Pantone color of the year and Barry Dixon

It just so happened that the same day Barry Dixon came to Boston to give a talk on color was the same day that Pantone announced Marsala was it’s pick for color of the year.

Boy, did the reddish brown color choice cause controversy! Social media just about blew up after the announcement and comments were about five to one against the color. Interior designers were especially harsh voicing comments like “the 80’s called and wants their color back” and “Pantone is way off the mark on this one”. I personally was simply surprised by the choice as this was not a color that was on my radar. Oxblood Red yes, but Marsala is much more muted than oxblood and is more purple.

Now that I’ve had a few days to adjust to Marsala, I don’t love it or hate it. It’s really all about context and what colors are being paired with it. It would look quite nice as an accent color with dark greens, blues, or gold.  Is this a color that I will be suggesting my client’s paint their walls? highly doubtful, but then again, I never suggested last years color Radiant Orchid either.

The thing to remember is that the Pantone color of the year is all about marketing and I would say they hit a home run in that respect. It got everyone talking and even made the national news that evening.

Now, back to Barry Dixon. The talk was so timely because his idea on color is just the opposite of Pantone. Whereas Pantone is all about what’s hot right now, Dixon is all about timeless, classic beauty. He opened his talk with a beautiful image of a room the we all assumed was completed recently. He surprised us all by saying the room was done fifteen years ago.  So what is his secret for choosing a timeless interior color palette? He looks out the window.

Barry Dixon

Barry Dixon

Pretty simple right? If you bring the natural surrounding colors into your home it will never be out of style. According to Dixon, “steal color from the outside elements-the sea, the sky, evening blues, lavenders, purples and grays”.

With his new paint line for C2 paint, Dixon did exactly that. He studied the surrounding colors on his farm in Virginia. He looked not only at the obvious like the grassy fields and surrounding trees and flowers but at hay bails, fence posts and the winter sky just before a snow fall. He “stole” the color of the eggs his hens lay and the early morning fog rolling across his lawn. He looked at the many colors of the sunset and sunrise and even the fur on his dog.

Barry Dixon

Barry Dixon

So here are my two take-aways from both the color of the year and Barry Dixon.

#1. Color preference is really personal and if you are not a fan of Marsala we have a saying, “if you don’t like the weather in New England just wait a few minutes” Mark Twain….. if you don’t like Marsala just wait twelve months.

#2. Nature never gets it wrong…if you bring the surrounding outside colors into your home it will always feel fresh.

SOOOOO what side of the fence are you on? trending or timeless?

 

Friday’s Photo: Benjamin Moore’s color of the year

The BIG announcement of the “color of the year” by the Pantone Color Institute will be announced probably mid November.This is the color pick everyone waits to hear about with baited breath and will be splashed all over the media.

Over the past few years, some of the larger paint companies have also jumped on the band wagon and have their own pick for color of the year.

Benjamin Moore has announced that Guilford Green HC-116  is their pick for color of the year.

guilford green

This fresh silvery green is the centerpiece for Benjamin Moore’s entire 2015 color trend collection. You can check out the whole 2015 color trend collection here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Trend Alert: Mad about plaid

Being of half Scottish heritage, I think I have plaid in my DNA. My maiden name is MacFarlane and as a kid I remember my dad wearing a bright orange and green tie that was “The MacFarlane Plaid”. My mother joked she thought it was one of the ugliest plaids and that she should have married a Campbell because she much preferred that clan’s dark green and navy plaid.

Plaid, or Tartan actually goes back as far as 100 BC, created by ancient Celtic populations. As early as the Roman conquest of Britain in Julius Caesar’s day, the Celts of Scotland and Ireland wore primitive tartans. Each clan or tribe wore their own unique plaid which was associated with their specific region or district of the country. Your clan’s plaid colors and pattern would quickly identify you as friend or foe. Actually, not unlike the Bloods (red) and Crips (Blue) of today.

I’ve always associated plaid with European country homes, Ralph Lauren, rustic cabins and Christmas like in these images below.

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Technically, plaid is really not a trend since it’s been around for centuries but what I have started to see is a new interpretation of plaid. A fresh spin so to speak with updated colors like on this chair I spotted last week at the Boston Design Center.

Fushia plaid chair at Boston Design center

Fushia plaid chair at Boston Design center

I wonder if any of  my clansmen ancestors would have worn fushia plaid even if the dyes were available at the time.

Plaid rugs are becoming very on trend. This is the latest window display at Stark carpet at the Boston Design center.

Stark Carpet

Stark Carpet

Plaids are also on full display at Kravet Fabric with at least a dozen panels displaying plaids in almost every color and size.

Kravet Plaid Fabrics

Kravet Plaid Fabrics

Plaid is one of those prints that has a lot of personality so if you really love it take a look at this room done by Anthony Baratta.

