The 2016 Colors of the year

This morning the top dog, the big kahuna of color forecasting, Pantone, released their pick for the 2016 color of the year. For the first time ever Pantone chose not one but two colors, Serenity and Rose Quartz.

Pantone's colors of the year

Pantone colors of the year

My very first thought when I saw this image was baby boy, baby girl, twin nurseries. Separately, I actually like both colors. Rose quartz, or blush, has been trending for a couple years now and used in the right context is gorgeous.


Blue, especially rich saturated blues are also hugely popular and last year the internet was abuzz with disbelief that Pantone didn’t pick a deep Mediterranean Blue as their color of the year for 2015.  By itself, Serenity is a perfectly lovely color, I’m just not a fan of this particular pastel blue paired with rose quartz for much else except a nursery.

As explained by Leatrice Eiseman,

“This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumers’ increased comfort with using color as a form of expression which includes a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged, and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage.”

Reading her explanation I get it. The pairing of these two colors are more about what’s trending in our society than it is about colors for interiors (hello Caitlyn Jenner). Regardless, both these colors are a breath of fresh air compared to last years choice of oppressive Marsala.

Back in November two other paint companies, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams also announced their picks for color of the year and coincidentally (or not) they both chose a soft white.

Benjamin Moore color of the year Simply White

Benjamin Moore color of the year Simply White

Sherwin Williams Color of the year Alabaster

Sherwin Williams Color of the year Alabaster

As someone who is in the final week of treatment for breast cancer, these picks struck a nerve with me. I felt they both”nailed it” so to speak. I chose a soft white for my family room for the One Room Challenge and coincidentally, all the trim in my home is painted Simply White. Being someone who LOVES color you might think my affinity for white is odd but the great thing about white is that it plays a wonderful supporting role to all the rich saturated colors I love to use.

Psychologically, White represents a clean slate, a fresh start, and don’t we all crave a more simple, organized and stress free life heading into 2016?

I know I do. Cancer has rocked my world but also in a positive way. Heading into 2016 I do want a fresh start. I want to simplify things in both my business and my personal life. I want to finish undone projects. I want to continue to declutter and I want to stop living in limbo with the never ending conversation with my husband about whether we should downsize and move or stay. Who cares? Cancer has taught me that you can do your best to plan your life but things happen. It is important to live each day to the fullest because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

Bottom line, the colors of the year have much less to do with interior paint colors than they do about the current pulse of what’s happening in our world. Given the devastating happenings of the past few months and especially yesterday in California, I think we can all agree that Rose Quartz, Serenity or White are all colors we can seek refuge in.

I would love to hear from you. Which color is your favorite of the three?

Friday’s Photo: Best colors for a windowless room

Most people believe they should paint the walls in a dark or windowless room a light color. It seems counter intuitive but just the opposite is true. If there is no natural light, such as in a basement, the best way to treat the walls is to paint them a rich dark color. Without natural light, walls that are painted a light color will simply look lifeless and dingy.

“A light color will never come to life in a dark room but a rich, deep color can make a dim, somber space feel warm and luminous – even though it receives no natural light.” Donald Kaufman


The secret to keep the room from looking like a cave is to use plenty of light or bright colors in the rest of the space. Light furniture, a light carpet, bright artwork and most important, lots and lots of artificial light. Table lamps, floor lamps, and ceiling lights are absolutely essential in a dark windowless room.


Friday’s Photo: Is this art?

There is a video that recently went viral showing Joshua Bell, a world class violinist playing in the NYC subway system. Bell is one of the most celebrated and gifted musicians of our time but because he was out of context people just walked by as he played and gave little notice.

Years ago I walked into a modern art show at a Boston gallery. There was a drill and a tool belt laying on the floor in the corner. I looked at it for the longest time trying to decide if it was part of the exhibit of just left there temporarily by a worker. It really didn’t matter, the point is, art can be and is absolutely everywhere. We don’t have to be at a museum or art gallery to “see” art.

rusty mailboxWMI know everyone is in agreement that nature is the most amazing art of all but what about simple everyday objects? What if my neighbor’s rusting mail box is the most spectacular work of art the world has never seen? Look at the colors, the textures and the complexity of layers. To me it is a masterpiece…what do you think?  Is it art?


Friday’s Photo: DIY wall art

Here is a clever DIY wall art idea that I saw while at Spring market. A collection of vintage National Geographic magazines used not only as the art work but for added color in this otherwise neutral room.

Magazines as artwork

Magazines as artwork

Wouldn’t this be perfect for a basement where there are often long expanses of windowless walls?

Have a great weekend everyone.

Chemo week one: So many of you have been so incredibly kind to reach out and inquire how I am handling the chemo and wondering how I am feeling. Here is a quick summary of week one for those who are interested. I had four good days, two days of feeling like crap and one day that felt like I went to the most awesome party of my life (that I have no memory of) drank 2-3 bottles of champagne, danced non-stop all night, at some point fell out of a second story window, then for some reason went to bed with a ball of tinfoil in my mouth. Obviously I am joking but let me just say day three of chemo is not for wimps! 

Luckily, my team will tweak my meds so that I can skip this “morning after party” next time around. One week down, eleven to go!


Friday’s Photo: Turquoise and yellow dining room

Who says dining rooms have to be boring? I’m still thinking about this gorgeous turquoise and yellow dining room from the Lillian August show room at High Point Market.

Lillian August

Lillian August

So fresh and inviting don’t you think?

Have a great weekend everyone.

You may have noticed that I have been a bit remiss with my regular Tuesday posts but please bare with me as I am juggling one too many balls and my blog has had to take a back seat for the moment. I plan to be back on schedule very soon.

Friday’s Photo: Spring’s hot new color

If you read my earlier post about the colors of High Point Spring Market you would know that Blush is one of this Spring’s new “it” colors in both fashion and interiors. This bedroom designed by Tobi Fairley for C.R. Laine is a beautiful example and use of the color.

Tobi Fairley bedroom

The one thing about Blush is that if you don’t want it read too “girly” you need to balance this feminine color with a stronger more “masculine color”. Tobi accomplished this by using striking black art work (from her new collection for Sochier Marin Art) and black side tables.

What do you think? Are you a fan of blush?

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Friday’s Photo: Excitement in the details

One of my favorite things to see at High Point Market is how the experts style the show rooms. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to observe because the rooms are almost always packed with sales reps buzzing about and with designers sitting in the room to test out the furniture or to simply relax for a few minutes.

One lucky afternoon I just happen to get this “person free” image at Wesley Hall.  I had about 5 seconds before someone walked back into the frame and sat down on the chair.

Wesley Hall

Wesley Hall

Just look at how much thought went into styling and decorating this one small space. The green in the art work perfectly coordinates with the green leather sofa. The flowers on the tray which is angled “just so” is a perfect compliment to the floral fabric on the chair. My absolute favorite detail though is the small red crystal on the chandelier that forms a little color triangle with the floral fabric and the red pillow on the sofa.

Call me crazy but it’s these perfectly thought out design details that gets me so excited about design.

Have a great weekend everyone. I think here in New England we are going to have our first absolutely gorgeous weekend.

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