Color Inspiration

Decorating with Complementary Colors

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

I enrolled in a Color Theory class years ago and it taught me so much, and one of the classroom assignments was to paint a canvas using only complementary colors. It was challenging but I was surprised how well that mini still life of yellow pears and lavender stems turned out! I find color theory fascinating, and love to study what works and what doesn’t, especially from the best designers and experts. With spring on its way, many crave more colorful accents indoors, here’s a color rule to help pull it off.

color wheelDecorating with complementary colors is based on the simple principle that opposites attract and in turn enhance. Complementary colors are those that are directly across from each other on the color wheel, red and green, blue and orange, etc.

A few weeks ago I wrote about decorating with monochromatic color which is always a sure bet, however one way to energize a monochromatic space is to introduce a complementary color.

Blue and orange sit across from each other, and since aqua and coral continue to be popular hues in home decor, it works well to blend the two. A series of blue patterns are at play in this casual yet elegant living room; the touch of coral in the artwork and accent pillows spices it up.


how to decorate

A bold floral fabric, contrasting pillows, and abstract art in shades of vivid orange and aqua brighten this cozy living room.

blue and orange pillows tracery interiors

tracery interiors

Orange feels contemporary paired with classic navy blue, a healthy dose of white and natural light balance the bold combination.

coral navy living room

style at home

orange and navy bedroom

pottery barn

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Color of the Year ?

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Pantone is about to announce their Color of the Year for 2015 for interior design as they do every year in the first week of December. The announcement always generates excitement since the Pantone Color Matching System is used industry wide by furniture, textile, and wall covering companies across the globe.

The Color of the Year is determined by a secret group of industry professionals that gather in Europe, the winner is chosen as one that captures the spirit of the year, and includes a reason with it. “2013’s Emerald served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity; 2014’s Radiant Orchid encouraged expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

Trends in fashion, film, and art all contribute to the final selection of the Color of the Year, the final choice is a reflection of what’s happening in entertainment, the art world, travel destinations, and technology. pantone inspiration

Paint companies and textile designers make their own predictions as to what colors are the “it” color, Robert Allen has declared it to be Calypso Blue and Benjamin Moore has announced Guilford Green as their color for 2015.

Most of the Pantone winners from the past have been bold hues but neutrals and pastels have popped up as Color of the Year before.  Here’s a reminder of the winners from the past:  pantone color of the year

I’m rooting for a shade of green. I have a crush on muted versions right now and I think deeper less saturated greens will continue to trend in 2015 for their earthy organic appeal. Of course I’d love to see any shade of deep blue too!

ling green wallpaper

graham & brown

For fun, I thought I’d ask you all to play along. Before the big announcement is made, place your bets! Take this survey below and vote for your pick, which hue do you think will be Color of the Year for 2015? Feel free to explain your choice in the comments, I’m curious what you think!



If you want an inside glimpse into how Pantone made the decision for the Color of the Year and how it will translate into fashion and home decor, they’re offering a webinar with VP Laurie Pressman of the Pantone Institute, happening on December 9th, details here