07 February 2011

Color Theory

As I mentioned in my intro, my designer friends and I can be more that slightly obsessive with regard to what we do on a daily basis. I submit as Exhibit A this photo of my iced coffee. Let me explain.
At breakfast recently with my friend and fellow Interior Designer Urit Chaimovitz, I was adding the milk to my coffee when she offered the following advice:
"Just add a tiny bit more and then it will be perfectly Bleeker Beige."
Now, Bleeker Beige is a Benjamin Moore paint color that we both use frequently in paint palettes for clients. This comment was in no way odd for either of us. In fact, I agreed without pause and added the milk accordingly.

This exchange started me thinking about paint palettes in general and the inspiration behind them in particular.  How do we avoid living for years in the "waiting room white" rooms we tell ourselves will only be temporary?

Because I choose paint colors as part of my profession, I try to stay open to inspiration at all times and from all avenues. Ideas do not have to come solely out of the existing colors of your carpet or your upholstery fabric, a trap many fall into. I have pulled entire palettes from some more unusual sources. Here are a few:

Martha Stewart famously produced an entire  line of paint, The Aracauna Collection, inspired by a bowl of eggs sitting on her counter. Talk about alternative inspiration!
Image: Martha Stewart Living

White or neutral rooms still need changes in tone to be successful. Vintage linens  fade to beautiful shades of white, gray, beige. Let them show the way.
Image: Country Home magazine
I am not above a peek into a client's closet to see what colors she enjoys wearing. A pair of turquoise shoes inspired pillows on a neutral sofa.
Nature always gets it right. Look to gardens, a bowl of fruit, autumn leaves.
Image: Martha Stewart Living
Dishes and glassware can be a terrific inspiration, particularly if you are lucky enough to have an old pattern of your Grandmother's, or an obsession with Transferware, like me.
Image: Martha Stewart Living
I love graphics in all forms. The palette of this title page could translate easily to a fabric or paint palette. I have also used business cards, wine labels, book covers.
Image: Country Home Magazine


Anonymous said...

I'm inspired....I think my iced coffee is more like Benjamin Moore China White.....way too much milk..love your posts, kelly o so d blogspot

Ness Lockyer said...

hi Tracy...told you id drop in! Love your ideas and I agree totally about looking in someones closet. instantly you can see what colours they are truly comfortable with. It is like looking into someones soul.
Ness xx