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3 Color Study Exercises

Good morning! Today I’d like to inspire you through color because it’s a nice way to begin a new week. In this post, I’ll outline three color exercises that you can try at home, but first let’s talk about color and the pretty palettes you’re subconsciously gathering in your daily life (shopping, snapping photos, planning your outfit, etc.).

Blog Boss

I bet you can relate to a little something I’ve noticed about myself from my Pinterest account: recurring color themes! My pins always share a common color palette but I’m not consciously aware of this until after pinning and look back. My color choices are completely random and seldom predictable. I considered if this happens in other areas of my daily life and yup, it always has. I can trace it back to being a child and shopping for Japanese paper products at my local Sanrio shop (I proudly laid everything out mood board style after each visit on Fridays after school).

Color Exercise

If you stop and consider the palettes that you are collecting, from identifying the colors to determining how they make you feel, you can learn quite a bit about yourself and your personal style.

books

I also notice color palettes appearing after I’ve gone shopping (never during) and return home to lay out my loot. I may aimlessly wonder from shop to shop over the course of a day without a clue of what to buy or why (retail therapy) yet when I return home and group my finds I always spot a definite color palette. There are usually about 3-5 core colors (always various tints and tones of 2-3 single hues) that I return with that repeat in nearly everything I’ve purchased from a pack of sugar-free gum to a bottle of juice, a meter of fabric, buttons, a book cover and a blouse. I find this fascinating.

Color Exercise

Over the past week I noticed how these themes surface in other ways at home. A collage that I made on my wall, a gift I’d wrapped for a friend, Spring shoes purchased over the past few weeks – when grouped together all share a similar palette and mood – fresh greens and mints, yellow, shots of neon pink, flecks of gold and a smattering of black.

Color Exercise

Here are three exercises that you can try for a little color fun:

1) Spot Themes: Next time you are pinning, blogging, shopping, snapping photos, etc. try to examine your colors at the end of the day. Any specific themes? If so, you have something to share on your blog or in your journal. Log your color inspirations somewhere. After a couple of months of keeping track, you may find a recurring color in each palette (or several) which can lead you to discovering a great new dining room wall paint, the colors for your next party, etc.

2) Work with colors that you don’t like: This is a great learning exercise if you find yourself consistently “against” a specific color. Remember, Red (for example) isn’t just the red you think of when you envision Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Red can also be the color of an Autumn leaf, glass of Merlot or a candy apple from the circus. Don’t think in terms of pure hues – red in its primary state may not be your thing but if more white or black is added, the tints and tones of red may be just perfect. Also, it may be the OTHER colors that you generally associate paired with red – like Christmas – Red and Evergreen. Or a Circus – Red and White stripes. Perhaps if you paired red with sky blue, you would fall in love. In this exercise, take the color that you DO NOT like and find ways in which the color DOES appeal to you. Maybe a different shade, paired with different colors, etc. You can try this exercise on Pinterest (create a pinboard for this exercise if you wish) or in a journal, on a wall, mood board, on your tabletop – it doesn’t matter how you collect – just collect! What did your study reveal?

3) Work with a favorite color: This is fun if you are in a color rut! Perhaps people associate you with yellow, or pink or black/white. Unless you are trying to brand yourself, you may simply be stuck in a color rut! This exercise is great because you can start with a color that you LOVE (which is easy, right?). Take a day to go out and find your color in the world around you. Street art, a bow tie in a store, book jacket, shop sign, piece of candy, your lunch… Snap photos and collect your color. Then try it digitally on another day – look for this color in 10-15 images (or more) online and collect them in a single place (maybe Pinterest, WishPot or a folder on your desktop). Examine how the color is used and in what dose – a lot, a little, in between? What other colors it is paired with? Which combinations do you tend to like the most? Which tend to not evoke an emotional response? You can find a beautiful palette that you never thought about before and the funny thing is, you may find ANOTHER color that you didn’t consider before. For instance, maybe your color study revealed that although you LOVE sunshine yellow, perhaps seeing it around lots of fresh green made you equally cheerful – and this may have given you a hint that green could be a new color to introduce to your evolving collection of favorite colors.

dresser

Have fun thinking about color today! I’ll be back with my color palette for the week based on the first exercise above and then Leslie will be here with her monthly installment of Color Me Pretty!

