Color Inspiration from 100 years ago

Last week international color guru Leatrice Eisman gave a color talk at the Boston MFA. Eiseman just might have one of the best jobs on the planet if you like art, fashion and travel. She travels the world in order to pick up “clues” about color and observes which ones are trending….hint…blues are still hugely popular everywhere and mauve is trending big time in Europe. On any given day she might be at a fashion show in Paris, or at a furniture show in Milan, an art show in New York or even a skate park in Barcelona.

After Eisman’s talk I checked out the new American quilt exhibit. I was just blown away by the artistry and color combinations of these 100+ year old quilts. To put it into context, many of these quilts were made by woman in a very rural setting. There were no color experts guiding them as to what colors were trending. There were no color blogs, fashion magazines or TV and in most cases the quilts were sewn in the evening by candle light. Somehow these woman put together color combinations that are as “on trend” today as if they were made yesterday. Here are a few of my favorites.

This one almost seemed to vibrate as you looked at it.


The detail on this one was amazing.


 The quilts were large..can you imagine how long it took to make each one?
orange and black


I even spotted one in Pantone’s color of the year: Radiant Orchard


Aren’t they amazing? If you get a chance to visit the MFA I highly recommend checking them out.

Which one is your favorite?

Looking to update your home this Spring? Give me call, I can help.


My 15 Seconds of Fame in House Beautiful Magazine

When I received a call from an editor at House Beautiful Magazine back in November I was driving home from an appointment and only answered my phone because I thought I must have left something at my client’s house. When the caller, Christine Pittel, said she wanted to interview me about painting my first nanosecond thought was  “oh, she must be looking for the OTHER Linda Holt“.  There actually is one and she lives just a few towns away from me and is a well known Artist. Although we have never met we have been confused for one another for the past 20 years. In the next nanosecond I heard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and painting furniture and it was at this point I pulled off the road to try and collect myself and calm down my rapidly beating heart…OMG…House Beautiful, OMG…House Beautiful! House-Beautiful-Feb13-cover Many of you already know that I am a huge Annie Sloan Chalk Paint fan. My good friend Susan Siefer of MadPatter Art Design actually was the one who turned me on to it a couple years back. She was likely one of the very first around to check out and start using the paint. Now of course it seems like EVERYONE is using it.


Since I am basically lazy when it comes to painting furniture, I love the fact that you don’t have to sand or prep a piece before starting to paint. It’s instant gratification and you can have a fresh updated piece in a day…love that! Painted furniture is so “on trend” right now and I usually try and incorporate at least one painted piece into each of my projects.  My client’s love to have something unique and custom without spending a huge amount of money. As I recently shared in a previous post, I just painted two chairs with Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange for one of my clients.

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange

Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange

Anyway, I digress… Pittel asked me to name my favorite Annie Sloan paint color and to talk about a piece I used it on and why.  My pick?  Florence: one of Annie’s newest colors.

Annie Sloan Florence

Annie Sloan Florence

How funny that I picked this color even before I knew that Pantone’s Color of the Year was to be Emerald Green. Below is my actual  quote in the February House Beautiful feature on Color Painted Furniture. (click on photo to enlarge) HB quoteand here is the piece in mention; done with my painting partner Susan.

 If you would like to see other pieces Susan and I have painted that are currently for sale check out my Pinterest board here.

If you had told me 5 years ago when I was still working full time as a photographer and only dreaming of being an interior decorator that one day I would be quoted in House Beautiful  I would have said you were crazy. It’s been an exciting  journey and I have to give credit to a few teachers and mentors who made my quote possible: namely Maria Killam for her True Color Expert training Leatrice Eiseman for her Color Expert training classKate Smith for her friendship and advice, Susan Siefer, close friend and painting partner and most recently Tobi Fairley, my teacher and business mentor. They have all educated me, inspired me, and fueled my passion and love of Color and Design.  I thank you and love you all.

If you would like a custom painted piece of furniture in your home or decorating help, give me a call.



Are You Hungry For Some Color?

When I was in Los Angeles studying with color Guru Leatrice Eiseman there was another student who came all the way from San Paulo, Brazil. She was a Le Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef who was studying color trends so that she could apply them to her pastries.  Now I’ve always thought anything to do with color was a pretty cool job but I think she must have the best job in the whole world… I mean color and pastries??   I think I’d be in heaven.

rainbow cake


It was at that very moment I realized the huge role color plays in our lives; not only for the obvious like fashion and interior design but for anyone who has to decide “what color should this be”?  I was so inspired by this student that I created a board on Pinterest called Fabulous Food Colors. You can check out my board and follow HERE.

So in the spirit of fabulous food colors I thought I would have a little fun with what a colorful pastry (or drink) might look like if it was turned into a room.

This beautiful pink ombre cake

pink ombre cake


might look something like this turned into a living room.

pink living room

Elle Decor

and these colorful macaroons

colorful macaroons


would be such a cute bedroom.

Katie Ridder

Katie Ridder

These multicolored cookies

colorful cookies

would be fabulous as color block kitchen cabinets

rainbow cabinets

this tropical turquoise drink with a tiny hit of red

blue drink

would be so much fun turned into a kitchen

and look how this yellow and white cupcake

cup cake


would become such a cheerful living room.

yellow white living room

Now you might think it’s crazy that a pastry chef would travel half way around the world to study color but she needs to understand color principles in much the same way as a designer. After all, you can’t just throw a bunch of colors together and assume you will get something beautiful to eat… In fact you might end up with something not very appetizing.

ugly cupcake

and not many would want to live in the room that this cupcake turns into.

