30 July 2011

What's Your Color Palette?


I'm often a contradiction of myself, in all aspects of my life; and color choices for my home are no exception.  I love all colors, each in their own way. And as soon as I see a new seasonal color pallete in one of my fave magazines, I immediately want to incorporate it into my home but was never confident enough to think I could pull it off.

Being frustrated season after season, I finally went back to the basics in designing my home rather than trying to follow the "new" design rules of the current season. There are so many design rules out there that it just seems to create more confusion rather than clarity - if you look hard enough, you'll find a theory that completely contradicts the one you just read. (Frustrating!) When I'm learning something, I definitely need some loose guidelines to start off with. Typically I will take it from there & make it my own, but I definitely need somewhere to start. So, taking it back to the basics was this for me:
  • What is your favorite color? I love green. I also love red. I also love blue. I also love orange.  Ultimately, I decided that green was the best base color from which to jump the other colors off from. So green was my choice as the base color of my palette.
  • What neutral shade will compliment your favorite color(s)? Using green as my base, I chose a light neutral shade of green - "herbivore" by Porter Paints. For contrast, I also used the same color in a toned-down version (making it almost white). In my dining room & kitchen, I used herbivore in its true form as the wall color & the lighter shade as the trim color. In the family room (which is completely open to the dining room), I used the lighter shade for my walls & the herbivore as the trim color.  Why? The dining room & kitchen have lots of warm wood pieces & bright light. They needed more color. In the family room, there are lots of upholstered pieces in various shades of green & off-whites.  It needed a softer color. Different wall colors, but they tie in completely.
Sounds simple, right?  It really is as simple as that - finding a neutral that compliments the many colors you gravitate to. For me, this particular shade of green makes everything pop, yet it's so subtle that it allows my furniture & art to stand out. My myriad of seasonal colors look good against it. I love it so much that I've used it in two homes. It's the base that looks good with the color palette I gravitate to. It just shines with anything I put against it. Can you tell I love it?

So there you go folks, that's my philosophy. It comes from a self-taught, trial & error place but works because it is based on basic principles.  What's your design philosophy & how did you come to embrace it?

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