Colorful Home – Could You Live Here?

October 8, 2010

Wow! Did you check out this, “neglected Federal-style schoolhouse in the Catskills transformed into a glamorous and chic home”, today on the Country Living website? Oh my goodness this is a color and pattern explosion — and it totally works! I love all of the paint, wallpaper, collections and patterns. Yowser!

Colorful Home - Could You Live Here?

It’s so funny how some people have the natural ability to pull this off so simply yet others struggle with using so many bold patterns and colorways in a home. Why do you think this is? I think the harder it is to decorate using a certain scheme then one is either over-thinking things or trying to decorate with colors and styles that they don’t really like or connect with. For me, if something doesn’t come natural for me to do in my own home, if I have to really force myself to use a color or pattern, then I skip it and go with what feels good for me. Sometimes I’ll throw in something that doesn’t come so naturally just to challenge myself to make sure my views are narrowing too much… but still — I know what I like and so I try to use only things that I really click with in my home.

Perhaps this is why I never liked to incorporate tons of pattern and color in my home, I just can’t bare the strength of it all because my inner world is so colorful and alive that I always felt like all of these layers surrounding me at home would compete with me. I love the home shown above but for this reason, I could never live there though I’d love to find a bed and breakfast like this and spend a long weekend. :)

I was just thinking… and I’ve said this in the past, but red in the home stresses me out unless it is used as a small accent combined with a calm, soft blue or pink. Do you have a “trigger” color that stresses you out in the home? Could you live in this space above?

(images: country living)


  • Reply Stina October 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    To be honest, the thing that stands out for me in the pictures isn’t so much the color, but the clutter. Everything looks very cluttered to me, lots of little things, little pictureframes, different patterns. It makes it very difficult to focus. I’m a fan of color accents, maybe one or two main colors (one of which can be white) combined with a repeating theme. I used to have a red kitchen; dark red wall with a dark red backsplash and a red bookshelf. While I got lots of compliments from guests for it, I grew tired of it pretty quickly. Now there’s not a single dot of red in my apartment, I think. ;)

  • Reply Monica Lee October 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    OMIGOSH! So true about red!! I moved in to a small apt. and decided I was going bold with red! Red couch…red and white bedding, red paint. That is a color you can really get tired of! UGH! I have moved, softer colors, A lot of neutrals. I completely redid my studio into whites and creams. I am right there with you! I needed soothing surroundings since I work with color all day long. If it is in my house, it gets incorporated into my art and that is not always a good thing! ( I might be able to sleep in the yellow bedroom…after all the books are neatly put away….)

  • Reply jHill October 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Oh orange, which we just got rid of in our kitchen. In my early 20s I was in a “mexican fiesta” mode… not so much any more. I like the colors in the featured home, but it just has too many things in it, that is what really stresses me out.

  • Reply Tricia October 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I just adore these colorful, happy rooms. Always dreamt of having an attic room, absolutely charming. I think my spaz color is “orange.”

  • Reply Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I don’t think I have a trigger color. We have a red kitchen and I love it. We have a dark orange living room and it’s one of my favorite rooms. So I feel pretty comfortable with dark and bright colors. But as far as those rooms above, I don’t know about them because they look a tad cluttered for me to be comfortable. :)

  • Reply christine October 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    ohhh… I’d love to visit but I don’t like to dust (I see lots of dust magnets), a lot to look at (I tend to be visually overstimulated), the colors are cheery (I lean toward the colors of nature)… BUT – I agree – this would be a fun if it were a B&B… love the arrangement of the pictures on the bedroom wall.

    How is your unpacking & getting settled into your new place going? I really miss the BYW lessons – I think I’m having “withdrawals” ha!

    Have a fabulous weekend, Holly.

  • Reply Layne October 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Totally could! I love it. In fact, my apartment is way more colorful. But I’m still working on the decor aspect. I like to call my color palette “Crayola” because it’s like a Crayola explosion in there!

