Friday, February 24th, 2012
This bright bedroom caught my eye when I was flipping through my files, and it made me wonder what other bold, colorful bedrooms I had to inspire this winter afternoon with the snow swirling outside my window.
I love the crisp, classic color palette in this room with plenty of white to break up the large expanses of color, such as the bench at the foot of the bed. The inlay design on the nightstands works well with the pattern on the bedskirt. The red detail on the roman shades echos the red border on the sheets. And did you notice they framed the red bench with blue twill tape under the nailheads? Nice detail.
This is an old example from Domino magazine, but I love that they embraced the raspberry and lime palette in a way that could easily be updated down the line. The headboard is faux – a nice detailing using a lighter shade of the wall color. And the bed linens could easily be swapped out for a neutral linen duvet (like this one by Room and Board) to allow the walls to shine. Or a bold green and blue pattern like this duvet from Serena & Lily would emphasize the wall color while introducing a new accent color.
This purple and pale pink room is an odd mix with the bold large scale pattern on the rug and a medium scale more traditional floral print on the upholstered screen acting as a headboard. The pink trim is unexpected, but help to tie in the lighter tones in the floral print. I couldn’t rest in this room, but to each their own.
I love the mood of this bedroom. The Chaing Mai dragon wallpaper from Schumacher is one of my favorite crazy prints, and the almost chartreuse headboard is bold on it’s own, but also serves to break up this bold print. The vintage looking bedside lamp has great personality, and really adds to the room’s style. I wish the nightstand was a bit larger so the lamp didn’t take up the majority of the surface so there was room for a glass of water, a clock and book.
Finally, we have this palm beach vibe bedroom by Celerie Kemble. To me it looks crisp and fresh, just like the first bedroom above. You can see there is pattern introduced both in the headboard (what a task to get those leaves to line up across the creases!) and the wallpaper by the vanity (upper left). Again, simple bed linens with an accent border color were utilized to balance all the green on the window treatments and side chair. I’m guessing this room is typically flooded with light and can handle all this brightness.
So the question is: do you prefer a bright, bold bedroom or a calm softer color palette to ease you into sleep? Or does a balance of the two suit you best?
1. House Beautiful 2-12 by Lindsey Coral Harper.
3. Living Etc. 3-09
4. Schumacher, Design by Christopher Kennedy.
5. Celerie Kemble, “To Your Taste”
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Above: the professional sheep shearer is hard at work. Maryfaith takes the giant fleece and puts it in the bag.
So I went to help a local farm with their sheep shearing a couple of weeks ago and had a great time. I’ve always loved lambies since I was a little girl, and sheep aren’t quite the same (bigger and less cuddly) but it was still a great experience to try to wrangle sheep on the farm for an afternoon.
The farmers also have a lot of chickens roaming around that come running when people approach in the hope for more food. I was taking pictures of the chickens because their heritage varieties have really beautiful subtle coloring. Unfortunately, it didn’t come through as well as I’d hoped in the photos. As I was taking the pictures my mom jokingly said “You’ll probably turn this into a blog post.” Challenge? I think so.
So here is my ”Heritage Chicken Inspired Rooms” post. I always say you can find inspiration all around you. Here’s my proof.
Notice that the chickens are not one solid color. They have a tonal range of colors across their body, plus an occasional accent color on their tail feathers. These rooms employ the same philosophy to create visually interesting rooms. Here we have the different tones of browns and reds of one breed of chickens with accents of black from the other breed. Plus you have to have the pop of red from the chickens’ faces!
More tonal brown and red rooms, but I love how the concrete pulls in the gray of the paths on which the chickens run around the farm by their coop. The green and cream of the painting in the living room on the right reference the building behind the chickens and the grass (or what was left of the grass in Minnesota in October). The rough materials and broken in finishes in these rooms give the relaxed vibe that subtly references the chickens’ habitat.
A kitchen can be refined or rustic, and I love them both. On the left, the granite countertops remind me of the pebbly gray ground the chickens hang out on. The copper hood is similar to the color of the cabinets, but the sheen adds variation. I’d love to see this with a patina (did you know that copper turns brown before it turns blue-green?)
