You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Color palette’ category.

I’m on a quest for the perfect paint color for our dining room. It will be redecorated after the kitchen renovation and I’m planning a neutral scheme, enlivened with plenty of pattern. The big challenge is finding the perfect taupe. I want to go with darker walls for a bit more drama, and have decided charcoal will be too gray but don’t want to veer too much toward brown. I’ve found some good sources of inspiration though.

dark+taupe+walls

Via LiveBreathDecor.

dark+taupe+wall+wainscotting

Via The Marion House Book

dark+taupe+wall+bedroom

Via This is Glamorous.

If anyone can recommend the perfect shade for me, I will be indebted to them!

Advertisements

I am a huge fan of neutral interiors. Huge. Those people who say beige is boring can’t have seen it done right. To me, nothing is more soothing and elegant than a beautifully balanced scheme with whites, grays, taupes, chocolates and charcoals. So this post is both a defense and a celebration of neutral interiors. Here (in no particular order) are my top ten all-time favorite neutral interiors.

1. Contemporary cool

Neutral modern living roomModern living room with tan leather sofas

My number one room is actually two adjoining rooms, designed by Charlie & Co Design in Minneapolis (via Houzz). Each has a slightly different feel but the overall effect is very cohesive. I love the concrete fireplace, tan leather sofas and mixed material cabinetry.

2. Eclectic organic

Hallway with neutral Moroccan tiles

Entry halls are difficult to make interesting because there’s limited space for furniture and accessories. So making the most of the surfaces is important. This hallway uses an eclectic mix of Moroccan-inspired tiled floors, period molding and organic materials and shapes such as the branch mirror (and the woodblock table and Jonathan Adler lamp in the adjoining room)  to make a stunning neutral space. Apply the same lessons to other spaces and use pattern and texture to liven up a neutral interior. Via The Marion House Book.

3. Modern lodge

Contemporary ski lodge

I’ve featured this room before but had to include it here because it’s such a great example of neutrals done right. The only splash of ‘color’ is in two tiny pillows, but this space is anything but drab. That’s because the color actually comes from the use of lots of honey-hued wood. Interesting shapes and lots of tactile materials such as linen, rope (or cane?) chairs and felt. House designed by John Maniscalco Architecture via Houzz.

4. Fashionable classic

Collette Dinnogan living room

Here’s a neutral space with a completely different vibe. This is the former living room of fashion designer Collette Dinnigan, featured in Elle Decor (via LiveBreatheDecor). There’s virtually no color here at all (unless, is that a pale lilac throw…?) and yet the space is both interesting and beautiful. The pale furniture lets the period fireplace take center stage, while the modern floor lamp keeps it all from looking too saccharine sweet. If you have a strong feature like this mantelpiece, an uncluttered neutral scheme – with plenty of negative space to let it breathe – is a good way to make the most of it.

5. Upscale artistic

white living room

This space is a work of art – and not just because of the huge canvases. I love the herringbone wood floors, gently curving staircase, uneven turned wood floor lamp and the balance of black, white and beige. This is a great example of how unique shapes can enliven a very straightforward color scheme. The bentwood ball, on the other hand, just makes me think of tumbleweed… Via Canadian House and Home

6. Urban luxury

Klly Hoppen loft

No neutral round-up would be complete without a room from the Queen of Taupe herself, Kelly Hoppen. This designer is renowned for her stunningly luxurious interiors, characterized by acres of taupe linen, black wood and polished crystal. I personally like her own London loft (above) best as it’s more accessible and yet still inspirational. This is one room to study if you want to know how to make beige sumptuous.

7. Nature-inspired

white living room with plants

One way to bring a neutral interior to life is with lots of plants. The greenery adds color without it actually ‘counting’ as color. I love the way this contemporary space uses frothy ferns, a hide rug and sequined pillows to make a more industrial loft friendly and inviting. Via Apartment Therapy

8. Understated glamor

Neutral living room

The thing about neutral spaces is that you can go completely OTT on glamor, but it will never look kitschy. Take this stunning apartment, featured in Lonny Magazine. Opulent chandelier? Check. Herringbone hide rug? Check. Faux antlers? Check. Both Bertoia AND Calvin chairs? Of course. This is the epitome of glamor and yet it’s tasteful (and gorgeous) because the palette is so subtle.

9. Relaxed Californian

White and wood living room

Well, if you know me, you know I love this room and come back to it time and time again. OF course, it’s the living room of Julie from Remodelista. What do I not love about this space? White cathedral ceilings, wood shelves, an Eames rocker. But the reason I think it’s a great example of a neutral room is that it shows how the right layout and the emphasis on a few key features (in this case the shelving) can make all the difference.