    But I love it–my colors inspire me so much and I can’t help but smile every time I see the walls. And the thing is, I know that if I grow tired of a color–or hate it once it’s on the wall–a simple repaint is all it takes.

    In case you’re curious just how colorful it is, our walls are colored:
    Entryway: dark kelly green
    Long hallway: lemon yellow
    Guest bath: deep peacock teal
    Bedroom: medium gray w/ deep purple (like grape gum!) accent wall
    Master bath: black(!) w/ magenta accent wall
    Kitchen, which is open to living room: dark chocolate brown (not very much wall in there, though)
    Living room: bright white! (with mostly dark brown-black furniture)
    Laundry room: blue, like the UN flag… I call it laundry blue. :)

    And those are just the wall colors. Yeah, it’s pretty intense.

    By the way, I had all this in mind, but only a couple rooms done when I got my hands on Jonathan Adler’s Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living, and any reservations I had flew riiight out the window!

  • Reply TLC_Designs October 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Wow, love that green bathroom! The country style sink is gorgeous…(but the art on the floor is a little annoying to me. I’d be so worried of it being kicked over or getting wet) BUT the two-tone green painted moulding is super fresh.

    Thanks! Your blog is so fab, one of my top 5 faves.


  • Reply Kajsa October 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I think there’s too much stuff in that place! For me I mean, I love visiting cosy homes like that, but like you I need to have some clean (white) space around me. I do think though, that things you love are determined to go well together and form the perfect home for you. This is how a personal style is created I think, just like how the home above looks just like it’ owners.

  • Reply Marte Marie Forsberg October 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Red, Orange and Purple! Like you mentioned above, to spend a weekend in a very colorful fun home like above is inspiring, to live there, would stress me out.
    There are so many fun wallpapers and colorful home decor, but I always tend to fall for white. I desired to live with colors that calm me as like you said;”I just can’t bare the strength of it all because my inner world is so colorful and alive that I always felt like all of these layers surrounding me at home would compete with me”. I have not thought about that before, but when I read it, it totally made sense. It’s like and overdecorated room! I lean towards minimalism as there is so much going on inside, that I need a place to rest my senses:)
    Thanks for a great post!

  • Reply Amanda October 8, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I love seeing the different styles that people have when decorating. I am still living in apartments and I tried to do different color palettes in each room in my last place but there were a few that never quite clicked for me. Now I live in a smaller place and I actually use red, black, and white mostly. I haven’t become sick of the combination in 10 years so I’m thinking it works for me. But all the larger pieces of furniture are neutral colors and the red shows up more in rugs, chairs, linens, and other accents.

  • Reply notabilia October 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Oh dear, Holly. You could never come visit me; my home has pops of red everywhere. It’s my favorite color to decorate with ;).

    I am not a fan of purple/lavender and I think that’s the color that ‘stresses’ me out most.

    Fun to hear everyone’s thoughts!

  • Reply Yasmine October 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    The rooms in the photo are gorgeous. But personally, I have a lot of clutter, projects and all that good stuff, that if I add ALL my stuff PLUS colorful walls, it might look extra busy. I think it would look great if you’re super organized. Plus I have a LOT of large framed pieces of artwork which I personally think look better showcased on neutral walls.

  • Reply juliette October 8, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I think my trigger is a ‘stuff/pattern combo’ – these pictures show a home I could live in IF half the stuff in each room were gone. Keep the patterns and colors, but get rid of half of it.

    subdue the patterns and visual lines by 50%.

    Then I would be at peace in the space. I agree it would be a fun B&B!

    I don’t know how I got this way, but I feel at peace in monochromatic rooms that feature only small amounts of 1-2 patterns and have an overall impression of simple lines and lots of texture.

  • Reply soraya nulliah October 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I like looking at these images but could I actually live here? I don’t think so. there is just way too much going on-too much color, pattern, things…just too much in what seems to be a small space. I do like the way it’s done though-just not a livable space for me. I can just see my toddler pulling everything down!! I could incorporate some of the ideas here in a very small way but…I can’t live here.

