Decorating with Complementary Colors

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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Grandma’s Walk In Shower

February 17th, 2015

Yesterday we stopped by Grandma’s house to check on the progress of the bathroom remodel. I’ve mentioned we’re renovating the kitchen but haven’t show you the bathroom yet. (As a reminder, Matt’s grandmother passed away last year and we’re remodeling the bathroom and kitchen in her small home for the estate before putting it on the market.) The kitchen cabinets get installed next week so while we were waiting for their delivery the contractor we hired has been working on other things like scraping the popcorn ceilings, installing crown molding, and upgrading the bathroom – he finished the shower last week.

I’m so bummed because I cannot find the official “before” picture of the old old oooold bathtub and its metal sliding double shower door that used to sit here. It was one of those standard shallow tubs with a sliding door above that many builders install. Funny, it looked identical to the one we also have in the hallway of the Las Vegas house – see this picture – you know the kind I’m talking about.

After talking with several residents in this retirement community and also pulling from Matt’s experience as an appraiser, we realized a walk in shower made more sense than keeping the old tub. I only have this “in progress” picture I snapped a month ago but it shows the empty space under construction.

shower in progress

I’m so impressed with the new look with the marble tile and frameless shower door. Forgive the iPhone pics, I’ll snap better ones when we finish the vanity side :)

tiled walk in shower

The shower kit (head and valve) is the Leland by Delta in chrome, the tile is Daltile Marissa Cararra, available at Home Depot for $2.21 a square foot. The edges, niche, and seat are trimmed with the matching bullnose tiles. We love the look of this tile so much we may repeat the use of it in the master shower in the Las Vegas fixer, it looks beautiful and is a great price!

daltile cararra marble tile


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