Whether you are planning your wedding color scheme, your next dinner party, or a room in your home (yes, really!) I found the color studio tool on the Brides website to be quite handy for those that have a difficult time envisioning certain hues together. Even for those not color challenged, it’s helpful because we often get stuck in using our signature colors so this tool may help us think outside of the box. You know, a little exercise that may encourage us to try a new color combination, one that we may not naturally gravitate towards, I’m all for it. Change is good, my friends!
There’s also a create-a-cake tool that teeters on being more of a toy, but it’s still fun to play around with it. I love browsing their flower galleries because flowers always give me courage. I think seeing them in their many colors makes me realize that no color is wrong and to continue exploring because it’s very easy to find yourself stuck in color ruts (wardrobe, home, even hair and makeup!).
I also enjoy looking through the many ideas they have for favors – it’s just the best! I like seeing how they combine colors, paying special attention to which ones play a more dominant role, which are more of the accents, etc. I find this a very helpful exercise.
I think inspiration can be found in so many places nowadays that I look at everything for potential ideas, and of course, not everything has to lead to an idea, it can also just be a fun thing to look at and may give you some peace or repair you a bit on the inside so that when you are back at your work desk, ideas flow a little more easily.
(images from brides.com)
I’m finding myself so attracted to mixing colorful fruit stripes and zig zag prints with ethnic florals lately, especially in apple greens and Palm Beach pinks. Reminds me of days spent growing up on the coast of South Carolina… I discovered Alpa Mistry lately, and thought you’d like the mix of colors in her palette, which I think would look amazing paired with florals in the same colorways. I also love the idea of weaving ties to create a chair seat or art for the walls, something that came to mind the moment I spotted her glorious selection of ties.
(images from alpa mistry)
House Beautiful just posted one of the most helpful features I’ve seen on a magazine website in a very long time. Although they only show two rooms, the myriads of paint swatches that accompany them are gorgeous. They give you the name of the paint manufacturer and color name and number. I’d love to see them expand this feature on their site, and to see more magazines do this on their websites, too. It’s so helpful when magazines tell us the exact paint color they’ve used in a room. Something I also love about Domino magazine. Hats off to House Beautiful for their Colors of Summer. I love it and had to share… Now *this* is helpful.
(images from house beautiful magazine)
Flickr user Robertspeg sent me a lovely little note a few days ago that I’d like to share with you since it gave me a few thoughts on orange that I’ll mention below. She begins, “I loved your orange post today. Orange is a color I never thought I would use in decorating. Then a couple of years ago, I found I really loved it with pink. Now I use it all the time.”
Peggy is right, orange doesn’t always “click” with everyone at first, at least until they spot it mingled with colors they do love. Eureka! A feeling of surprise sets in, orange suddenly becomes your new best friend. Peggy adds that for her, there was a certain something that she had to do to make orange click in her apartment, “I painted the walls white and now I find I use orange, blue and pink constantly. I never thought I would use such a strange color combination.” And it works, as you can clearly see from Peggy’s photos above.
Orange looks great with pink, also with blue (remember this mood board from Starlee Matz?), and of course, green and cocoa brown, too. They all work nicely together in nature, which is where a lot of designers draw their inspiration, so of course they’ll work indoors, too.
Consider the colors of the desert, the coast, a sunset, or those in your flower garden. When I see color combinations in nature that interest me, I photograph it and save for future reference, as these often inspire my own work. Even if you don’t consider yourself a shutterbug, purchase a digital camera and carry it with you at all times. Just the other day, I saw the most beautiful whitetail and I asked my husband to photograph it (I wasn’t patient enough to chase it as he was!) because it was so pretty – the gorgeous blue body combined with silvery gray wings with cocoa accents. It made me think of a room where the key color is blue, accented with gray and of course, some cocoa and silver.
Artists have looked to nature for inspiration over the centuries, so when decorating your home, look to color combinations outdoors as your guide and let them ignite your creative spark. With every photo I take, I’m stopping to “smell the roses” and it feels so good. Not only am I looking for terrific color combinations, but in the process I discover beautiful little creatures, flowers, plants, all that I may have missed otherwise.
Maybe this weekend, you can carry your camera with you and snap some photos of terrific color combinations in nature? It’s a fun study and will most definitely fire up your imagination. You’ll be surprised to see what you find. :)
(images from robertspeg)