  • Reply Elissa October 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Funny, these rooms don’t strike me as particularly colorful, though they certainly aren’t neutral either. I actually like the amount and intensity of color, but I would want to lessen the amount of pattern or declutter it just a smidge.

    I don’t know that I have a “trigger” color although, my love of the color red has diminished as my life has gotten more hectic and stressful. I used to be obsessed with all of the cute vintage stuff from the 40s and 50s with red accents, but now I lean more to shades of blueish green. I have a couple of red oriental rugs that I still love but I have to find different ways to decorate around them to tone them down a bit. Does anyone have examples of rooms with traditional red rugs that aren’t sensory overload?

  • Reply Melissa Allam October 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Red, definately is my stressor color too. I can only do red in small doses, in decor or clothing. Really, I never do red clothing, but sometimes I like to add a red purse. I have even tried red in my bedroom once because my husband likes lots of color and he likes red, but everyday I went into the room, I felt overwhelmed. It only lasted for a month and then I went back to my calming blues.

  • Reply Brigitte October 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I am crazy about color. I don’t think I could ever have white walls…there’s not a single white wall in my house! But I agree with the other commenters who say there’s just too much stuff out. I don’t think a particular color stresses me out…but a bunch of clutter always does!

  • Reply Karen October 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    The colours that I don´t really like in rooms: Red, Orange and Black.

    I quite like the rooms shown above, but they seem a little bit “unlived in” to me, despite all the stuff…

  • Reply Kelly October 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Love these rooms, but you’re right – I couldn’t handle them on a daily basis. I suffer from pattern fatigue pretty fast. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to heavy doses white – especially in rooms where I am going to be relaxing or need to think. I love the way you seem to balance this. :-)

  • Reply Becky D @ KingsDownRoad October 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Hmm – probably not, I’m a neutrals kind of girl. My husband would also throw away everything pictured because he doesn’t like “stuff.” *Sigh*

  • Reply Kathryn October 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I agree with stina, it’s the clutter in these photos that gets me. But, I do have one color I can’t stand, a mustard yellow! My childhood home hallway was painted this and I swore I’d never use it in my own home. Somehow, I actually painted my hallway the same color! All 50′ of it with two staircases. I lived with it for eight years before I broke down and hired someone to paint it beige. Imagine walking down a hallway multiple times a day being reminded how much you hate a color! painful!

  • Reply Will October 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    You’re asking the right guy! Could I live here?! This place was MADE for Mr.Bazaar! ;)

  • Reply Stacey October 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    I definitely agree with you about the color red – I’ve never been to anyone’s home and liked it when they’ve had red walls. Also, I can’t imagine that orange walls would be too wonderful. Nice on flowers, but not in my home :)

    I wouldn’t want to live in the home pictured, even though it’s lovely. Turns out I’m more of a minimalist than I used to think I was. I like to have some things on display – my books, some art, a few trinkets from travels – but I think there’s just too much going on on the walls and shelves in that home. I do like all the use of color, though!

  • Reply Simony @ Art and Life October 9, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Oh my gosh! it’s almost as if I wrote this post! I love colors but in accents only. I love textures, colors, pictures, candles, pillows, etc. but I need some empty space, too! Space to breath and for my eyes to rest. I would love to visit a friend in a house like that, or spend the weekend at places like that, but it would make me tired for everyday living.
    Red is also the only color that triggers me, makes me restless. While I lived in Brazil, I never were red. Maybe because of the intense light there. Here in US I have come to like red but only during the Winter and for little accents.
    How funny is that?

  • Reply Hej Melissa October 9, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Would you believe blue is my stress colour!! :)
    I just can’t use it to decorate with. Red, however, doesn’t bother me at all (in fact it’s my favourite colour), although I wouldn’t have a lot of it around in the home.
    I do like that black and white kitchen above.

