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Color Inspiration

Color Inspiration

Neutrals, Greens, Amber, Lavender and Chartreuse

November 9, 2009

Hello friends! It’s me, Leslie with Color Me Pretty and this time I wanted to work with a softer palette filled with neutrals, leaf greens, amber, lavender and a little chartreuse. My experiment was to use these colors while trying to find my inner “botanist” because little touches of science seems to be a popular trend in home decor that I just can’t get enough of… I hope you like my translation of this today!

Neutrals, Greens, Amber, Lavender and Chartreuse

Decorating Tips: You can bring this decorating “scientist” look into your house really simply with lovely glass lab bottles filled with samples from a walk in the park or around your yard. I also love the look of amber glass for a similar effect. Instead of recycling my glass vitamin bottles I save them as little flower vases to hold smaller “specimens”. If you are not into vitamins you can also purchase amber glass bottles really inexpensively at bottle supply companies and they come in all sorts of fun sizes.

Neutrals, Greens, Amber, Lavender and Chartreuse

Old botanical drawings of plants and antique looking fonts can also be easily found and used to compliment this look. If you are making your own projects, it helps if you create a little series and use date stamps -think science project observations! I walked around my garden and painted a few samples of what was growing last week, but photographs or collages could have been good too. If you put a little label and date on each piece you start to create a “study” kind of look that can be displayed together.

Neutrals, Greens, Amber, Lavender and Chartreuse

Neutrals, Greens, Amber, Lavender and Chartreuse

DIY Idea: I wanted to create a quick clothesline effect to hang watercolor renderings I did of what is growing right now in my little garden. However, I could not decide where I wanted to drill the holes into my walls! Instead I made a clothesline canvas that can be propped up anywhere and made in a jiffy. I used natural twine, mini wooden clothes pins, a canvas board (from an art supply store) and some heavy duty tape. As long as you do not hang anything too heavy, the mini twine clothes lines reinforced with duct tape on the back of the canvas can hold your inspiring little pieces. If you want to do something a little stronger you can use a prepared canvas that is wrapped around a wooden frame (ones made up for oil paintings) and use hanging screws and wires to create the clothes lines. Attach the hanging screws to the sides of the canvas, screwing them into the wood and use the wire as you hanging line. Either way you have an easy moveable display for your bits of inspiration. – xo Leslie.

Do you have any ideas that you’d like to share on how to bring a little decorating science into your home? Please share in the comments section!

(images: leslie shewring)






Color Inspiration, Inspiration

Raúl Martins: Interior Design

October 22, 2009

Nuevo Estilo Magazine, or “New Style” in English, is a design magazine out of Spain that also has a website where they share some beautiful rooms and decorating tips, all in Spanish of course. This particular home in Madrid is one such home and it was flawlessly pulled together by interior designer Raúl Martins. I love how purple and yellow were used to brighten up an otherwise neutral palette, don’t you?

Raúl Martins: Interior Design

Raúl Martins: Interior Design

And of course, the neutrals here aren’t completely flat and boring, but there is texture and a variety of materials used to make this space cozy and warm. This is such a good way to bring to life a room that may be a bit blah in your own home. Introduce two complementary colors (colors directly opposite of one another on the color wheel) to your neutral palette and see what beautiful things can result. Complementary colors are useful when you want to make a point: when you want something to really stand out.

Lovely work by Raúl Martins… and I cannot seem to locate a website for this talented designer so if you know, please comment with the link below!

(images Nuevo Estilo Magazine)






Color Inspiration

Turquoise, Persimmon, Neutrals, Grey and Black

October 19, 2009

Hello Friends, it’s me Leslie again for Color Me Pretty! This time around I decided to play with turquoise, persimmon, lots of neutrals, a little grey and a touch of black. I wanted to use this palette to explore some David Hick’s inspired patterns. It seems Hick’s has influenced many American designers these days, like Kelly Wearstler, Tory Burch and Jonathan Adler. It is easy to see why as his work was bold, graphic and loaded with colors and textures. I tried to tone it down a little to see how we could incorporate some of these bold graphics into our existing décor with a little DIY project, I hope you like this little study.

Turquoise, Persimmon, Neutrals, Grey and Black

DIY I wanted to create a super easy piece of wall art with some of the patterns I painted for you. Thus, I scanned in the painted patterns and printed them out onto matte ink jet paper. (The colors do not always come out exact as scanners vary – like mine -which is not very good!) I then took my lovely little Marvy square punch and quickly punched out squares from my patterned paper. I then created a grid on a piece of 12 x 18″ paper – I used this size because I had an old unused frame in my garage that was just waiting to be dusted off. I used spraymount adhesive (a type of toxic spray glue that works beautifully as it does not warp the paper like regular glue) to lightly spray each square and then placed it in the grid I had penciled on the white paper and voila! Now, if you do not have a square punch it is easy to cut up paper with an x-acto blade and a ruler. As for the patterned paper you could use anything with a design on it that matches with your home…it would be really nice to use old photographs too- because if you are like me there are lots of photos in boxes that could be used and would look great. (Like all those ocean or flower shots!)

Turquoise, Persimmon, Neutrals, Grey and Black

Turquoise, Persimmon, Neutrals, Grey and Black

When you use a primarily neutral color scheme in your home you must rely on texture and pattern to create some interest so that the space does not look to bland. It is fun to then use dabs of bold color to really show off the colors you enjoy like persimmon (which is basically just a darker orange but sounds more “designy” – right?). I use this color in little doses in my dining area with some vintage plates hanging on the wall along with some art that features the dark orange-red along with grays, whites and wood. Turquoise looks great in the mix too as it really makes the dark orange pop especially when you have the neutral tones in there creating negative space around the colors. If bold colors kind of scare you start with some flowers or a small accessory like a vase and see if in fact the color may just brighten your day!