So how about you?  Do you choose pastries based on your color preferences?

If you would like help choosing color for your home give me a call. If you would like help with creating a beautiful pastry…I know a woman in San Paulo.






Popular Color Myths Busted!

A few weeks ago I received a call from a writer at the Huffington Post. She was interviewing color experts about how different colors affects us.  You can read the article Here.  She asked me if I knew about the study that indicated the color Pink calmed and pacified criminals. Well it so happens that I did know about the study because when I attended Leatrice Eiseman’s color class this past January, she was intent on clearing up several popular color myths. One of these myths is that Pink calms down prisoners.



The (Pink is for girls) color stereotyping began in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s when clothing manufacturers began assigning the color Pink to little girls and the color Blue to little boys. Blue was marketed to boys in order to show support for the soldiers who were marching off to war in blue uniforms. Pink became the default color for girls as it represented softness, sugar and spice.  It was falsely assumed that little boys dressed in Pink would become weak and girly.

As laughable as this all seems today the myth still persists. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona dresses State prisoners in bright pink garb believing they will become passive and cooperative…like girls??  The fact is, this myth has been busted!

What studies show is that when unruly prisoners are put into bright Pink holding cells they do indeed calm down; for about 5 minutes. They are initially surprised and shocked by the unconventional bright Pink color. After a few minutes though the shock value wears off and they return to their original unruly behavior.

Leatrice also busted a few more color myths.

The color Yellow causes babies to cry. This is just plain silly. Long story how this myth was started but it is just simply NOT true.

crying baby wearing Yellow

crying baby wearing Yellow

The color Orange is a cheap color. Back in the 50’s ans 60’s  Orange was perceived as a “cheap” color but this is certainly not true today. This year Orange has reached it’s highest form of respect by being named Pantone’s 2012 color of the year.



The color BLUE should never be used in a kitchen or around food. This myth says we loose our appetite around the color blue. …REALLY??  I don’t know about you but I sure think I could eat in this kitchen.

Blue Kitchen by Diamondbarratta Design

Blue Kitchen by Diamondbarratta Design

or this beautiful turquoise one designed by Tobi Fairley.

Tobi Fairley

Tobi Fairley kitchen

So how about you?  Have you heard any of these color myths?  Did you believe they were true?

What Did Color Do To You?


“Other than music and body language, color is the only form of expression that does not require words.”  Leatrice Eiseman




One of my big takeaways from Lee Eiseman’s color class was the fact that we all have deeply embedded color memories. In most cases we are not even aware of these memories, but trust me, we all have them.

Think about your favorite color…do you know why you love it?  Perhaps you had a favorite stuffed animal that was that color or maybe a favorite Aunt, who always brought you a present, used to wear that color often.

Now, think about your least favorite color…do you know why you dislike it? Perhaps you injured yourself when you  fell off  the monkey bars painted that color or maybe a bully teased you who always wore a jacket that color. The point is, our color memories have a huge impact on us and determine our relationship with color.

This point was so well illustrated when we were discussing the color yellow. Yellow is perceived as the happiest color; it represents warmth and sunshine.



Imagine my surprise then, while walking back to our rooms, my friend told me she felt like crying while Lee was showing images of  yellow. She couldn’t figure it out until she had an “ah ha” moment. She realized that the anniversary of her Mom’s death was coming up and her Mom’s favorite color was yellow. Her kitchen was yellow, her house was painted yellow and she often wore yellow. Yellow had taken on a sad memory for my friend because she missed her Mom and the color yellow reminded her she was no longer with her. Once she made the connection she felt better about the color yellow and her sad feelings subsided.


So…take a minute to give some thought to your most liked and most disliked colors…  Can you remember…what did color do to you??


By the way….pinky beige is my least favorite color…maybe this is why.




EWW !!




If you would like help filling your home with colors that make you happy, give me a call. 617-965-3342.





LA Bound Courtesy of COLOURlovers

Tomorrow morning I fly from Boston to Los Angles to spend 4 days studying with international Color Guru Leatrice  Eiseman. Leatrice is a world renowned  color titan, the director of the Pantone Color Institute and one of the key people responsible for picking the much anticipated color of the year (Tangerine Tango for 2012).  It has been a dream of mine to attend Leatrice’s class; I own all 5 of her books and often look to her color pallets for inspiration in home interiors.

2 years ago I had the privilege of studying with another Color Expert, Maria Killam. Maria taught us how to choose color correctly by understanding and working with color undertones. I learned about “flow” and how colors should “speak” to one another. It truly changed my business over night and the knowledge I learned from Maria was invaluable. From what I understand, Leatrice’s class goes  more into the psychology of color and how color affects our mood and behavior.

The most exciting part of all this is that I actually won a full scholarship to attend the class. I entered a contest just before Christmas through a web site called COLOURlovers. If you haven’t heard of this site and you love color you MUST check it out. For the contest I  had to upload a color pallet that “spoke to me” and write an essay on how color has impacted my life. This is the pallet I choose along with the photo I took that was my inspiration.


COLOURLovers 1st Place Scholarship winner Linda Holt


I never imagined that this photo and corresponding  pallet would connect me to such an exciting opportunity and make a dream come true. The competition was fierce so I am shocked and humbled that I won. I’ll be signing off now for a week or so, but when I return I promise to share all my newly gained Color knowledge with you all.



If you would like  help choosing color, decorating or home staging contact me at 617-965-3342.

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