  • Reply Lizzie [Ten Thou Bride] October 9, 2010 at 3:45 am

    I could definitely live there! That is beautiful! I love organized chaos with colors…

  • Reply Jen October 9, 2010 at 4:26 am

    I’ve seen that bedroom before and thought it was darling (we have an attic bedroom too and it has been, I’ll confess, a NIGHTMARE to decorate until recently; tearing out the wood paneling & putting up the drywall was easier…).

    I love all the colours in this one, but all of the stuff is what would eventually drive me a bit nuts. Living in the northern part of the country, where winters are long, cold, and grey, not at all the dreamy winter wonderland people imagine (last winter we went about 3 weeks without ever seeing the sun), I need colour in our home to keep me cheerful. I also blame it on years of working in offices where everything was dressed in varying shades of battleship grey. UGH! My inner life is colourful and bright, but I guess I like to have that surrounding me, too.

    So far as red…It is my favourite colour in the world, but even I prefer to use it as accents. Entire rooms or walls in red rarely seem to look good unless professionally applied, and it can be Too Much.

    However, I adore my turquoise & white with hints of green kitchen as much as the day I first put that colour on the wall (it was inspired by a kitchen you put up here a few years ago, actually)! And the red vintage chrome & Formica table is a perfect touch. ;)

  • Reply Jordana October 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I appreciate the style and the collection of objects and art, but I could definitely not live here. It’s just too much for my almost-minimalist ways.

  • Reply Sarah@Mocha October 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I think you’re so right when you say that you don’t use a colour or pattern if it doesn’t come naturally and you have to force yourself to use it, then you’ll skip it.

    Our homes are a reflection of our personality, and if we try to force styles that are just not us, it will never feel a comfortable place to live.

  • Reply kate blue October 10, 2010 at 6:50 am

    I think red could be really cool…but don’t get me started on PINK…eeeyuk!! in any shade…no can do.

  • Reply afreckledlip October 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I love everything about this home. I love a cozy home with lots of personal affects. I love the kitchen most of all, so cute. I think the colors are great.

  • Reply Rach October 12, 2010 at 12:45 am

    This house is for me…………its fill of personality + charm!! I’m a colour girl + love to make colours + patterns work together!!……but my house doesn’t resemble a rainbow!!
    And pink just doesn’t do it for me!!…… poor daughter!!

  • Reply Robyn October 14, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I adore red, wear it a lot, but have lived with red and gold wallpaper in my living and dining room for 10 years and just replaced it with a creamy lemony coloured paint. I can tell you I love the light, the sense of space and the calmness that sets in when I enter those rooms now. At the moment the only other “colour” is black. Can’t decide on an accent colour.

    I love those spaces for a weekend break, don’t think I could live i them.

  • Reply RJ @ A Life Designed October 15, 2010 at 2:58 am

    I love the all the colour in that house {although I’d want to get rid of about half the ‘stuff’ in it! *lol*}! We love colour in our home, two grey bedrooms, bathroom is a vibrant blue. The only white rooms are the kitchen and my office, soon to be nursery.

  • Reply Vidya October 16, 2010 at 6:53 am

    I love this way of styling! A very freestyle and real… agreed it looks cluttered, but the use of rich colours is making the clutter also look nice.

  • Reply Camilla December 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Have you tried a muted barn red? I find it a very warm, very inviting colour and it is the colour that my home is centred around.

    I really like the patterns and colours in the house, but I would get a huge box and declutter before I could imagine living there. For me, clutter is what stresses me out. Especially small things, that are just…cluttery.

  • Reply Margery Dawe September 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I love colour and it would be my worst nightmare to live in a white/cream house. I would go made. I have a green/blue bathroom and the same in the kitchen. I am just about to change the kitchen to cream/blue walls and woodwork with pops of red. My living room at the moment is raspberry red and a fern green but I’m just about to change that to a golden yellow. I LOVE COLOUR!!

  • Reply lisa October 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I could visit this house, but it would make me anxious to live there, like others have said, not the color but the feeling of clutter. This home is very much like the home of a friend, and while it is beautiful and clean I feel like I’m in a shop instead of a home. I love colors in moderation, a totally neutral scheme depresses me.

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