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12 posts from March 2010

March 29, 2010

Signs of Spring Colors Freshen Up A Room

Those colorful signs of spring are showing up everywhere just as we're thinking about home redesign sprucing up our palette!  Rooms are getting the proper dose of color and simultaneously, we're bringing nature into our homes.  Fresh greens, subtle grays, bold pastels, and contrasting naturals are making this spring a bouquet of colors to behold.  Here are my inspirations and color combinations for spring.  What are your spring color plans?

Cannelle Vanille Basque 2009

Photo Copyright Aran Goyoaga 

 Spring Colors Green Neutral 2010 dollops 

I love the peak of such a perfect spring green popping out of the harsh and weathered stone.  The combination is also a nice example of accent color against a neutral palette.  What a statement!  Rather than pulling out the brightest green, though, I suggest using a hue with a hint of green to capture the shadow of color in the photo above.  You have to look at the actual paint color to see how beautiful a touch of color can be.

 Violet flowers_Mozambique Moments

Photo Copyright Mozambique Moments

Violet Tan Green 2010 dollops 

The idea of spring showers is captured so perfectly here.  The color is dusty yet fresh at the same time.  The context of color is beautiful here.  It's an unexpected combination of the earthy tan and green with the powdery lavender.  If you translate the colors to a room, use crystal and glass accents to mimic the prismatic effect of the raindrops

Blue jay 
Photo Copyright Nick Harris

Blue jay colors 2010 spring dollops

Blue Jays can bring the first signs of spring, visually helping us to shake off winters chill with a vibrant bed of feathers.  The blues are so powerful in this palette-- vibrant blue with a deep blue so dark it's almost black.  The combination is actually very classic for an interior.

Aran Goyoaga Eggs 
Photo Copyright Aran Goyoaga 

Blue green yellow bold pastels 2010 spring dollops

What could be more symbolic of spring color than this composition?  It's about gardens and enjoying a bit of sunlight in our palette.  The combination of colors is one of bold pastels with energy that's surprising.  This palette offers great colors that work well in a space that begs a unique but subtle color solution.

Miami Fruit 
Photo Copyright Sonu Mathew

Orange cream plum spring color 2010

I obsess a bit about food, I suppose.  It's full of colorful inspiration and brings colors that otherwise may never have met!  The striking composition of the contrasting coral and blackberry is softened by introducing a faint yellow that offers balance.  This is a good example of loosely taking color inspiration from a color muse.  Don't feel you have to match a color exactly, but do try to capture the spirit and mood of your inspiration!

Canelle Vanille Goat Cheese Radish Strawberry 
Photo Copyright Aran Goyoaga 

Berry neutral color spring 2010 dollops

A summer salad of strawberries, radish, and goat cheese brings lively color to the table.  I'm prone to bring out the blue based red in the radishes and let it be pronounced against a pair of warm naturally soothing grays.

March 26, 2010

Color of the Week: Purple Room Design

Sargeants room Flickr Visualtricks

Photo by Visualtricks

Trying to find a unique color for your home can be a challenge.  Filled with rich mystery and history, Purple is one such color to consider.  I suppose you could call Purple a color of royalty because, centuries ago, only the wealthy could afford it.  It took over 10,000 mollusks to create one gram of Tyrian Purple dye.  Purple was such a measure of status that some societies actually banned anyone but royalty and the most priviledged from wearing it!  Can you imagine such color control?? 

Vesta Show House Champagne Chic Interiors 
Photo and design by Champagne Chic Interior Design

The Purple bedroom above creates a high contrast monochromatic design with every tone of Purple you can imagine.  The dark plum drapery and trim accen the main lighter Purple with ease to accentuate the architectural details of the room.  Take a look at some other renditions of Purple below.  What room would you paint Purple?


Jamie Drake Eric Striffler
This wardrobe is a girl's dream room!  The palest versions of Lilac were partnered with cool Fucshia and fabulous lighting to make it all work.  Photo by Eric Striffler, Design by Jamie Drake 

Coco kelley Purple ceiling 
I love Coco+Kelley's comments on her photo above.  It's rare and memorable to see strong color on a ceiling like this.  Photo by Coco+Kelley 

Today, Purple is a gender neutral color that can still evoke that feeling of richness in a space.  This hue is called the color of creativity and works well for play rooms, dens, and rooms that are meant to feel unique.  Purple will often carry traits of both colors used to make it-- red and blue.  The resulting color is one of calm vitality. 
Benjamin Moore has hundreds of Purples to peruse.  Try some virtual painting using Personal Color Viewer to find the perfect Purple for you!

