Easter Pastels – Green.


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Pastel green can mean many things:  minty green, light apple green, sage green.  This was a tough one – it could be because this color doesn’t exactly excite me.  While I think it’s beautiful, I think light green, especially sage, has really been played out over the last 10 years – does Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage paint color ring a bell??  It seemed like for a time, this color was everywhere.  I really had to dig around to find rooms that weren’t so obviously from last decade.  I decided to focus more on historical looking interiors.  If I had my druthers, this color would exist only in kitchens.

Pastel green is a color that lends itself well to antiques, especially the washed out Swedish variety.  The other two colors this week, pink and blue, work well with touches of black, but when added to light green, the room can get way too contemporary looking.  If you want to add a dark accent, I would suggest a hunter green or a darker blue-green.  A little red-orange would go a long way, too adding some good variety.  I think this room does a good job at making the sage walls look classic, not trendy:

There is a good mix of greens in this room from Southern Living. I noticed that most of the rooms I found (and liked) were from the South.

Barry Dixon loves green and I think he is the most successful at translating it into a beautiful space, perhaps because he takes such a traditional, historical approach to a design. The next few images are from homes he has worked on.

Barry Dixon - I really like the other colors he introduced to offset the green.

Another Barry Dixon room - the framed prints are offset nicely by that green wall. Also, I like the color of the leather on the chairs. It's an interesting alternative to brown.

More mint than sage, this wall color is appealing to me. And I like that the wall with the built-ins and TV is lacquered. It looks more like furniture.

A contemporary space using pastel green - the simplicity makes it work, but I hate that coffee table!

Axel Vervoordt - a master at washed out colors. Here he has used the aged zinc tub to inspire the rest of the colors in the space adding more of a green gray.

You would have to absolutely love this color to commit to it in this quantity. Do you think you could handle it?

A really good example of a green kitchen. Cheerful, but not 1950s.

Farrow & Ball's French Grey paint creates the green in this room. It mixes well with the leather - I like this wall color a lot.

Bunny Williams uses green in her designs occasionally. This is from a feature Lonny Magazine did on her design studio.

A green Bunny living room. She has mixed in some orange as an accent. (What is on that throw rug though???)

Extremely traditional bedroom designed by Charlotte Moss. She usually mixes blue and white with green.

My favorite picture of the post, this is a guest room at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. It should be so cottage looking, but it is surprisingly sophisticated with the clean lines of the furniture and the contemporary art.

There is a very fine line between tasteful and retched when it comes to green paint colors.  For some reason, I think this color more than pink or blue can look like a nursery, since it’s gender neutral.  I would suggest looking at historical colors to find a green paint color.  Farrow & Ball is the best resource.  Instead of going all out with a saturated green, maybe think about using a light cream with a lot of green – that way you get the color without losing any warmth.

Farrow & Ball, French Grey No. 18.

Farrow & Ball, Green Ground No. 206.

Benjamin Moore, Colony Green 694.

Benjamin Moore, Fresh Dew 435.

Benjamin Moore, Sesame 381.

Benjamin Moore, Silken Pine 2144-50.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!  TK

Easter Pastels – Blue.


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Decorators have been using light blue forever because it’s a color that acts like a neutral.  Most people want their homes to be serene escapes from the rigors of their lives and the best way to accomplish that is to introduce some light blue.  While looking for images for this post, I found so many pale blue bedrooms – there are definitely a few designers out there who do almost every bedroom in some shade of blue.  I was kind of shocked actually when I saw that.  They are beautiful spaces, but how could that stay interesting?  That subject is a posting in itself, so back to blue.

The best way to use blue and not have it look cutesy is to pair it with furniture that has clean lines and a bit of a presence.  You don’t want anything too frilly or it gets very feminine.  Also, be careful of adding in a lot of white and stripes.  The blue can take it into a beach look, which is fine if that’s what you want to accomplish, but if it’s in your living room at home, maybe you want to steer clear of that only because it’s so specific and can date itself quickly!  The first picture below is very successful in it’s use of pale blue.  The camel and black work really well with the blue walls at upping the sophistication level of the room.  Check out the rest of our Greatest Hits: The Blue Edition below…

Vicente Wolf never met a blue he didn't like.