In the kitchen on the right we have the dark brown-black cabinets that remind me of the darker breed of chickens. The wood slats on the walls convey a rustic farm feeling. The cream ceiling warms up the room and pulls in the color of the farm building behind the chickens in my photo. I’m sure they don’t gather the chicken eggs in a wicker basket, but isn’t it fun to think they do? Those high back wicker chairs are a great casual accent. Just add a wicker basket filled with fresh picked brown eggs in the middle of the table and you are set!
Finally, these are two rooms that really show off the power of tonal variation and texture. On the left, the graining in the wood floor is highlighted by the medium brown stain. The wood on the walls looks to be a shade lighter than the floors, which helps to keep the room from feeling like a brown box. The textural stone on the fireplace pulls in the organic and rough feel of the pebbly pathways. The lights over the table remind me of the fluffy sheep. And the red cabinet in the foreground? That definitely gives you the pop of the rooster’s red comb.
On the right we have a wide open space with oodles of natural light pouring in. And you can see there are a lots of trees outside, so this must feel like a kitchen tucked in the woods. Because of all that natural light they were able to use dark colors throughout the space without it feeling like a cave. (Notice how different the small rustic kitchen above looks with the same color palette in a much smaller and darker space.) The angled soffit over the cabinetry is a darker brown than the wood paneling over the refrigeraotr (to the left of the stove). They also mixed in black cabinetry, stainless steel and a fun mix of black chairs (love those Panton curved profile chairs!) I think the clock on the soffit is brilliant, except when the battery dies and you need a huge ladder to change it. But it’s the deep orange-persimmon ceiling color that makes this room special. It might be a plaster finish because it has such beautiful color variation as the light hits it.
So, do you see the chicken inspiration in these pictures? What inspires you in nature?
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
Despite the 70 degree weather we’re experiencing in Minnesota, the trees still know it is fall. Everywhere I look I see the most beautiful mixes of golden yellow, orange, sumac red, green and brown. I couldn’t help but be inspired to create some room palettes to help inspire you as well.
How fun is the orange on the back wall of the white bookshelf?! What’s great, is that could be changed up easily over the years to a new accent color or fabulous wallpaper since the rest of the room is in easy to coordinate with neutrals. Love everything about this room.
And the bold kitchen with the gorgeous wood lining the walls as well as the floor? A raw stone fireplace surround and sleek red cabinets and stainless steel provide a great balance of color and texture while making their own strong statements. And the fluffy chandeliers add great whimsy (and texture).
Again, pops of orange on a neutral but texture filled living room. Do you see how this works? The eclectic mix of furnishings work together because nothing is too fussy. This entry in a more traditional home features beautiful woodwork, which allows that elegant red table skirt with framed detailing really pop. The chocolate brown zebra print stair runner hints at the homeowners playful personality. Using a solid runner for the entry floor prevents that print from overwhelming the space.
Vintage riflery targets as bathroom wallpaper? Brilliant! The shotgun casings encased in a resin toilet seat cover certainly carries out the theme, but seems a bit much for most situations. I like the pops of color in the accessories on this bookshelf as bar cart.
The bold mix of red-orange and lime green in this library conveys the homeowner’s fearless personality. With such high ceilings and plenty of white to balance the bold colors, the room still feels balanced. Have I used this photo of a vintage red leather chair in front of a glass case before? Probably, since I love the tone of that leather and the simple form of the chair. It seemed a good match for this palette, so forgive me.
I think this really represents those golden yellow and orange tones that so many trees take on at this time of year. A harvest palette, if you will. I can picture that yellow pom-pom fringe on the bottom of a lampshade, along the side of curtains, or the bottom of a roman shade. Pom-poms are not just for the back of your socks (remember being 10 years old and wearing ankle socks with pom-poms on the back? I do!) I just flashed back to some pillows I made for a client years ago in a golden yellow cut velvet with braided trim and a ribbon detail that was similar to the materials in the top left photo.
I had to find you a picture after that description! It wouldn’t be fair to leave you hanging.
I love this media room with those inviting chocolate brown velvet couches, golden yellow pillows, and plenty of throw blankets. Did you notice the bookshelves in the back are orange? Difficult to tell from a photo, but it could even be Hermes orange. What a great punch of color that doesn’t overwhelm because the frame of the shelves has a narrow profile.
Finally, the deep reds of the Sumac bushes make a bold backdrop for two very different kitchens. You can see how it mixes well with orange tones and either dark chocolate brown wood and marble or crisp white cabinetry and stainless steel. I couldn’t resist throwing in the great Weimaraner photo – the chair and the dog both have such great personality!
