It may not be immediately apparent but this is a photo of a sunset taken in my hotel room. Actually, it’s really just a plain shear curtain with red dots. On my final night stay I came back to the room just as the sun was going down. The light was reflecting off the adjacent buildings and bouncing back through the shears creating this gorgeous array of colors.
Hotel Sunset: Linda Holt photo
The lesson? Sometimes it’s fun to see the usual from a slightly different perspective.
When looking for color inspiration we often look to nature or maybe exotic travel, or a beautiful fabric or artwork. However, color inspiration can also come from the most unlikely of places…even trash!
While in Florida last week I spotted this fabulous color grouping of stacked plastic buckets, bins and water bottles and loved how beautiful the colors looked together.
Then while perusing Pinterest, there it was! those colorful plastic buckets turned into a room.
Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to keep your eyes open to color, it can show up in the most unlikely of places.
If you would like help decorating or choosing a color palette for your home give me a call.
Sometimes choosing a color palette is no big deal. You simply match a color from an already existing item such as your drapes, rug or art work and snap….it’s done. Sometimes though, choosing color is not so easy. You’ve build a new home or added on or you just want a whole new look. Starting from scratch is when choosing a color palette can become more challenging. Many homeowners simply don’t know where to begin.
In my guest post this week for New England Home I share my favorite way to gather a little color inspiration along with designer rooms that used those colors. I hope you pop on over and take a look.
I am working with a new client who by choice, has decided to bring absolutely nothing with him to his new home other than his clothes. For some people this would be a dream come true…”Woo Hoo I won the lottery and I am buying everything new!” For others this would be a horrible nightmare, for example the home owners who lost everything during hurricane Sandy. I thought it might be fun to share with you my decorating process and how I am creating a home for my client starting from scratch.
When decorating from scratch there are two equally important first steps; creating the floor plan and the choosing the color palette. In this case I was asked to begin work on my client’s home before the closing so I was not able to get in and measure for the floor plan for a few weeks so I started with a color palette.
Since I had no inspiration pieces such as art work, carpet or fabrics to pull color from I began by asking my client lots of color preference questions. His favorite color is Orange and his favorite neutral color is Gray. To get a little more inspiration I spent some time walking around his new town. Located on the water it is a town with a history rich in both nautical and factory work. I wanted to be sure to honor this in the color pallet I chose for his circa 1850′s home.
What colors did I see everywhere I looked? Orange and Gray! Two of my client’s favorite colors. The down town is lined with Orange brick buildings and Gray cobblestones.
I also saw lots of deep blues and Navy reflected in the water of the harbor. My palette was chosen. I decided to use a warm Gray as the anchoring neutral with Orange with accents of Navy.
Here is the color pallet I presented to my client which he loved.
We painted the walls of his living room, dining room and kitchen which are all open to one another Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. I also added a little pop of Orange to the back of his built in bookcases which flank both sides of a window seat. Here is a sneak peak of the built in with the orange on the back and Revere Pewter on the walls.
Before settling on the final color pallet I chose all the fabrics for the window treatments, pillows, and carpet. It is kind of like a puzzle when starting with nothing. For example I found a Gray and Orange fabric I loved then tweaked the Orange to better relate with the fabric. Everything relates to each other and you need to think about not only the room as a whole but the flow of the colors throughout the house. In my next post I will show how I used my color pallet throughout the first floor so that everything flowed and related to one another.
Have you ever decorated from scratch? If so, what inspired you to choose your color palette?
If you would like help decorating from scratch or just getting a better color flow in your home, give me a call.
Last week my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on the Island of St. John. It was a 30 year in the making honeymoon “redo” that you can read about here. I must admit, St. John was not what I had expected. I pictured it as a flat island but it is actually the top of a mountain sticking out of the sea. Three quarters of the Island is protected national park land so the Island is incredibly beautiful and unspoiled.
St. John USVI... Linda Holt Photo
The houses, or villas as they call them, are built going up the side of the mountain. Some of them are perched on such steep ledges that it is amazing they don’t slide right off into the sea. This house below is where we stayed for the week. It is the only house WAY out on a point…talk about privacy! There was even an electronic gate to get on to and off of the property. I felt like we were drug king pins or some famous couple seeking out privacy from the paparazzi.
Coral Bay St.John... Linda Holt Photo
We stayed in the Coral Bay area which is on the other side of the Island from where the Hotels and Resorts are located. Coral Bay is more rural and has a large population of wild donkeys, goats and sheep.
wild goats on St. John
We would always stop the car until everyone was safely across (notice the little Egret on the right tagging along). The locals however have little patience and barely slow down; somehow though animals and cars seem to coexist just fine.
The beaches really do look exactly like I imagined; turquoise waters surrounded by white powdery sand.
