Friday’s Photo: My easy table centerpiece

This Christmas I decided to use Red and Green as my color palette.  Following the trend of “return to traditional” I thought this was the perfect year to revive this classic color combo.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

To create my red and green table centerpiece I used two small white poinsettias, a few succulents, some small (faux) apples and some greens right from my back yard.

What colors are you decorating with this year?

Happy Weekend everyone! This is the final push for me as I still have not started shopping :(

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?

 

The scariest color I’ve ever chosen

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed some down time with family and friends (and maybe some shopping). I had a nice relaxing day on Thanksgiving but Friday, Saturday and Sunday I was working like a fiend. You see it all started with this rug.

Stanton carpet

Stanton Carpet

I won this beautiful leopard print Stanton carpet on Lisa Mende’s blog  giveaway. I knew the moment I found out I won that it would be the starting point of my long overdue office makeover. I have been working in a mess of a too small office for way too long.  Samples, files and folders were stacked everywhere, my bookcase was an over stuffed mess and all the furniture was old cheap junk that needed to be either tossed or donated.

You know the saying, you throw a pebble into a lake and a tsunami happens in China. Well that is exactly what has gone down. Since my office was just a small room off our “formal” living room and we NEVER use our living room I decided to make both the little office AND the living room my office.

SOOOO all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday I painted…both rooms! Now as you know, I am not afraid of color. In fact, the living room walls up until Friday were a rich dark green. Perfect for sitting in a cozy setting with a book and glass of wine…except it never happened. We are almost always in the family room so taking it over as my office made perfect sense. Since the usage is changing I want the room to feel light, bright and airy. I want the walls to be a clean backdrop for all my colorful samples, design books and artwork. I made the decision to paint the walls in both the small and the large room WHITE.

I will admit it was a scary for me to pick White. In all my years, I have never had White walls; plenty of light neutrals, but never White. I struggled a bit with which White (it had to be a warm White since the room gets a lot of blue/green reflected light from the outside trees) but I did not want a yellowy or creamy white. I ended up choosing a white with a slight red undertone called Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams. I tried their new no VOC Harmony paint and I have to say it went on so smoothly and had absolutely no odor.

Painting over that dark green was dramatic and it didn’t help that my husband walked in half way through telling me he liked the green better.

green wall

 

I will admit I had a moment of doubt mid way through because White by itself isn’t too exciting. I held on to my vision for the rooms though and kept on painting. The two rooms are about 75% painted and here is a sneak peak of the walls (yes, I have a blue ceiling).

white walls(On Sunday when I took this picture it was raining outside so the light was terrible and the walls look blotchy, which they are not).

I am so happy with how it turned out. It is light and bright just as I wanted. I’m on a roll now but I have so much more to do including having window treatments  made, wallpapering a focal wall and deciding on storage pieces. My big splurge is a custom walking desk that is currently being made in North Carolina. I hope to have it by Christmas and I will show it off as soon as it arrives.

Once everything is done I will show you the full makeover (including the embarrassing “before” photos).  Oh…and just so that you don’t think my new office will be lacking in color, here are a few elements that will be incorporated.

office color palette

I am so excited to finally have an office I can spread out in and feel inspired and energized by. I just know 2015 is going to be a great year. How about you? Do you have/like white  walls? If so, how do you bring in color?

 

 

 

 

Friday’s Photo: Lighting love at ICFF

Another colorful find that stopped me in my tracks at the ICCF while on BlogTourNYC.  This collection of gorgeous colored bottles makes me want to open a restaurant just so that I can put these over the bar area.

Colored glass bottles

Linda Holt Photo

(as much as I tried I can not find the vendor info on these lights. Please email me if you know who it is)

Have a color filled weekend everyone!

Out of my color comfort zone

Living in New England, I must admit I am spoiled when it comes to the surrounding environmental colors. Lush green trees, sparkling blue waters, pure white snow against crisp blue skies and brilliant yellows, oranges and reds of the Fall foliage. That’s why I was so out of my color comfort zone last week while vacationing in Arizona. I joked on Facebook that I felt like I had landed on another planet, either that or I was in Afghanistan. At first I just didn’t get why everyone told me how beautiful Arizona is. I saw only brown, grey/green and terracotta and to me it looked depressing and barren.

Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ

After a few days though, my visual color meter adjusted and my color comfort zone expanded. By the time we left I had a new found appreciation of the all the subtle earth tones. I saw so much beauty in the Arizona color palette. As we drove north from Scottsdale to the North rim of the Grand Canyon I couldn’t get enough. Here are some of my favorite color palettes.

Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale Arizona

Terracotta and sage green were the primary colors of our drive north to the Grand Canyon.

View from Najaho Bridge

View from Navajo Bridge

I loved the layers upon layers of soft pinks and browns.

SAMSUNG CSC

layer upon layer of soft neutrals

I saw so few bright colors while in AZ that when I did see one it really popped out against the quiet neutrals.

SAMSUNG CSC

Bright red stop sign in the desert

Approaching the North Rim of the Canyon was eye opening. There was a huge fire in 2012 and the mountains sides were stripped clean of all vegetation. In the years since, the hills are reforesting and bright yellow Aspen trees are the first to re-establish.

Yellow Aspen trees re-establishing forest growth.

Yellow Aspen trees re-establishing forest growth.

The bright yellow of the trees against the chard black tree trunks was surreal and looked like an abstract painting.

North Rim Grand Canyon

North Rim Grand Canyon

The grand Canyon itself is layer upon layer of browns, reds, grays and greens.

Sedona AZ

Sedona AZ

The red rocks of Sedona are of course world famous. When the sun hits them in the evening they almost glow.

One of the things I loved most about Arizona is something we don’t have here in New England and that is “big sky”. How can you not love a huge expanse of blue sky dotted with white clouds?

SAMSUNG CSC

To me, these colors are breathtakingly beautiful; soft neutrals against a clean blue sky. Nature never gets it wrong does she?

What do you think of the Arizona colors?

Friday’s Photo: Tiny dining space with pizzazz!

A tiny space carved out for dining and made special with a statement art piece.

 ID Creations/Linda Holt Photo


Holiday House Hamptons/Linda Holt Photo

Who said downsizing has to be boring?  If it’s just the one or two of you isn’t this really all you need? A little table, a few chairs and a fabulous piece of art?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Friday’s Photo: A study in turquoise

Happy Friday! Today I want to share this beach inspired turquoise study from the Holiday House Hampton Show House.

Bjornen Design /Linda Holt Photo

Bjornen Design /Linda Holt Photo

This small study just off the main living room was designed by Bjornen Design.  The designer said since the Hamptons are all about the beach and horses, the sea horse lamp was his inspiration and starting point for the whole room. I love the turquoise and sandy beige color palette and the drift wood like coffee table.  The wall paper and carpet reference the ripples of the ocean waves and the beach inspired accessories like the sea glass balls and the nautilus fossil remind you this is the Hamptons.

My favorite part of the room though are the black and white photos which ground the room and keep it from looking too themed.

This room was one of my favorites. What do you think?

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