Another Vicente Wolf blue room. I love the creaminess of the walls. This would not have been successful had the walls been white.

Designer Steven Grambel uses a lot of blue in his interiors, too. I like that the woodwork is blue instead of the walls.

For this entry, Steven Grambel has mixed blue in with purple - one of my favorite color combinations.

Less bright than the previous two, I have loved this Steven Grambel room ever since I saw it in a magazine a few years ago.

Nate Berkus.

Clarence House, Prince Charles's home in London, has light blue walls. This is a really great space - it looks so homey.

Phoebe Howard is very into blue bedrooms. There are some great antiques in this room.

A more contemporary Phoebe Howard designed blue bedroom.

In this light blue hallway, Phoebe Howard has mixed dark antiques with camel for a traditional look.

Michael S. Smith used blue in his design for a guest room. I like everything about this - he took a small space, committed to a color and the results are really fantastic.

An interesting use of blue, purple and yellow. They are all about the same level of saturation, which is generally difficult to pull off.

Jennifer Lopez loves blue so much she has a blue kitchen. This is the breakfast nook.

And here is the rest of it...I'm not sure how I feel about it. I like it, but for how long?

Not something you see everyday - a light blue front door.

Who doesn't love blue hydrangea? For those of us who might not be able to commit to an entire blue room, a few stems of these in a vase would be a great accent.

And now for a few paint colors if you are feeling brave enough to paint.  I grew up with blue walls in our kitchen, so I have no aversion to blue paint.  Here are a few tried and true classics, some on the green side because a blue green is just inherently more interesting to look at for long periods of time.

Farrow & Ball Light Blue, No. 22.

Benjamin Moore, Patriotic White 2135-70. This is Vicente Wolf's favorite - I would trust him since he is a big blue fan.

Benjamin Moore, Horizon OC-53. I found this color through Lonny Magazine and we used it in a client's bedroom. It's beautiful - especially in the fickle Northwest light.

Benjamin Moore, Glass Slipper 1632. A favorite of most designers.

Benjamin Moore, Woodlawn Blue HC-147. This is the color on my mother's kitchen walls. It's a fabulous blue-green.

Tomorrow look for pastel green.  This is going to be a challenge!


Easter Pastels – Pink.


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For the next three days, our blog is dedicated to the lovely pastel colors of Easter – today is PINK.  I love a good pink room, but it can be hard to pull off without looking like a little girl’s room.  The key is in hue and saturation.  Look for pinks with more orange and less bright, light pink.  There is something so soothing and comfortable about it in it’s pastel version – we aren’t talking about hot pink here, but pastel doesn’t have to mean baby pink.  Not to mention, the glow cast on skin in a pink room is extremely flattering.  No other color accomplishes the same feat. Here are some greatest hits – the pink edition…

Tom Scheerer designed bedroom - I like the black and pink combination.

Pink bathroom from the movie The Help.

A Suzanne Kasler dining room - she uses A LOT of pink.

This is a really great use of cream and pink together - it's light and calm, but still sophisticated.

An amazingly great wall color and I like the darker accessories.

So cheerful!

Phoebe Howard designed bedroom. I am fairly certain this is a Farrow & Ball paint color - it's listed at the bottom with some additional paint colors that work well.

Pink marble clad Grand Trianon at Versailles.

A pink office - notice the black chair. The use of a dark color with pink makes it more sophisticated, less little girl.

Monet's pink home in Giverny, France.

My favorite place - the pink sand beach on Harbour Island, Bahamas.

The key is to get the paint color right if you are committing to pink on the walls.  You will notice that these colors are all a little more on the coral side – it is really difficult to pull of a true pink in an interior if it’s anything more than a pillow.  That said, here are a few paint colors that have worked in the past:

Farrow & Ball Pink Ground.

Benjamin Moore Pink Harmony 2013-60.

Benjamin Moore Fond Memory 2088-70.

Benjamin Moore Heather Pink 2091-60.

Tomorrow, I will tackle light blue – another challenging pastel!


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