Turquoise, Persimmon, Neutrals, Grey and Black

Turquoise, Persimmon, Neutrals, Grey and Black

I hope you enjoyed this study and I will see you back here November 9TH, enjoy the rest of the month! – xo, Leslie Shewring

To see  more of Leslie’s posts, click here.

(image copyright: Leslie Shewring)






Color Inspiration

Mauve, Magenta and Deep Purple

October 5, 2009

Hello Friends! It’s me, Leslie and it’s time for Color Me Pretty again. Are you ready to see what I’ve come up with this time around? Today I am using different shades of mauve, magenta and deep purple combined with lots of aged paper for a more nostalgic feel. What do you think? I also wanted to paint some Anni Albers (German textile artist and printmaker, read more here) inspired patterns in watercolor to bring geometric elements to the mix as I always like it when different styles converge, don’t you? Some of the dahlias I photographed also inspired me to paint a few which brings a softness to some crafts I made for you. I really hope you enjoy this little investigation.

Mauve, Magenta and Deep Purple

Decorating ideas: As you know vintage papers of any kind can provide an interesting texture to your home decor. Old books with worn spines on a shelf, maps of cities you love or images from bygone eras can help to create more flavor to any room. I have noticed that vintage post cards are widely available at my local flea market and they can be an instant way to add color and a little bit of history to your walls. It is also fun to turn them over and show the old handwriting and stamps on the back. I could imagine some tacked in a group or clipped to a string hung on a wall, some showing the images and some showing the back. The postcards I picked up were fifty cents to a dollar with some dating back to 1910.

Mauve, Magenta and Deep Purple

Mauve, Magenta and Deep Purple

Mauve, Magenta and Deep Purple

DIY Ideas: Garlands (above) are featured everywhere these days but they are also nostalgic and so sweet, I just had to try making one for you in this color scheme! After scanning in some of my watercolors I then printed them out on textured paper, cut the triangles, and then quickly glued them to a ribbon. I hope you like it and I will try to sew one next time!

Mauve, Magenta and Deep Purple

Another DIY idea — Lastly, I scanned in some old German text book pages to use as a background texture for some of the photographs and for some little gift tags that I made. I just didn’t feel right about cutting up the book for my crafts! Are you the same way when it comes to cutting up books? It’s hard, isn’t it?

I really look forward to seeing you back here in a couple weeks!- xo, Leslie

(images: leslie shewring)






Color Inspiration

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

September 21, 2009

Hello Friends! It’s me, Leslie again with Color Me Pretty. Today I am inspired by Japanese stationery supplies and colors like peacock blue, chartreuse, golden yellow, creamy white and a little dark brown. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a brief trip to Japan a couple weeks ago and I wanted to share my inspirations with you. I spent hours, yes hours, in stationery stores all over Tokyo. I just could not get enough of the pens, papers, tapes and stamps. We all have our weaknesses and one of my big ones is Japanese stationery and craft supplies!

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

Peacock blue (a really dark turquoise) looks stunning in home decor, especially when paired with a lighter shade of turquoise. Add a little chartreuse or avocado to the mix and you have one of my favorite color combinations!

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

This time I also brought in a little golden yellow and some dark brown as Fall is settling in here. If it is Spring where you are, a lighter shade of yellow works well too. In grad school, I upholstered an old Scandinavian sofa that was given to me in a fabulous peacock blue velvet. It sounds kind of scandalous as I write this but it actually looked amazing against the white washed walls of my apartment! Today, my dear sofa is in storage but I still love turquoise accents around my home!

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

Peacock Blue, Chartreuse + Golden Yellow

I can only hope that one or some of these photos may inspire you to start a creative project for yourself. I love the month of September because to me it feels like the time for a fresh start. Time to do something new or to get back to things that have been on hold. It is nice to decide to stay home in the evenings and focus on what we want to create. Maybe it could be a journal that incorporates collage. How about an album of just inspiring photographs or of you at your happiest and most fulfilled moments instead of just the usual chronological one? Design files and small home improvement projects can be fun to tackle too. Whatever gets you moving and creating.

Thank you for your support of my column and I can’t wait to see you back here again soon! –Leslie Shewring

(images: leslie shewring)







Color Inspiration

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

August 17, 2009

Hello friends, it’s Leslie again with Color Me Pretty and this time I am focusing on pinks, melons, black, white and a touch of gold because its summery and the black adds a little drama don’t you think? I also wanted to incorporate some Moroccan patterns, I know they are everywhere but I cannot seem to get enough of them! It was fun to use this palette and combine it with a touch of Morocco. I do hope you enjoy this little exploration.

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

Pinks, Melons, Black, White and Gold

Ideas on using these colors at home:

Used sparingly pinks and melons can add a delicious hint of femininity to your home, like a small bouquet of roses in the corner of a room or a white bowl of peaches waiting to be eaten. I use a weathered Moroccan tiled table on the patio that is the softest shade of peachy melon, it’s warm muted glow of color is really pretty. However, if you are brave and love pinks go for it! Layered patterns of bright pinks and juicy melon tones are fabulous for personalities that can pull it off, especially when mixed with a touch of black and gold. Of course a little white also helps all these colors pop! As well, if you are drawn to a certain culture’s design motifs by all means try to find ways to incorporate them into you home. This could be done by simply framing pieces of patterned fabric or paper, or by creating a little mood board to hang with patterned bits from a far away land, little hints like this can go a long way in creating a unique and inspiring space for you. -Leslie

(images: leslie shewring)






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