March 24, 2010

The Colorful Side Of Dining By Design 2010

Dining By Design by Design Industry Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA) took New York by storm!  This is the first Dining By Design I've missed in years and from what I gather, it was amazing-- filled with exciting design ideas, celebrities, colorful table decor, and even an iPhone inspired dining room!  My friend and colleague, Michelle Zakko, is sharing her images with us so we can all feel like we were there. 

Benjamin Moore David Stark Iphone

Benjamin Moore inspires with their iPhone AppDavid Stark has done it again.  His designs are progressively impressive for DBD each year!  The layering of iPhone graphics and the clever details like iPhones with flames on the candelabra are perfect examples of our interaction with technology to create art.

Evette Rios for Buitoni Dining By Design 
Evette Rios designed a mysterious forest  for Buitoni complete with roots supporting the table.  The clever use of metallic stools offsets the natural scenery well.  I like her bold combination of finishes and color.  She brings reds, greens, wood, metal, and even dusky violets together well.

Kravet Dining By Design

Kravet Fabrics created an upholstered den with gorgeous little boxes that held place settings.  To me, this is such an abstract and well executed nod to the international tradition of quilting, showcasing several luxe fabrics together. 

Cappellini Walt Disney Dining By Design

 Iconic design house Cappellini designed the Walt Disney Signature Collection and worked in all the "Hidden Mickey's" in a subtle and modern way.  What you don't see in this photo is the giant Mickey that sat above the booth sporting his usual smile.  Whimsy and sophistication marry beautifully, don't they?

There are so many pictures of the tables out there now, so make sure to

see them all.  If you must see it for yourself, check out Dining By Design in one of the other scheduled cities throughout the year:  Kansas City (April), Chicago (November), San Francisco (November).

Most importantly, remember that Dining By Design is just one of the many ways

DIFFA brings attention to the epidemic of AIDS that we as a world are facing.  DIFFA was also the winner of Benjamin Moore's $500 donation based on all of your votes during ten. 

March 22, 2010

Exterior Colors for the North

In our last post on exterior colors, we saw how the blazing sun, year-round bright blue sky, and tropical influences, shape colors in the South.  Today we explore how the more subdued light of the Northeast and Northwest regions and more intense foliage--which changes in color throughout the year--impact color choices.  Here are our suggestions for great colors for the North.


The stately homes of New England, with manicured lawns, box hedges, and shade trees lend themselves perfectly to classic palettes.  But even a simple white house doesn't have to be without flair. In this example, four colors play off one another to give a heightened sense of the architecture.  The base color is a neutral white (Antique White OC-83), the handsome trim and portico need no more than a cream-white (Windswept OC-94) to enhance them and the door is a richer cream (Albescent OC-40).  The final touch is black shutters, which accent the symmetry and balanced proportions of the facade.  Dark shutters do double duty--they punctuate the large plane and prevent it from looking flat, plus they provide a strong vertical element, making the house look taller.


Washington State architect Ross Chapin, of Ross Chapin Architects is known for what he calls "Pocket Communities".  In them, he gets to design (and choose colors for) a whole mini-town at once.  Being the Pacific Northwest, the weather is a large factor.  "We've got a gray environment for a lot of the year, and color is the antidote," Chapin says.  There's also a strong Scandinavian heritage, so he picks up on that inspiration--including local, historical buildings nearby.  "When I'm designing a house, I look how I can make a contribution, a connection to what’s around me.  The idea isn’t to simply fit in, but to be expressive. You should add something to the community as well."  Good exterior colors here are salmons, golds, blue-greens, and deeper greens.  Chapin likes to use accent colors judiciously, like port-red stripes on a dark green house, which he calls "the spice that brings the green alive."


"I pay close attention to vegetation colors.  What are the flowers that bloom?  How can we play off the different plants in the different seasons?"  Where there are bright wildflowers, Chapin likes to use more playful colors, ones that make the blooms really stand out.  A chromatically contrasting door, like the yellow against the blue, provides a bit of year-round sunshine. 

For more on pairing your house colors with its architecture, visit http://tinyurl.com/yetsdmx

March 19, 2010

The Best Reds In Any Room

Red is a bold choice for the wall and instantly gains attention.  It's a color closely linked with passion and brings excitement into a space.  Whether you love it or despise it, it's a color that most people have an opinion about.  Over the last ten years or so, Red has become the lifeblood of the palette, giving us all inspiration to start using colors like Orange and Violet that are born from Red.  


Christopher Coleman's Red Statement

Alessandra branca red living room
Alessandra Branca creates an inviting red sitting room 


Accents in Red at Carol Richard's LEED certified home in Wisconsin

Claret Rose by Benjamin Moore

These are some of the most popular reds out there today.  What's your favorite red?
Red Dark Colors Best
Best Red Colors