By Rachel Perls of Hue Consulting, decor8 guest writer.
Ah, good ol? brown. Woodsy, earthy, dependable. It?s not actually a spectral hue, but a dark version of orange. All the same, rustic, wholesome brown is a staple in interior design and deserves its moment of glory.
What words come to mind when you think of brown? Snuggly, rich, comfy, natural, soothing, luxurious and warm may be a few. It?s also a safe choice, if red shouts, then brown is a soft hum. Brown’s pale sibling, beige, is a very popular wall color here in the states. No wonder IKEA targeted us with their popular “Be Brave, Not Beige” campaign including a fun website dedicated to encouraging the infusion of saturated color into the home, especially the ‘typical’ American one. While I believe strongly in the use of color in a space, I?m not entirely against beige and its milky cohorts. From buff to burgundy, rust to wheat, brown can give you a huge range of looks and whether understated or bold, it’s often a terrific canvas to work from.
These neutral tones can work quite in supporting roles: to provide a backdrop to accent pieces, or maintain continuity between stronger tones. The warm mushroom chaise lounge works wonderfully here as a counter-balance to the soft grey wall.
Wood floors are a basic component of most homes. And wood furniture. Most people stop there, concluding that since wood is brown all wood furniture must match. Right? Have you ever considered that each variety, while still ?brown?, has a different undertone? Cedar, pine, oak, cherry wood tones range from red, to orange, blonde or even blush. via: Flooring Express.
toffee, and cream by Cheryl Porro, recipe here.
Think of the food craze for a moment, chocolate and coffee. Ranging from milky caf? au lait to triple shot espressos, cupcakes, and cookies. Not only does chocolate taste great, but it can create a genuine sense of warmth and security, while stirring up your appetite. No wonder that it’s called Comfort Food. (Now I?m hungry!)
Speaking of food, aren?t these walls below simply edible? Brown is an excellent choice when you want to set off a more saturated hue. Think about contrast – dark against light, muted against bright. Brown and orange, or turquoise, or pink…
via Domino magazine.
and textured walls. via: LivingEtc.
works in this space. Warm brown is rustic, while purple adds
a modern playful touch. Love it! via: The Rug Company.
You can also go light and airy with a touch of vintage.
This seems to be all the rage at the moment. via: LivingEtc.
and sophisticated while still providing relaxation and comfort. via: LivingEtc.
via: West Elm.
via: Domino magazine.
Texture and pattern are important considerations when you?re mixing monochromatic (one color) elements. To dabble in brown, start with accent pieces: a throw pillow or piece of artwork. Amenity Home has a beautiful range of textile pieces to bring nature inside.
By combining lights and darks, and layering different textures together, basic brown spaces can become anything but boring. Do you like using it in your space? I bet you have more of it around than you realize!
[To read more of Rachel’s posts on decor8 about color, click here. Thank you Rachel for stopping in today, with chocolate lining all the aisles of stores, your timing is great!]
(images all linked above to their source.)
I really enjoy writing Take Five Tuesdays so I’ve decided to keep it going for the rest of 2008 and to add a fun column to run on Mondays called Color Me Monday. This one will be themed around a specific color or a palette that I’m currently inspired by showcasing things that I like from pretty rooms to flower arrangements, fashion, and anything else that I would own if my wallet were fatter and my home larger. Monday isn’t a day that we love to face so my goal is to cheer you up and get the week started off right with a dose of color. Oh, and please visit your etsy friends over in the left column on Monday because I’ll feature items in the chosen color/s for additional inspiration. Yay! Okay, nuff ‘splaining, time for getting down to business. :) Today I’m feeling bright splashes of yellow with a touch of crisp white because as I look out of my window, all I see is white snow yet all I can imagine are bright yellow daffodils popping up to replace the big freeze in just a few more months…
Bottom: Pretty work area from Domino magazine, Slim eatin’ in this narrow but nice kitchen as seen in Living Etc magazine, the stunning cow parsley wallpaper featured in Real Simple magazine (my goal is to someday have this paper in my house, I can’t stop thinking about it), and yellow and white bookcases – such a great idea again from Domino.
Related posts: Color of the month: Yellow.
(images credited in links beneath collages.)
“Back in Black”
By Rachel Perls of Hue Consulting, decor8 guest writer
Fall is finally here; our palette has turned to deep, rich, autumnal colors. With the colder weather approaching, we move indoors, looking forward to making our spaces warm and cozy for the months ahead. Light, airy whites and pastels are tucked away in storage, and denser, muted tones become more prevalent, ushering in a feeling of weight, comfort and stability.
Black is a strong, dependable color that becomes quite prevalent in home decorating during this season. It has a sense of permanence, and solidity that is reassuring. How decadent and glamorous is this room shown above? Black represents sophistication and substance. The ultimate chic color for cocktail parties and black-tie affairs, it can morph into a completely different interpretation with a simple change of context.
People react quite strongly to this hue, which is actually the absence of all pigment. It signifies mourning in many cultures, as well as danger, or the supernatural. It is ominous, the fear of the unknown. Black represents power, which can be reassuring, or scary, depending upon whom wields it.
One combo that packs a punch is black and yellow. In nature, black and yellow color patterns communicate to predators that an animal is dangerous, like stinging wasps or poisonous snakes. We?re biologically conditioned to pay special attention to this color duo.
Another popular match is black and red. It has a strong Asian flair, and looks amazing in lacquered finishes.
A fresh, modern variation of the red and black theme substitutes fuchsia for the red, lightening the mood considerably.
Or experiment with orange and black, another stunning combination.
When paired with other bright colors, black works as a unifying element. How fun is this treatment? I feel like I just stepped into a pop art painting.
Trend-wise, I?ve read that dark cabinets for kitchens are very hip these days, Susan from the blog The Kitchen Designer, is a terrific source for trend watching in this area of the home. But be forewarned about those oh-so-popular black granite countertops. Ergonomically, they are horrible for your vision because there isn?t enough contrast between the work surface and your kitchen items; this causes eyestrain.
Just by tweaking the texture, surface, and tone of black, you can create vastly different moods. This shiny kitchen by Miles Redd is really over the top, but I thought it was so fun, I couldn?t resist.
If you don?t know where to start, accent pieces and dark flooring are great places to begin introducing ebony into your spaces. (Remember the Nate Berkus NYC Aparment reveal on Oprah?) Black can look great with almost any color, especially if it is used with contrasting lighter colors. You absolutely need the contrast, so don?t go too overboard with this inky tone.
Any questions regarding black that you have? Please leave your question or comment below and I’ll gladly do what I can to answer!
(images linked accordingly above. some links via desire to inspire.)
If white hasn’t inspired you yet, I pulled together this set featuring 285 of my favorite mostly white photos for your enjoyment. I think it will do the trick! From products to rooms, animals to nature, I think you’ll like clicking through these gorgeous images. All of them have been featured on decor8 at one time or another, so for long time readers, you should recognize many of them. It’s fun to see them all grouped together!
You can also view them as a slideshow against black right here and adjust the speed to slow, medium or fast in the lower left corner. I hope you like it. Have fun!