Decorating

Embracing the Dark Side

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Today is Color Day on the ol’ blog and this morning I posted about my favorite hue which is blue.  This afternoon, contributing writer and interior designer Courtney from Courtney Out Loud is back to share his thoughts on color, specifically the darker shades in the spectrum. 

Having taken the plunge and introduced a dark paint color into our own home (the powder room) earlier this year, I have a new found affection for dark painted walls, especially ones with whites and creams layered in for contrast, burnished metallic sheens, and richly patterned or rustic wood accents.  The combination makes me want to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea in these enveloping spaces. 

Please welcome back Courtney and his interview with a noted color expert on how to embrace the dark side… of paint!

“Nina Simone sang that black is the color of her true love’s hair and for me it is the color that I love most.  Something about this inky hue draws me in, settles my mind, and puts me at ease.  Clients typically come to me craving color which I am happy to deliver in all its rainbow glory but when left to my own devices, a smoky grey, nocturnal purple or saturated brown will always catch my eye.

Historically, these darker hues have been linked to nefarious activities and sinister deeds, but color research shows that the dark hues like their lighter cousins can elicit a range of reactions from relaxation to revitalization. Curious to know more about my infatuation with dark colors and how to best use them in my designs, I turned to Jean Molesworth Kee, noted architectural color consultant based in Washington, D.C. and the author of the highly regarded blog, The Painted Room.

Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle in Elle Decor

Nate Berkus in Elle Decor

Being a designer, I was bit hesitant to ask for help in understanding how to best use dark colors in spaces – let’s be honest, people pay me to help them with their overall design of which color plays a large part.  Fortunately, Jean shared that many designers as well as lay people use her services which begged me to ask…what is that that she exactly does.

“I do have a highly specialized niche, which is a luxury (not having to deal with building codes)!  Most of my work is residential– working with homeowners who want to make a change but are just spinning in the “color vortex”.

Rugo Raff Ltd. Architects

Rugo Raff Architects

That “color vortex” is something I know all too often from my own work with clients. That moment when clients need to make a paint decision many times feel like the longest part of the process.  Creating the proper background from which to anchor the design is essential and how I see paint selection. 

However, I know how difficult it is to deal with coaching design clients through the process, so I asked how it is to work with a second party (aka designers like me) and surprisingly, Jean enjoys that collaborative process.  “My ideal project involves collaboration with architects and designers on the ground floor but I’m usually working with a lot of design elements already in place.”

dark bookcases cochrane design

Cochrane Design

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Feelin’ Blue

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

As a member of the My Colortopia team this week, we’re all taking turns featuring our favorite color as part of My Colorful Life Project and naturally I picked blue.  A lot of things inspire me when it comes to decorating my home and choosing meaningful accessories for it.  Travel inspires me, pattern inspires me, nature inspires me, exotic architecture inspires me, and color inspires me greatly.  The first that always comes to mind when I decorate is blue.   

I’ve always been drawn to blue, and cannot resist its soothing powers.  It’s the color we witness when we go outside on a sunny day or when we visit the coast or take a dip in a pool.   

As an ode to blue, I pulled together some favorite images to illustrate. 

water blues

 

blue glass

 

outdoor blues

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare