The Power of Color

Life often revolves around the color wheel. The influence of color touches lives far beyond pattern, palette, and walls. In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, I find I am more and more amazed at the power of color. It’s no coincidence that color is closely associated with traditional rights of passage and milestones in our lives. The pink or blue of a baby nursery, the religious significance of white baptism robes and christening gowns, graduation caps and gowns in school colors, white and ivory wedding dresses, black tie affairs, golden and silver anniversaries- you get the idea.


Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

Emilie Parker, Josephine “Joey” Gay, Grace McDonnell, and Victoria Soto share obvious and tragic circumstances, but choosing to define their memories by those circumstances is not fair to the lives they lead. I am so struck by one particular detail, a shared commonality lovingly revealed and colorfully expressed.  We’ve learned how color defined their individuality and its impact  in each of their lives, memorials, and funerals.  Josephine loved all things purple, Emilie the color pink, Grace claimed both as her favorites, and Victoria adored the color green.


Josephine “Joey” Gay’s family knows well Joey’s affinity for the color purple, straight from the spirited hearts of  Baltimore Ravens fans.

purple-and-white-bedroomNew England Home

Purple balloons throughout their neighborhood paid tribute to Joey. May the peace and warmth associated with the color purple comfort her family.


Big sister Emilie Parker  nurtured way far beyond her young years. Comfort came to those who remembered her caring qualities by a simple and colorful request- to wear the color pink, Emilie’s favorite, in a united show of love and remembrance of the little girl who loved pink.


Grace McDonnell’s mother talks of Grace’s love of peace signs and the colors pink and purple. Her mother shared with Anderson Cooper how the family took part in a very colorful, deeply personal, comforting, and fitting tribute to Grace. Grace colored the world with her artwork so full of vivid colors, wise subjects, and touching sentiments.  Color was not absent from her world, and her parents made sure it would never be via Sharpies and color filled tributes.


Victoria Soto simply adored the color green and pink flamingos.  That revelation crosses my mind when I source, select, and admire the color green. Green has a calming quality and is said to represent safety. From what we now know, Victoria Soto died offering to the best of her ability the qualities of her favorite color.


Isn’t it beautiful how color is a sweet and strangely comforting  testament to the creativity, imagination, and strength of Grace, Victoria, Josephine, and Emilie. Color gives hope through the green and white ribbons that stand strong with Sandy Hook and the citizens of Newtown, Connecticut, and unity echoes through music, small voices, and somewhere over the rainbow colors in support of the families and in remembrance of Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel Davino, Olivia Engel, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Anne Marie Murphy, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison N. Wyatt.

New Year, New Trends: Projected Design and Home Decor Trends of 2013

My decorative and design energy is fired up for the New Year.  I’ve spent the last few days checking things out fresh and new for 2013 aka the design and home decor trends of 2013.  As we all know, fresh and new is not always fresh and new. You may spot more than one renewed, refreshed, repurposed, and/or reinvented idea from decor trends pasts. That’s the great thing about good trends- they possess the quality, look, and decorative chops  to become even better the second, third or hundredth time around when done very well.  Like, love or hate them- the decor trends and forecasts for 2013 are in.  Color is color once again, a romantic renaissance is coming back around and look what blast from the past is set to lead the way- the big brass band of beauty.

Layering for warmth also applies to inside warmth, comfort, and coziness. Layers of color on color, texture on texture, pattern on pattern- pile it on! What could be easier than spot updates?


Adding lux linens and throws in seasonal fabrics, patterns and colors will infuse the look, the feel of comfort, and softened impressions to the space. 


You’ll hit a trending trifecta with this wood, metallic, and gold gilded drift wood sconce from Clayton Gray Home.


Wood accents, meticulous metals including going for the bold and gold, texture, pattern, and shades of green will make an impact on the interior design and decor radar for 2013.


Antiques as pieces of art will serve as focal points and conversation pieces.


I’m thrilled to see the encouraged use of antiques as art coming around.  Last week as I was viewing Million Dollar Decorators I was cheering on Jeffrey Alan Marks. His comments regarding the use of antiques as the final touch of personality in decor made me an instant follower of his train of thought. Unique, one-of-a-kind, unusual, whimsy, conversation pieces- yes, yes and YES! If only one piece brings this to the space then I say bring it! Can you tell I’m a huge fan of antiques as art?

It’s a new year full of new trends. I’m definitely inspired!  Are you?

Holiday Inspiration and Festive Favorites

The holiday season is in full swing, and there are so many sites and sights to see.  This is the time of year when treasures, goodies, ideas, and pretty images flood the day in the best possible way.  Holiday inspiration is all around.

holiday inspirationPinterest

Olive by Farrow & Ball is festively featured in the gentleman’s study designed by Tammy Connor at  The Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Christmas House.

the night before Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas crackers from Williams-Sonoma are a Noël novelty done elegantly and festively right.

George Sheridan KnowlesPinterest

The Duet by George Sheridan Knowles masterfully exhibits the allure of green in shades of trend.

vintage ChristmasPinterest

When I can’t sleep I don’t count sheep, I try to recall the stores and shops that lined the downtown area from when I was a kid.  Do you remember shopping downtown at Christmas time?  Santa Claus in his red house with white trimmed windows, Christmas lights and tinsel stars strung from store front to store front, and department stores display windows decked out in holiday finery.  Lerner Shops, Bakers, JCPenney, W.T. Grant, S. H. Kress & Co., Rexall, Morgan & Lindsey’s…

Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmas time is here!  Have a great weekend!

New Traditional Christmas Decorating Color Ideas For The Holiday Season

Decorating for the holidays takes planning, and with planning the first line of defense is time.  It may still be November, but the window for decorating, trimming, and decking our houses, trees and halls to the point of what defines holiday perfection closes sooner than later.  My rule of holiday decorating thumb is as follows:  Give yourself at least ten days to admire the fruits of your holiday decorating labor. I’m deep in holiday color palette planning– leaning heavily toward a new traditional palette in the Christmas decorating color ideas department.


Christmas Decorating Color Ideas

Traditional green and red remain timeless favorites, but have you seen some of the gorgeous color combinations decking the halls out there at the holidays?  I am so taken with some I thought a post matching interior paint colors with the holiday ornaments and decorations might inspire me and maybe some of you to take a more permanent position with the color palettes.  Inspiration is everywhere, especially at this time of year!

pharaoh gold

Farrow and Ball paint colors

Hot ~ Sherwin-Williams SW6843

Strawberry Fields~ Sherwin-Williams SW1582

First Kiss ~ Valspar C1220

Strawberry Fields ~ Valspar C1219

Pharaoh Gold ~ Modern Masters ME660

Arsenic ~ Farrow & Ball No 214


Victorian Mauve

Blue Orchid ~ Benjamin Moore  2069-50

Seal Brown ~ Pittsburgh Paint

Purple Easter Egg ~ Benjamin Moore 2073-50

Rookwood Medium Brown ~ SW2807

North Cascades ~ Benjamin Moore 1411

Victorian Mauve ~ Benjamin Moore 2114-50

Ashland Slate ~ Benjamin Moore 1608


Louis chair


Heritage Red~ Benjamin Moore

Blagdon Yellow ~ Benjamin Moore DC-43

Cajun Red ~ Sherwin-Williams SW0008

Riding Boots ~ Benjamin Moore CSP-300

Gold Ingot ~ Dutch Boy 2C 6


Sherwin Williams paint colors

Tricorn Black ~ Sherwin-Williams SW

First palette card from left to right:

Thyme Green ~ Behr 420D-6

Saguaro ~ Sherwin-Williams 6419

Toque White ~ Sherwin-Williams SW7003

Kelp Green ~ Dutch Boy G14-2

Iguana Green ~ Benjamin Moore 2028-10

Second palette card:

Gecko ~ Sherwin-Williams SW6719

Jolly Green ~ Sherwin-Williams SW6931




From top left to right:

Tranquil Aqua ~ Sherwin-Williams SW7611

Parakeet ~ Sherwin-Williams SW6711

Nantucket Dune ~ Sherwin-Williams SW7527

Leap of Faith ~ Benjamin Moore 210

Silver Splendor ~ Valspar 7006-20

Jute ~ Olympic C14-4

Manakiki Greens ~ Devoe 30GY 12/257

Stone Blue ~ Farrow & Ball #86

Artichoke ~ Valspar 6003-28

Universal Umber ~ Valspar 3003-9B

This Is My Idea Of Halloween: Decorating With Black And Orange

Traditional Halloween colors look so appealing in these beautiful spaces. This is my idea of Halloween decorating with black and orange!

decorating with black and orangeElle Decor

Subtle hints of black and orange welcome spec & spook-tacular reviews.

black and orange foyerBetter Homes & Gardens

Thom Filicia

Moroccan loungeHouzz

orange bedroomRoughan Interiors

I have used this image in another post to illustrate the undeniable decorative impact of the color duo black and white.  I could not resist using it again to stress how stunning a space can be with the choice and pairing of orange and black.

black and orange curtainsSkonahem

Martha Stewart

black and orange furniture1, 2

These gorgeous rooms, accents, and accessories do not rely on tricks… only decorative and stylish treats for the eye.

Think PINK For Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Prevention- Information- Numbers- Knowledge

Think PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.





October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.


Cancer screening, early detection, and prevention is vital in the fight to cure this disease.

Annie Sloan

100 Layer Cake ~  Photography: Elizabeth Messina



Pink is the official color associated with Breast Cancer Awareness.  It’s a fabulous color choice, it’s a fabulous cause to support, and won’t it be fabulous when the cure is found!

House Fabric


For my mother, dear friends and old and new, the woman in the waiting room, the names and faces of cancer I will never know, the growing numbers of survivors and thrivers, and the walkers and runners uniting together in pink solidarity- this one’s for you.

Better Homes & Gardens

Think PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Be proactive in the fight against breast cancer by scheduling a yearly mammogram.  It’s a “pressing” engagement to keep.

That Reminds Me: Seasonal Home Decorating Ideas

Allow me to introduce you to the image that got the seasonal home decorating ideas flowing a couple of weeks ago. The dark wood of the bar stool legs, the predominant natural wood beams, the neutral color palette, and the ironstone vegetable dish in the cupboard collectively turned my thoughts to fall.

Better Homes & Gardens

Thoughts of fall reminded me it was time to begin putting together ideas for a fall tablescape. The barley twist bar stools reminded me of a pair of vintage barley twist candlesticks I know I have somewhere.  The quest to locate the barley twist candlesticks turned up empty however, it lead me to the Wedgwood candlesticks that worked out better in the long run. Isn’t it funny how an image or an item in that image can initiate the decorative snowball effect?


Textures, finishes, and color palettes evoke thoughts of warmth, coziness, and hominess- qualities so closely associated with cold weather days and nights. Seasonal home decorating ideas often are inspired by the senses.

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

The versatility and style is year-round, but there’s just something about a basket that is woven into the fabric of fall and winter.

1, 2,

Forget the pie, this is my idea of a slice of pumpkin love!

Pumpkin, ginger, and cinnamon- from kitchen to table to home decor accessories to color palettes.

Dering Hall

Traditional Home

1, 2, 3, 4

In a few months from now I’ll be writing about how I can’t wait for spring flowers to bloom, summer colors, and there’s nothing better than the taste of barbecue. For now, I’m looking forward to the first really cool night and the feel of a down comforter. Also on the fall treats list is the delicious scent of cloves and oranges throughout the kitchen and dining room, and the highly anticipated first taste of a pumpkin spice latte.  

1, 2

Okay, now it’s your turn.  What is it that you hear, see, feel, smell or taste that reminds you of fall?

Love your style!

Color Me Inspired: Choosing Paint Colors

Choosing paint colors can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Exterior or interior painting is by far one of the most inexpensive, impressive, and immediate options for changing and refreshing home decor. I like to think of color as personality plus in a gallon, quart, or sample size container.  It can infuse a space with decorative drama, calming appeal, or high octane energy.  It is proven that color affects our mood and how we perceive the feel of the space we are in.


