and unexpected that I love it!   It's industrial and refined at the same time.  I saved lots of corks over the years, but this is a great way to use the bottles, don't you think?  This chandelier would be so great in a room with a color like Peacock Feathers on the walls. 

Pottery barn annemarie embroidered detail

Oh, and this is simple, but I love these embroidered sheets from their collection called Anne Marie bedding.  It's a refreshing take on the age old tree-of-life patterns found in traditional arts.  For everyday design, I really like the fact that it incorporates both warm (reds/oranges) and cool (blues/greens) colors because that allows you to change your wall color and accents to reinvent the room as often as you would like!

Where do you look for every day finds that can add a splash of great color and design for us all?

August 26, 2009

Color & Design, M&M Style

Randomly, I walked into the M&M superstore in Times Square the last time I was in NY.  If you've ever been, you understand why at 10:30pm, the store was still jam packed with people.  Sure, you'll see many options for M&M paraphernalia, but it was the basic m&m that drew my attention.  There's an entire wall that boasts every kind of M&M you can imagine, organized by color or color theme (like red white and blue mix called "New York's Bravest") in individual dispensers.  And the store's buzzed with people creating custom bags of colors that are just the right mix for them. 



If you want to take it up a notch and keep colorful inspiration going once you're home, check out their site where you can order any mix of colors and personalize them with a photo!  Very cool.  Now if only, you could custom color match the candy the way you can your wall paint...


My mm

Here's what my bag turned out to look like.  Aquas, limes, oranges, and chocolaty purple.  I actually ended up using this as inspiration for a party I threw for my son.  The linens included white tablecloths with deep orange napkins.  I used blue, green, and white balloons tied together at each table with orange ribbon and anchored to double glass vases filled with colorful candy and a little clear lucite scoop. 

Clearly, I'm pinching myself.  It's my dream come true-- chocolate, color, shopping, and inspiration for a party!  What would your perfect candy color mix be?  Is there a sweet treat that hits the spot for you when it comes to color inspiration or decor?



August 25, 2009

Facebook, Living In Color, and Benjamin Moore


The answer is Scarlet Red!  In 1453, with the fall of Constantinople, the recipe to a certain color was lost.  Since then, Scarlet Red was known as the color of Royalty.

To find out which color's recipe was lost, go back to either question, go to my Facebook page or Benjamin Moore's Facebook page.

Are you a fan?  If not, consider this your official invitation!

Colorful Treasures Are a Gift of Travel

Carl daquino india

My good friend and colleague, Carl D'Aquino, is partner at the fabulous firm D'Aquino Monaco and inductee into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.  He visited India recently and shared his experience with Interior Design Magazine in this article.  It's full of some great photos and a peek into a keenly observent visitor's perspective. 

This especially resonates with me because I'm part of a panel discussion at the Hospitality Design Boutique Show in Miami in a couple of weeks.  We're discussing the power of color in hotels.  I think there's a major connection to color and travel.  I've come home several times from trips that inspired me to change colors in my home or even to edit my take on design completely. 

Where have you been that has influenced your viewpoint on color & design?

August 21, 2009

The Color Name Game, Part III: Where Do Colors Come From?

Mommy, where do colors come from?  It's a question we've all heard or asked, right?  Well, in my world it is!  Though it's a rare treat, it's lots of fun and constant work to find new colors every seven years or so when you work for a paint company.  Of course, we're collecting information and storing it away for all the years in between, but when there's a call to reassess our color palette, it's a serious task.  Those of us involved in the process spend lots of time getting to know the existing fan deck and identifying the "holes". 

Blue jewels

What exists in the world that we haven't captured in color and is relevant to the conversation of design?  The deep chocolates or the "right" red or the perfect fuchsia may have been unimportant or nonexistent in the world of design and paint in the past, but may be a necessity today.  So we start to scour the earth for color.  It may be a sample of similarly hued jewelry I've collected over the years or a fabric from a market in Estonia or a perfect color combination in cosmetics. 

Fabric crewel

Cosmetic color


Whatever IT is, we try really hard to get a sample.  You should have seen the reaction of our r&d group when we sent them every random sample from soil to buttons.  If it's something less accessible, like a little girl's peacoat in Heathrow, for example, we may work with a photo or we (with permission) match the color with our trusty fan decks and other tools like Ben Color Capture or Pocket Palette. 

Peacoat red 


If you were set to the task, where would you start to seek out color?  Send me your thoughts on some unobvious places to find color.

A couple of years ago, we introduced a new collection of globally inspired colors called Affinity.  The colors are sophisticated-- a balanced selection of hues that reflect fashion, industrial design, and future interior design.  And when it came to naming the 144 new colors in Affinity, the direction was a little different, too.

Rather than the color names reflecting Benjamin Moore employees, we started looking for names that reflected where we were as an organization and as a society.  As we were growing and expanding our outreach, we wanted names that worked in English, Spanish, and French.  Names with an international mix that mirrors the nature of our world today seemed to fit perfectly.  We ended up with names like fiji AF-525 and safari AF-335 that are the same in all three languages, but also with names like tamarind AF-120 which translates to tamarindo in Spanish and tamarin in French.

Fiji_AF-525, Safari_AF-335, Tamarind_AF-120

What's in a name?  There's a camp out there that says color names are a bad idea and that they should only use numbers to identify colors.  What do you think?