Anthony Baratta

Anthony Baratta

A more subtle way to bring in plaid is to use it on the floor like in this fresh and airy beach house designed by Victoria Hagan.

issa Cullman

Victoria Hagan

Using plaid on a piece of furniture is also a fun way to bring in plaid without too much of a commitment.

BHS design

BHS design

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Also, don’t forget about pillows and accessories as a way to add a bit of plaid.

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Since this post is about plaid I want to share with you one of my most coveted possessions. This tiny book entitled Scottish Clans and Their Tartans has been passed down the generations and has ended up with me. It is so old that there is no publish date on it. My great grandfather’s name is written on the inside in pencil but it might go back even farther.

clan book 3

The book gives a brief history of all the Scottish clans with their corresponding plaid. Here is my ancestral plaid on the left and my late mother’s favorite, the Campbell plaid on the right.

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I agree that the MacFarlane plaid isn’t for everyone but at least it makes a statement!

How about you? What do you think of the return of plaid?

 

The top three trends in Window treatments

If I had to pick my absolute favorite element when designing a room, I would have to say it would be a tie between choosing a color palette and designing custom window treatments.  Since I am currently working on designing window treatments for multiple spaces in a very large home, I have paid special attention to what the top designers have done at this seasons show houses.

This is what I have seen as the latest trends in window treatments.

1.Hang em’ High This is not really a “trend” but for those that still don’t know this….drapes are hung high these days and off the window. I want to emphasis this because I went to a home just last week and the client had her window treatments mounted directly to her window molding (which was at least 18 inches below her ceiling). This is a no no, hang them high!

Bosotn magazine Design Home

Boston magazine Design Home

In the living room at the Hampton Show House, the drapes were hung from the ceiling molding since the windows went all the way up. Take note too of the gold rod and hardware… the trending color in metals.

Patrik Lonn Design Hampton Showhouse

Patrik Lonn Design Hampton Showhouse

2. Sheers. Yes, even though sheers have a bad rap for years, I saw them over and over at the show houses.  Today’s sheers are not your grandmother’s nylon ones but are made from a variety of materials such as silk, wool, cotton, and linen. Not only can they be beautiful but sheers are very functional. Sheers allow in the light while at the same time protect furniture, floors, carpet and other decorative drapery panels from the harming effects of the sun.

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West Chin design Holiday House hamptons

The sheers Jen Going used in her Holiday House Hampton bedroom were embellished with decorative raffia circles.

Jen Going Interiors Holiday House Hamptons

Jen Going Interiors Holiday House Hamptons

3. Embellishments and trim. Tapes, trims and fringe are really trending right now. Not only are they a fun way to add more detail but you can also use them to jazz up inexpensive panels or shades without breaking the bank.

Michelle Smith Holiday House Hamptons

Michelle Smith Holiday House Hamptons

Katie Leede Design

Katie Leede Design

I love this green trim Gil Walsh used on the leading edge of her bright floral patterned panels in her Hampton show room.

Gil Walsh Interiors Hampton Show House

Gil Walsh Interiors Hampton Show House

A few other observations I made are that natural fiber shades are still going strong, drapery rod finials were not elaborate (many rods were simply capped) and a surprising number of the show rooms used my favorite rod which is the soft bend rod (also called the French bend rod). No finials needed and it gives a nice clean look.

Brady Design Holiday House Hamptons

Brady Design Holiday House Hamptons

I would love to hear if you have a favorite window treatment. Also, do you have an opinion on “to pool or not to pool?” I would say it was about 50-50 at this season’s show houses.

Friday’s Photo: watercolor walls

Watercolor walls is a very big trend in interior design right now and this ethereal bedroom from the Holiday House Hampton is one of my favorites. Designed by Jen Going it was inspired by an abstract water color given to her by a friend.

Jen Going-Linda Holt Photo

Jen Going Interiors-Linda Holt Photo

Such a beautiful and unique way to treat an accent wall don’t you think?

Have a great weekend everyone.

Five ways to bring show house style into your own home

I’ve always loved to visit designer show houses. Even though the rooms may be completely out of reach financially to copy, show houses are still a great place to get ideas that you can incorporate in your own home. You may be inspired by a color palette or by a window treatment or even in how the designer accessorized the room. There are always lessons to be learned if you look closely. Last week I was fortunate enough to tour two very different show houses; the Hampton Show House and the Holiday Hampton Show House. As different as each house was, I spotted several things the designers did over and over that are easily duplicated decorating ideas that you can do in your own home. Most of them are at little or no cost but will add that designer flair. Here are my top five tips to bring show house style into your own home.

1. Use a chair to display books and objects. I saw this done over and over again in almost every designer’s room. Chairs were used as little display tables and were stacked with books, art and decorative objects.