A couple of years ago on the eve of one of our trips out to America’s playground, I watched what proved to be a color your world show during Vegas Week on the Travel Channel.  The premise of the segment focused on how environment and interior design affects gamblers.  Color plays a huge role in casino interior design, especially pertaining to the mood and behaviors of gambling guests.

neon paint colors

Blues are typically avoided due to their perceived calming effect, reds remains a popular color choice for the excitement factor, and purples evoke an intimate, warm, and inviting feeling.  Color holds the power to calm, excite, bore and entice.  It is a fascinating concept.

choosing paint colorsHeirloom Tomatoes

Sherwin-Williams colors from top to bottom:

Cherry Tomato || Daredevil || Quilt Gold || Luau Green || Real Red ||  Auric

Color choices reflect our personalities and tastes.  Sure, there is both implied and true rules for color selection in interior design and decorating. Smaller spaces appear larger when a lighter color is used.

A softer paint color choice can be the better way to go in spaces with plenty of natural light.

neutral palette is a focal points best friend.

-Lauren-Conrad-homeMy Domaine

Between the walls of every space there is a colorful heartbeat.  A color choice can come from a favorite article of clothing, piece of jewelry, home decor accessory or fabric, or a treasured collectible.  I like this simple and logical principal- if a color makes a bold statement, the walls of a space can wear it well.

Schumacher IkatSchumacher Adras Ikat Print in Jewel

Benjamin Moore colors top right to bottom:

Exotic Red || Peony || Caponata || Mohair ||  Bavarian Cream || Abstracta || Spring Purple

leather bound booksVintage Volumes

Sherwin-Williams colors from top right to bottom left:

Tricorn Black ||  Roycroft Copper Red || Cupola Yellow || Blue Mosque || Cerise || Spatial White || Gale Force ||  Auric ||  Dutch Cocoa

When deciding what color to paint a space, these are some of the things I take into consideration:

What is the overall feeling this space needs to convey?  Formal or casual? Relaxing bedroom or high energy kitchen?

The visual flow and compatibility with the overall color palette.

Texture and sheen, or lack thereof.  Will it be flat matte or the soft sheen satin eggshell?  The glosses shine in the vein of durability- the choice range being the easy to clean sheen semi-gloss to the  woodwork, furniture, and high sheen, high traffic friendly high gloss.

Lighting.  A space blessed with plenty of natural light can support darker color choices.  Natural light will accent the prominent tone of the color. The color of the paint you see in the store will not be the color of the paint you see on the walls in your home.  Paint colors will cast different colors at different times of the day based on natural and artificial lighting (basically the same principal as photographing with natural light vs. night shots).

Small space + light colors = open up and say size.

Small space + the b&b principal (balanced & bold) = hello, gorgeous!

Color is not just for walls.  Painting a ceiling with a contrasting color or sheen creates a dramatic focal point that will spread the color love by guiding the eye to the wall color.


Tobi Fairley

Benjamin Moore Midnight Navy

Hue you calling neutral?   White, beige, black, and brown are no longer the only kids on the neutral block.  Flawless gray areas are considered a classic neutral.  A bold color can be the Switzerland of the space, as long as warm and cool shades exist in colorful harmony while balancing the hue.


All things do come together in a space to influence the whole of the look, and when the correct balance is achieved- look out!  A small space does tend to appear larger if lighter colors are used, but large patterns or bold colors balanced with the proper lighting can make a dramatic statement. Painting is a great way to test the waters and step out of the decorative comfort zone.  Most paint brands have paint samples for purchase.  Take the time to purchase paint samples of the color or colors you have narrowed your choice down to.

Roses~ Vincent van Gogh

Apply a couple of coats of the paint to an area on the wall you will be painting, allowing to completely dry.  Okay, turn on the lights, pull back the curtains or open the blinds, shutters etc… and let the light in.

Take a look. Study. Decide.

Hold that thought until later in the day when the light will be different.

Take a look.  Study.  Decide.

Now, hold that thought until evening when the light has once again changed.

Take a look.  Study.  Decide.

The tones of the color will come to call at different times of day.  In other words, the color will show you how beautiful and right it is for you to live with at any time.