Color inspiration is everywhere!

November 16, 2011 § 3 Comments

I am often asked if I have any advice about how to choose the right colors for a home. Whether furniture, walls, or a front door, that’s an easy question to answer.

My advice…just look around you. Color inspiration is everywhere!

The circles above represent colors that I’ve sampled from the photos above. All of these objects made me smile! The yellow Vespa looks like a fun ride and the warm colors of the changing leaves are inspiring. Nature really is the best teacher when it comes to color.

Objects like these can help you on your path to choosing colors for your home. You can see exactly how the color inspiration above translates into a color choice for a home in the picture below. What a gorgeous front door!

Can you imagine this conversation?

Homeowner: “I have a gray house, what color do you suggest for our front door?”

Paint store: “Orange. Definitely”.  (not likely)

This homeowner was not just daring but brilliant in their color choice for their front door.

My advice:

I always choose colors that make me feel good. It may sound corny, but it works. If you are trying to decide on a color for your interior, exterior, furniture or accents, be sure to ask yourself a few questions first. What do you want to feel when you see it? Calm? Inspired?

For example, I am usually trying to crank out creative work in my home office so I need to feel inspired. I decided on warm yellow walls to inspire me and all white furniture to act as a clean palette for each new project. The wall color makes me feel awake and ready to work while the bright white surfaces keep my mind uncluttered.

Of course, I had to make a mistake first in order to learn this lesson about color. I used to love the cinnamon walls at my favorite cafe. I loved them so much that I came home and painted my office that exact color hoping to elicit the same relaxing feelings I had at the cafe. When it was done, it looked amazing. Unfortunately, it was all wrong. Why? I enjoyed the cafe interior because it made me feel calm and relaxed, which was not the intended goal for my home office. Shortly after I painted the walls a cozy cinnamon color, all I wanted to do was sleep at my desk! Luckily, I learned an invaluable lesson about color that I can pass along to you.

I hope these ideas help you to find your color inspiration for your next project! I’d love to hear about it.


Plants and pumpkins? You bet.

November 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Plants and pumpkins? You bet.

If you’re like me and not sure what to do with your assortment of small pumpkins left over from Halloween, here is a great idea. Spruce up your outdoor container pots by adding your pumpkins, squash and gourds.

This is so simple and will add a bright touch of color perfect for fall just as your perennials begin to die back!

A cheerful front porch accessory

October 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

There was something about this house that caught my attention. I was on foot, chasing after my little bike riders when we all went flying past this house. The sidewalk we were on seemed really dark at this point because the trees were old and mature and had grown over the path creating a natural shade.

The kids were ahead of me screaming “weeeee” the way they always do when we go through a tunnel. As I passed through this dark “tunnel”, the light coming from the entry of this home made me jerk around to see what I had just missed.

It was light, cheery and quaint. And it was for sale!

No, we didn’t buy it or even make on offer…but I did take the opportunity to get a little closer and snap a few pictures. I had to get a shot of these adorable birdhouses.

I think this was such a cheerful way to dress up a front porch.  Two adorable birdhouses and an empty wire flower container. Furthermore, since red is opposite of blue on the color wheel, the birdhouses were in perfect contrast. I can’t say that it would cross my mind to put birdhouses on my front porch but now it seems like a fantastic idea.

Ironically, the following weekend we strolled past this house again and were lucky enough to be invited inside to view it. It was just as charming on the inside! You can see it here if you like.


Magnets trump push pins (in my world)

October 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Without question, push pins and bulletin boards are great. Nobody would disagree. However, I usually end up stepping on fallen push pins and pricking myself over and over when I go to put something up. So I’ve wised up and moved on to magnet boards. What a relief! My fingertips and feet are thanking me.

Enter, magnets. I went to the store to buy some magnets for my new boards and was so disappointed! Of course I could not find what I was hoping for, but not for lack of options. I realized in hindsight, that what I wanted to find was actually very taste specific…and my expectations may have been a little unrealistic.

My magnets were going to be used for my design boards so I didn’t want them to clash with the little bits of inspiration from magazines, cards and fabrics I collect.

The colors and designs were really important and they also needed to be strong – not like the wimpy ones that can barely hold up a business card. I realized quickly that I needed to figure out how to make exactly what I wanted.

So I did. Here is what I came up with and I love them!

My final magnet board is below and you can see that the magnets only compliment the scraps and cards I have kept.

If you would like to make your own, you can find a great tutorial here. Magnet boards I found at IKEA, called the ‘spontan’ for $12.99.

Coffee station…definitely a necessity

October 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

Coffee. I love the smell and I almost always want a cup first thing in the morning (STAT) like many people. Unfortunately in our house there is usually a clatter to find a cup, sometimes a mad search to find the espresso capsule (or tea bag) all while the poor espresso machine is ready and waiting to serve.

Mornings can be unpredictable and unorganized, its simply human nature. Luckily this can be solved pretty easily by creating a station.

I have a friend who also needed this station, so I went to work in her kitchen. She wanted easy access to her espresso capsules, tea bags and instant coffee for days when she was on the run. She also wanted her espresso maker out of the cabinet so that she wouldn’t have to set it up everytime she wanted to make a cup.

We started by gathering all of the related items and neatly organizing the surplus in a cabinet beneath the counter space we decided would make the perfect spot for a permanent coffee station. All we needed was a small amount of space that was not dedicated to any other purpose, an electrical outlet and a little creativity so that it would earn form points as well as function.

I looked around at what she had available in her kitchen. I could have used jars or glass containers for the coffee and tea but as a Seattle native I thought I’d grab a few Starbucks coffee cups I saw in the cabinet. They just happened to all match so I filled them up. Then, I lined them up on the counter near the espresso machine.

They all matched in size and shape which was great, but they still needed something.

I dug around in the kitchen and found a long ceramic serving tray that matched the off white coffee cups perfectly.

Voila! The coffee station was born!

Layering is the key to any room

January 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pillows in photo are from Crate and Barrel, Couch from West Elm.

Layering will add instant dimension and visual interest to any room. It is easy to do and very rewarding – try some of the following ideas in your home and you will see what I mean.

In your living room, rather than only having one or two throw pillows on a couch add more or even better – add varying shapes or textures.

In your cozy reading corner, layer your favorite chair with a comfortable throw blanket.

In your bedrooms, you can add depth to any bed by pulling back the comforter and flat sheet about 12 inches, neatly, to reveal another pattern or texture and then stack the bed pillows for display.

In your kitchen nook, if you have a fruit bowl on your table try adding a runner underneath it.

You can even layer your bath towels too.

Adding layers is the simplest way to add depth to your room without adding any clutter.

I hope you enjoy this tip and that you are able to put it to good use.


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