Gil Walsh Interiors/Linda Holt Photo

Gil Walsh Interiors/Linda Holt Photo

I think the image below shows a great way to display a small piece of art work that you just can’t find the right spot for on your wall.

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2. Add an orchid. I assume the designers used orchids because they require little care and will last for at least as long as the show house is open to the public but I would have say, just about every show room had a beautiful (usually white) orchid. Orchids are affordable and add life and beauty to any room.

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Elsa Soyars Interiors

Gil Walsh Interiors/Linda Holt Photo

Gil Walsh Interiors/Linda Holt Photo

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3. Add a geode. Gems are trending big time in interior design and geodes were spotted all over at the two show houses. I saw geodes on stands, geodes in book cases and geodes on top of stacked books. Not only are they beautiful but geodes add sparkle and color.

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4. Add something gold. Gold was THE metal of choice at both Hampton show houses. Gold for light fixtures, gold for hardware, and gold for accessories. Tobi Fairley used beautiful gold accessories on an orange dresser with gold hardware from Lexington Furniture. Notice too the white orchid and look at the chair just to the left of the dresser.

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Tobi Fairley

Lillian August used lots of gold in her room but I especially loved the two matching gold bookcases.

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Lillian August

5. Add photography. As a photographer, I have to say I was most happy to see so much photography used. There was quite a mixture between black and white, color, vintage prints and modern.

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Phoebe Howard design

With Instagram we all seem to be photographers these days so why not pick a favorite image and hang it in your own home? My tip to get a professional look is to blow it up big and have it professionally framed. It will look just like the ones the designers used.

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Patrik Lonn chose a statement photo over the fireplace of bright blue butterflies on a back ground of crumpled tin foil. (notice too the geode lamp and white orchid in the background).

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Above is a colorful Gray Malin photo. I feel like he is following me this Summer as his work was all over our Nantucket house rental this past Summer as well.

I’m sure you want to see more of each of these beautiful rooms and I will be sharing lot’s more in the next few blogs…including the room that most inspired me. In the meantime, I would love to hear which of these design elements is your favorite? Mine is the use of photography.

 

 

My biggest take-a-ways from Design Camp Vegas part 1

Design Camp Vegas was everything I imagined it would be and more. The speakers were fabulous, the net working was fun, new friendships were formed, and old friends were reconnected with. There was an overload of valuable information shared over the two days which included everything from branding, to fees, to starting a furniture line to contracts. We also had the thrill of listening to design icon Roger Thomas and A-list designer Sandra Espinet.

Since it is impossible to cover everything I learned in a single post I thought I would share a few of my top take-a-ways in this first part 1.

 Bill Indursky opened Camp with his always entertaining trend report. His big tweetable quote concerning trends was  “Big Balls”. We all laughed, but seriously, big balls were spotted all over market. Big balls are especially popular in lighting

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

but I also saw plenty of balls used as accessories.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Susanna Salk was beautiful and as gracious as ever and shared her advice on how to get published. She showed slides from her new book, of which I was thrilled to get a signed copy, of  Decorate Fearlessly!  My biggest take-a-away from Susanna is to decorate in a way that makes you happy and forget the “rules”.

Katie Ridder

Katie Ridder Design

I was especially excited to see that a friend of mine, Denise McGaha, had one of her designs in Susanna’s book. Don’t you just LOVE that yellow stove? Would you be brave enough to use it in your kitchen?

Denise McGaha

Denise McGaha Designs

I was so inspired by Susanna’s talk that I decided to go forward on ordering an apple green velvet sofa. I have been “thinking” about it for over a year but I have not yet been brave enough to pull the trigger. You know, big expense…trendy…will I tire of it? All the fearful thoughts that have been holding me back. Well with encouragement from my friend Kim, and looking at Susana’s book I have decided to go for it!

Kimberley Seldon, who’s class I took last November, the Business of Design, spoke about fees and charging what you are worth. I always love her frank discussion about money and my take-away from Kimberley was  “Don’t charge for your time, charge for your expertise”. I love that don’t you?

Helene Hollub who is a master builder in Florida gave us her number one tip when doing new construction. #1. pick a roof #2. pick a floor #3 pick a kitchen. Once you have decided on those three elements your home’s look and feel has been determined and the rest of the decisions should be easy.

Lastly, if you only buy one book for your design library then Patrick Dragonette who is an expert in furniture and design recommends The Encyclopedia of Furniture by Joseph Aronson. After all, if you don’t have an understanding the history of furniture you will not understand the furniture of today nor be the best designer you can be.

I also want to give a huge thank you to Lori Denis and Kelli Ellis for all their incredible hard work on running another hugely successful Camp. I think this one was the best one yet!

Next week I will follow up with part 2 as I am off to New York to see the Hampton  Show House. I hope they allow me to take photos but I forgot to call ahead. I’ll be sure to post lot’s of images on Instagram if you want to follow along.

 

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