10. Hamptons classic

Thomas O'Brien Hamptons living room

Where else to search for the ultimate neutral interior than a designer’s Hamptons retreat? This is the home of Thomas O’Brien, via Habitually Chic, and is a great example of how different warm whites, layered expertly, with a little dark brown or black to anchor it, can create a casually-styled look. O’Brien is a collector at heart and his rooms always have an inspiring mix of pieces – from stacked books to unusual lamps. If you want to make a neutral space warm and personal, start here.

So, what have I missed? Any other stunning neutral spaces that should make it into the top ten list?

When we remodel the kitchen, we will have some structural work done that will require repainting the dining room. I’m planning on using this to try a new look. Here’s how it looks now.

We had the shelves put in just over a year ago and they’ve made an enormous difference to the room. Other than that, not much has changed since this post. But now it’s time for something new (apart from the table, which obviously desperately needs to be swapped out). The current wall color is Iced Marble by Benjamin Moore. I love it, but it’s been there for almost five years and I feel it’s a little drab now. So, I’m thinking of going several shades darker to Millstone Gray. As you can see, it’s a deep gray with a greeny-blue tinge.

Or else Kitty Gray, which is just a little darker and bluer (and, frankly, looks identical on my screen!)

Dark gray has been a hot color for ages, but I still think it looks fresh against crisp white moldings (of which there’s plenty in our dining room – and, if we paint the ceiling a brighter white, it should work well). Take a look at these examples.

Via Gorgeous Shiny Things.

Via the Girl in the Brick House.

Via Manolo for the Home. Although the walls here are almost black, rather than gray, this photo is particularly great inspiration because we have this Nelson Saucer bubble lamp in our dining room.

What do you think? Should we take the plunge?

Why didn’t I know about this beautiful blog until this weekend? Of course, I’ve seen these photos of blogger Nicole’s stunning apartment all over the blogosphere, especially since it was featured in Rue Magazine. But the blog is a great source of inspiration too. Especially right now – while Nicole is off bonding with her newborn, guest bloggers are posting the cutest, most unique nursery designs.

Anyway, I just had to share some of the photos of the apartment in question since the black, white and metallic scheme is providing all sorts of inspiration for our impending kitchen makeover (which is rapidly becoming a dining room, playroom and bathroom makeover too – more of that later).

I spy a Carrera marble kitchen island…

Plattner coffee table…

Black and white ikat pillow…

And brass anglepoise lamps over the bed. Elegant and eclectic!

Photos by Emily Anderson for Rue Magazine via Sketch42.

Although I’m a fan of black walls, I always felt that black was for cozy, moody rooms. To take a bright, airy room with lots of windows and paint it black would surely be a waste of all that natural light, right? How wrong could I be? Take a look at this striking bedroom from Ab Chao.

And here’s what it looked like before.

Incredible, right? Of course, it’s not just the paint color: the bright pillows, undressed windows, re-arranged furniture all make a difference too. But what amazes me is how bright it still feels, even with black walls. The black walls actually frame the windows, drawing attention to the view and making the space seem even lighter. Just goes to show that black decor can be energizing as well as enigmatic…

Maybe it’s a sign that I need some warmer weather and brighter days, but I’m on a roll with red rooms. How stunning is this dining room, spotted on Norwegian interiors site, Bo Bedre?

They say red is ideal for dining rooms because it stimulates both conversation and appetite. But this one turns tradition on its head with an all-white room, except for those gorgeous curvy chairs. So simple, sweet and stylish…

There’s so much to like about this red-accented space that it almost makes me want to redecorate our entire house from scratch (family – don’t be alarmed, I said ‘almost’).

There’s nothing quite like joyful, juicy red, used in just the right quantity. Here, because the space is so light and easy, the effect is uplifting. I’m a huge fan of the kilim rug combined with a very simple, blocky white table.

The central shelving unit looks like a clever disguise for a load-bearing column. Doused in red, it brings the entire space together.

The Asian elements, such as these meditation chairs, the Buddah, rush mats and Japanese-inspired screens below, bring order to a small space and prevent it from looking cluttered.

Is there any smarter combination than red, white and charcoal? That dark wall works well to ease the transition between living area and kitchen.

A perfect study in red.

From MiCasa via DigsDigs

I think teal might just be my color obsession for January. Fresh, but not in your face, it’s just the tonic we need for this time of year. Sort of the color equivalent of a detox!

I recently came across this stunning loft apartment, the Paris Home of artist Claire Basler, featured in March 2010’s Elle Decoration. (Found on the charming blog of furniture design firm Pacha Design). The colors in this space are so subtle but the teal wall is really exceptional. A great foil for the sculptural lighting and floral arrangements.