So that’s your fall inspiration, courtesy of the trees and bushes I see on my drives around town visiting clients and vendors. What is inspiring you right now? Are you drawn to the fall colors or does another season capture your style best?
Tags: bar cart, Bathroom, bookshelf, chocolate brown, fall, foyer, golden yellow, green, Kitchen, living room, orange, pillow, Red, white, Wood, zebra
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Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Getting in the spirit of the 4th of July can take many forms.
You could decorate a bedroom in a patriotic color palette, complete with the American Flag.
You could give yourself a camp flashback and grab some colorful arrows, and do a little target practice with your bow and arrow. (Don’t forget the arm guard. I always scrapped up my arm in archery class… I probably wasn’t the most gifted archer.)
You could go to the local zoo, petting zoo, or farm and commune with the animals. Imagine what it was like back in the days of our Founding Fathers.
Or maybe you just want to turn an oversized image of an animal into a new work of art.
In Minnesota, going up to the cabin is a popular weekend escape in the summer. If you don’t have one of your own, maybe friends will invite you to join them. Sweeten the deal with some good homemade (or store bought if that’s all you can manage) treats. S’more bars (made with Golden Grahams) would be rather appropriate fare.
But if the city is your final destination, perhaps a relaxing evening around a fire pit in the backyard with good friends is all it takes to appreciate how blessed we have been this year. I’m certainly grateful for my independence, and I hope next year to have even more good times to remember and celebrate.
Happy 4th of July everyone!
1. Unknown – possibly Cottage Living 2. Valerie Shaff 3. Francisco Costa designed bedroom in NY Times 4. Sweetshorn Etsy shop 5. SALA Architects 6. Unknown
Friday, May 21st, 2010
As much as I adore design magazines and blogs for inspiring images, sometimes the perfect color palette can hit you over the head when you look at a beautiful photograph or piece of art.
As a self-confessed image junkie, I frequently change up the background image on my computer as an ever changing reflection of my current interests or as a reminder of a wonderful experience I had. Yesterday I was looking for old photos of a close friend, which required digging through my electronic photo archives. I think we should ALL remember to do this periodically because there are gems hidden in such places. I stumbled across this photo taken by Dan Buettner, the owner of the Lake of the Isles showcase home, on one of his research trips. Appropriately, it’s one of the featured photos in his kitchen.
But looking at it blown up on my computer screen, that tomato red against the beautiful color and texture of the woman’s hands blew me away. All the rich earth tones offer such a warm color palette to work from.
So how would I use it? The tomato red works well as a bold but approachable element on a large piece of furniture. Various shades of brown from light golder brown to deep chocolate would be used on everything from floors to furniture. Hints of green from the tomato stem and the black of the dirt under her finger nails would balance out the room in accessories and other accents. Perhaps painting the trim in black as a surprise (usually seen in cooler color palettes against whites and grays).
Here are some other examples in all different types of rooms.
Sometimes the red is on a major piece of furniture.
Other times, the red works as a strong graphic statement through wallpaper.
Or red can be used as an accent against the natural wood tones of a beamed ceiling or a backyard patio. How great is that red umbrella?!
How would you use tomato red in your home? A cozy enveloping dining room with deep red walls? Red accent pillows on a couch for a tiny pop? How bold would you go?
Picture credits: Top composition, clockwise from upper left: Patrick Connor via DesignSponge, unknown (possibly InStyle magazine), unknown (possibly FLOR catalog), Katie Kirk via DesignSponge, Traditional Home magazine 4-09, unknown.
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
I was attracted to the shades of grey and warm textures and natural elements accented by the pop of the brightly colored bowl in the photo in the middle, and the grey tones in the photograph of a fern. Inspired by these, I pulled together examples of rooms that have a warm grey palette with accents of antique red in them. Notice that some have dark walls and light floors, while others have the reverse. Either way, these are warm, sophisticated and cozy rooms I would enjoy living in. What do you think of them? Too dark? Not enough color for you?
For similar colors try:
Benjamin Moore AF-560 Flint, Sherwin Williams SW 7065 Argos, Sherwin Williams SW 7072 Online, Sherwin Williams SW 7587 Antique Red
* Photo Sources: Center image: Little Birds, Lower Left: Elle Décor, Upper Left: Metropolitan Home, others: source unknown.