Color My World

“All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.”
~ Marc Chagall

Now that the evil ragweed season is upon us and the outside weather makes my eyes itch, I’ve found myself spending more time inside the house than normal.

As a way of entertaining myself, I’ve been researching color as it pertains to home decor + walls + artwork.  It’s a topic that I’m interested in knowing more about plus it makes me feel productive as I sit here muttering about that sneaky pollen out there.

So here’s what I’ve found.  Fun stuff.  Good information.  Often interactive.  Pollen-free.


9 Designer Color Palettes.  This article is from Better Homes & Gardens.  I like how it made me rethink some of the ways in which I put color together.  Good ideas, as usual, from BHG.

Chip It! by Sherwin-Williams.  I uploaded a photo of the hollyhocks in our backyard and this is what I received back from Sherwin-Williams.  Neato, huh?

32 Paint Chip Projects.  This blog post has links to lots of ideas about how to use paint chips as art.  Admittedly I have yet to do try any of them, but if the weather continues to keep me trapped inside I’m going to give a few of the projects a whirl.  No time like the present, eh?

Design Seeds.  I don’t know when I first found this site, but I have to believe that it was one of the best days of my life.  Really.  If you adore color this is the place for you.  Design Seeds is filled with examples of color palettes created from photos of nature &/or household objects.  ‘Tis a wonderful place to visit, I tell you.

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Benjamin Moore on Pinterest.  This Pinterest page is filled with a variety of boards.  Some are dedicated to specific colors while others are about decorating ideas.  There is even one board with photos from the Brimfield Antique Show.  Check it out.  It’s cool.


What am I missing here?  Any other color websites that I need to know about?  Ragweed season goes on for a few more weeks, so I’ve got the time to look them over at my leisure.  😉


Are We Talking About Me Or My Home Here?

•  I took this color personality quiz.  It told me that …

•  My results linked to an article on the Better Homes & Gardens website that told me when decorating a house…

“Honey colors take a back seat to the room’s other elements, making them a go-to color for those who want fabrics or art to shine.”

•  The article also featured this lovely photo of honey & honey-colored paint can lids…

•  But my favorite part of the article was a quote from Elaine Griffin, a NYC interior designer.  She said that one should…

“Think of it [honey] as beige after it has had a cocktail or after spending a day at the beach.”

•  Which means, I guess, that my house should be tipsy and sunburnt.  For me this sounds like an ideal day, but for my home?  Really?  That’s what it needs?!  Hmmm… who knew?  😉

[More home decor quizzes here: Love, Dreams & Color Schemes]

Love, Dreams & Color Schemes

“A house is made of walls and beams;  a home is built with love and dreams.”


Take a quiz.  Learn something useful.  Reflect upon how pretty these colors are.  Remind self that we are perfectly happy with the colors that we’ve got going on in our home now.  Save this just in case.


Take another quiz.  Enjoy the questions.  Agree with the results [minus the nonsense about mixing patterns].  Decide that I like thinking of myself as Bohemian Casual— a more refined way of saying “free spirit.”


Take a third and last quiz.  Like that the questions are all photos.  Agree with the results– especially the part about “peaceful coexistence of seemingly unrelated elements.”  Reflect upon how this phrase makes “eclectic mess” sound stylish.

Red, Wet & Blue

Our Fourth of July weekend was rainy, damp, humid.  No picnic in the park.  No day at the zoo.  No baseball game with fireworks afterward.  Instead, we had a weekend that only a mold spore could love.

Not. Too. Exciting.

So having nothing festive and fun to do, Zen-Den and I decided to be very grown-up and act like serious homeowners.  First, we super scrubbed the kitchen— oven, cabinet doors, pantry, freezer, granite counter tops.  Granted the kitchen wasn’t particularly dirty to begin with, but I have to admit that it’s amazing how shiny it looks now.  Clean and inviting.  Quite the happy space.

Then Z-D painted the sitting room— aka the un-bedroom.  After much debate about what color to put on the walls, we chose a very pale shade of gray that reads slightly blue.  Combined with the room’s white trim, this shade of gray creates a relaxing and easy space.  Rather like being inside a cloud.  Airy.  Filled with possibility.

And that, kids, was our weekend.  Not the traditional sort of Fourth of July celebration that we all know and love– but a practical use of our time.  Which, God willing the creek don’t rise, means that next weekend we can have some fun.

Let’s hope, shall we?

The Just Say Nope To Taupe Project

Twelve years ago we had our house built.  Today we both agree that the floor plan is great for us.  It’s a transitional style home, so we have rooms that are traditional and we have rooms that are contemporary.  The rooms are juxtaposed in such a way as to create an interesting, non-cookie cutter feel to the house which adds a fun energy to the place.

But I never really liked how the inside of this house looked.  We worked with the builder’s interior designer and I’m not sure that she knew what she was doing.  She gave us pinky beige and taupe walls– with dark cherry cabinets, creamy tile, yellowish bathroom counters– and shiny brass knobs and door handles everywhere.  I trusted her, but either she put the wrong neutrals together because she was stupid.  Or she put the wrong neutrals together because she was malicious.  [We refused to go with her first design plan for our house: purple walls, leopard print, shiny brass with beveled glass light fixtures, and black counters.  Really.  Not kidding.]

So for eight years we lived with what we paid for.  I tried to correct a few of the rooms but ended up with a so-so look in each space.  It bummed me that things never looked right and Zen-Den, who has a good eye for decorating, was too busy at work to focus on how to fix things here at home.

Then four years ago, in what I can only describe as a burst of peri-menopausal bravado, I announced that: “If I’m going through the change, so is the house.”  Zen-Den, bless his heart, said: “okay.”  And with that, we set out on what has come to be known as The Just Say Nope To Taupe Project.

Since then it’s been almost non-stop change.  We’ve kept the furniture and accessories that we both liked– and sold, Goodwilled, or St. Vincent de Pauled the rest.  [A few antiques still need to be sold to a dealer.]  We’ve painted or had someone else paint almost all the walls and ceilings and trim in the whole house.  [One room to go.]  The kitchen has been entirely remodeled and the master bathroom has been refreshed.  And now we’re to the point where we’re slowly removing the old wall-to-wall carpet and putting wood floors downstairs/new carpeting upstairs.

While I did have a pretty good idea of how much money it was going to cost to redo everything, I didn’t have any idea of how much clutter this project was going to generate.  At some point in the last four years every room in our home has undergone some sort of change– which has created various degrees of chaos caused by stuff shifting back and forth between rooms and the basement.  Zen-Den has taken this process in stride.  Me, perhaps, not so much.

I’m glad that we decided to do this whole house overhaul instead of moving, but I won’t lie and say that it’s been a fun project.  It’s been very anxiety inducing for me, an English major turned self-taught interior designer, to make all these color and style choices.  Obviously, improving a house while property values are dropping across the country is a bit of a worry, too.  I doubt that we’ll ever get our money back from The Just Say Nope To Taupe Project.  But I don’t know that I really care about that.

What I do care about is the fact that we have a home with a cohesive color scheme, comfortable furniture, and a sense of our quirky personalities— three things that were lacking previously.  We’re relaxed when we’re at home now.  It’s our house fixed up the way we like it.  And we both feel like we belong here– finally.