Then I remembered the winning entry from last year’s Apartment Therapy Room for Color contest. Here teal is moody, enigmatic and not a little whimsical.

And, just to prove that teal can work for more traditional designs too, this living room from Canadian House and Home has been doing the rounds (I spotted it on Delight by Design and Little Green Notebook) and it’s easy to see why. Teal walls knock the formality out of this classical space, bringing it firmly into the 21st Century.

Of course, if you don’t fancy the commitment of a teal wall, how about this gem of a wing back chair seen in Lonny Magazine? C’mon, if this doesn’t seal the teal (sorry, couldn’t resist), nothing will…

A few weeks ago my sister asked me to help revamp her Manhattan apartment. Only trouble was, I wasn’t planning to head out East and so any help I could offer had to be remote. Luckily, my sister has excellent taste and so all she needed was some help in bringing her ideas together into a cohesive scheme. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh pair of eyes…

She didn’t want to replace any major pieces and was limited on the decorating front by the fact her place is a rental. But she did want it to be more pulled-together and ‘grown-up’. It also had to function for a 20-month-old.

My sister loves eclectic spaces with anything from French to Moroccan to Asian influences. She also describes herself as a ‘color tart’ (!), loving pretty much any color under the sun. How to combine all this into an open plan apartment?

As a first step, she sent me a couple of images of rooms she liked, answered some of my questions and then I created an inspiration board (above). The goal here was to consolidate all the hundreds of ideas racing round her head. We found that warm colors, luxurious textures and pattern were recurring themes.

Then we built the color palette, based on the inspiration board. I felt that a relatively complex palette was needed in order to accommodate her love of color. It also needed to complement some of the existing hues in her space – chiefly the moss green. Pinky-red, gray and taupe were perfect solution. I also wanted to introduce gold for that luxe element. Finally, I felt that some rich, ethnic-inspired embroidered textiles would be the way to introduce pattern without looking too cluttered.

Finally, we put together selection of furniture and accessories to complement what she already had. Product details are below.

A big focus was the TV area, which needed organizing and defining. I found this room (via MadebyGirl), which inspired an asymmetrical arrangement of shelves and a media console around the TV:

She’s still working on implementing the ideas so we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out. But it was fun to pull together and a great example of bi-coastal sibling collaboration!

Here are the product details:
1 – Lamp
2 – Media cabinet
3 – Pillow
4 – Side table
5 – Lamp
6 – Tray
7 – Bus stop sign
8 – Pillow
9 – Lamp
10 – Vases
11 – Pillow
12 – Tray table
13 – Media cabinet
14 – Lamp
15 – Pillow
16 – Pillow
17 – Otomi textile throw
18 – Ikat chair
19 – Lamp
20 – Pouf

I’m always drawn to modern white spaces with the simple, uncluttered look. But, at the same time, I know if I lived in one I’d long for a splash of color and a more casual vibe. This house is, to me, the perfect compromise. The combination of white gloss, horizontal lines and low-slung furniture with characterful accessories in fresh pink and green is just stunning. It would feel like summer year-round in this house, wouldn’t it? (From Micasa Revista via Achados de Decoracao).

The key to this space is the styling. The essentials are all neutral but it’s the pillows, blanket and flowers that inject color. The boxy sofas are tastefully restrained but the tropical print cushion and the chartreuse floor pillows just say ‘relax’.

A glimpse of the kitchen shows it’s just as minimal, with glossy white cabinets and a stainless steel hood. The use of drawers instead of traditional cabinets creates more horizontal lines to echo the living area’s low-key, loungy feel.

I love these blue-gray light shades in the kitchen. I bet those bar stools actually live on the other side of the island though and are just placed there for the photo…

This bedroom actually has many of the things I tend to steer clear of: very low beds, multiple pillows, teeny tiny rugs… But the effect here, in the context of the rest of the space, is great. And that color palette again!


Now this is a bathroom to hang out in! Huge limestone tiles and sleek white drawers create yet more of those horizontal lines. And, yet again, it’s balanced with a little bit of handcrafted character in the form of the crochet basket and perfume bottles.

Although it looks effortless and laid back, this space is actually a triumph in attention to detail. The fact that there’s so much continuity from room to room no doubt adds to the relaxed feel. And the fresh colors and abundant light make this place almost as good as being outdoors on a summer’s day. Almost!

The design discoveries and dilemmas of a Brit in San Francisco as she turns a house into a home.
houzz - kitchen design, bathroom design, landscaping and more

My Photos

Archive

Pages