Maho Bay St. John
St John has quite a few Ruins from Colonial times when the Island was inhabited by the Dane’s who used slaves to run the sugar plantations. Look at this pattern of painted tiles we came across while hiking. Doesn’t this look so current even though it is from the 1700′s? Can’t you just imagine this fabulous pattern painted on a floor or made into fabric?
The biggest surprise and the best part of our trip however was the snorkeling. St. John is surrounded by easily accessible Coral Reefs. You can walk right into the water and swim just a very short distance and see the most incredible colorful tropical fish and coral. I had no idea I would be so inspired by color and design by spending several hours everyday floating above a coral reef and looking down.
I must be really twisted or maybe the sun and heat had gotten to me but everything I saw I imagined as some type of home decor. I was as excited and inspired as if I was at an art opening for some hot new artist.
Here are some of the things that most inspired me with both color and design. ( I do not have underwater camera so all photos are from Google Images but they look exactly as I saw them).
Look at the yellow pattern on these French Grunts. Wouldn’t these look great as a fabric design? Maybe drapes in a beach house?
This beautiful Queen Angel Fish really rocks the yellow and blue combo…humm..maybe yellow walls blue sofa?
queen angel Fish
Just like in this photo below, we came upon a whole school of 50-75 Blue Tang. They are a beautiful shade of deep blue/purple. A color inspiration maybe for pillows on a turquoise sofa?
These giant sea turtles are plentiful off St John. We saw about 8 of them. Look at that brown and white pattern…maybe inspiration for a stenciled wall or an embossed leather?
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
This little Trunk Fish also has a great pattern of black and white dots that turn into a honeycomb pattern in the middle. Maybe a throw pillow or carpet pattern?
My all time favorite fish though has to be the Stop Light Parrot Fish. These beauties are about 15 inches long and are brilliant Turquoise, Pink and Orange with Yellow polka dots no less! I looked at these fish for hours.
The funny thing is, while at the airport waiting for our connecting flight home I opened up the new issue of Elle Decor Magazine and this is the first thing I saw… coincidence or not?
turquoise dot tray by Waylande Gregory Studios
Maybe the designer had recently been doing a little reef snorkeling themselves.
How about you? Have you ever been inspired with Color or Design in an unexpected place?
If You would like help with choosing the perfect color or with decorating give me a call at 617-965-3342.
I live in an upside down house. You see, our house is built on a hill; the front entrance is the ground or basement level, the main living area is one floor above and the bedrooms are on the third floor. Since our driveway stops closer to the back of our house we rarely, if ever, come in through the front door. So needless to say, our front entrance was somewhat neglected style wise.
I do not have a “before” picture since the space was often treated like a basement and was usually cluttered with misc. junk and recycling bins on their way out to the adjoining garage. I would often scramble last minute to tidy up if I knew guests were arriving that would be using the front door.
The biggest problem with the space is that it is very dark since the only natural light is through the narrow windows on either side of the front door. I really needed to brighten it up with some color and when I saw this image I decided this was the look I wanted to create.
Front entrance design inspiration
Funny but I just noticed that the title of the article is Style Inspiration. (I believe the image is from Elle Decor but I have had the image for awhile so not exactly sure of the original source)
What I liked most was the color pallet. The gray patterned wall with the yellow chest and that cool vintage lamp. My wall is small and oddly shaped so I didn’t want wallpaper. Instead, I asked my decorative painter friend Susan Siefer of Mad Patter Art Design to create a stenciled patterned wall. I chose one of the new Benjamin Moore Color Stories colors called Through The Looking Glass for the wall color. Through The Looking Glass is light gray with a purple undertone and it was good match to the purple gray background of my existing area rug.
Company C Mandarin Pewter Rug
Susan stenciled a Moroccan pattern in silver leaf over the gray.
Susan painting with stencil
Once the walls were done I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Arles (yellow) to paint a black chest I had purchased at a barn sale. Although Annie Sloan paint is amazing at coverage, in hind site, I should have primed the chest first because I ended up having to give it three coats to completely hide the black.
You can see what it looked like after just one coat as I applied the second coat.
Annie Sloan Arles paint second coat
Once the chest was painted I used the Annie Sloan dark wax to give the same aged look that the chest had in my inspiration photo and also added some gray detailing with Annie Sloan Graphite Gray mixed with Old White.
dark wax and gray detail
So here is my inspiration photo once again
inspiration for entrance
and here is my front entrance now.
Linda Holt Interiors
I am planning to swap out the lamp to something closer to my inspiration photo but in the mean time I might paint this existing one with Annie Sloan paint. I am also looking for just the right piece of art work for above the chest.
I can’t say we are now using the front entrance but at least today when the UPS guy arrived to deliver a package he entered a bright and happy foyer.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my front entrance “after” photo.
If you would like help with color, decorating or staging, give me a call at 617-965-3342.