(images: Holly Becker)

Posted in Color Inspiration on February 04, 2013

Pops of Yellow with zEST

Est magazine is zESTY! I went through a bunch of their gorgeous issues recently and found the most delicious tones of yellow! I’ve collected some of my favorites below to show a little love for yellow today simply because I need this color currently  - it’s been so gray and miserable outside for several weeks – where is the sun? Where is that golden orb that gives me so much energy!? I can’t wait until the sun shines again but until it does, let us focus on the color yellow hoping it does the trick. :)

yellowYellow Inspiration3

Yellow Inspiration

Yellow Inspiration

Yellow Inspiration

Yellow Inspiration

Yellow Inspiration

Yellow in small doses can really lift a room visually but most importantly, lift the emotions. Yellow is energizing and optimistic. It can also be mellow and relaxing depending on the tone. It’s a fun color to experiment with in the home and in your wardrobe. Mix in a little metallic while you’re at it too – brass and gold is a great start.

I added a bunch of yellow tulips to my desk today and it definitely improved my mood in addition to watching The Lumineers sing Ho Hey though I always want to call the song, “Hey, Ho!” just for giggles. :)

(images:est mag)

Posted in Color Inspiration on January 24, 2013

Moody Blues Work For Me

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the color blue. In my work studio, I have lots of bright colors set against a white, neutral background because it inspires me to mix in color according to my mood, removing those that may not be particularly rockin’ my world at the moment. Currently, I have lots of yellow, orange, red and pink in my studio but a few days ago a more moody mix of emeralds and indigos started to creep in.

Moody Blues
Darker tones of blue on the bed paired with brighter ones throughout the room, like light blue walls, make moody blues less so, via: Anthropologie

I’m wondering if this is pointing me towards my eventual Autumn palette as I love warmer, richer hues in cooler months. Or perhaps this is a reflection of how I’m feeling lately — introspective, serious, thoughtful… And the weather has been so completely bonkers bouncing between summery sunny days to ones like today when only a blanket of gray covers the sky and the temps have gone from mid 70s to a murky and cool 40s. Bleh.

I had to put the candles on in my studio today to inspire me because I was ready to hit the garden shop in the morning for the plants and flowers for my balcony and now spring feels so very far away. Instead of caving in to this weather, I decided to round up some moody blues to inspire me so below it my virtual mood board which accurately fits my whole vibe at the moment. It seems a whole slew of artists, designers, decorators, stylists, cooks and photographers share my color fix at the moment, too. See for yourself…

Moody Blues

If you only want a hint of blue, try slight additions to your home to try it on for size, via: 79 Ideas.

Moody Blues

John Cullen captures blue in one single gorgeous moment.

Moody Blues

honey houses shows how to make granny chic a bit more moody.

Moody Blues

I love this pairing of emerald green with this gorgeous indigo blue sofa from Anthropologie.

Color Me Pretty

Leslie Shewring always has the best mood boards showing her inspirational palette of the moment.

Moody Blues

I’m a huge fan of gallery walls, especially set against deep colors, via: design is mine.

Moody Blues

Chris Court & Sibella Court show us how to add some blue to a mostly white bathroom.

Moody Blues

Julia Hoersch is a German photographer who really used the light to make this dining room feel very inviting in it’s pretty tones of blue, gray and violet.

Moody Blues

I love another subtle hint of blue like those shown on this leather sofa via: Riazzoli.

Moody Blues

Deep moody tones of green and blue always work for me, via: Lovely Sweet William.

Color Me Pretty: May

Leslie Shewring pairs blues with a bit of green a tiny burst of red to add some energy to the mix.

Moody Blues

Watercolor blue tones are a pretty addition to any room through paintings, porcelain… These vases are from West Elm.

Color Me Pretty: May

Leslie Shewring again shows how to use blue with a tiny bit of red to add visual interest.

Moody Blues

Chris Court & Sibella Court demonstrate a way to make ethnic prints and fabrics feel fresh and modern by sticking to a set palette, introducing beige for warmth and red for energy and adding a gorgeous accent wall.

Moody Blues

Anthropologie is always on trend. This sofa is fun and a great way to introduce blue tones to a room.

I wonder if you did a vibe mood board today, what colors you would use? Care to share?

(images linked to their sources below each shown above.)

Posted in Color Inspiration on March 29, 2012

Inspired By Pantone Tarts

This is such eye candy! New decor8 columnist and French author and stylist Emilie Griottes (details here), recently pulled together a column for French magazine Fricote mixing one passion (food) with another (color) to result in a story about Pantone colors as yummy tarts!

Pantone Tarts

I really love this and admire how Emilie really knows how to bring her imagination to life. When I met her recently in Paris for breakfast, I admired her energy and love for styling and producing things that are fresh and creative. She has only been working as a stylist, photographer and cook for one year and already she has produced books and styled for other books and magazines. It’s amazing really, to see such growth so quickly — but of course, well deserved as she is quite amazing.

Her yummy tarts as Pantone color swatches is quite brilliant! In the magazine you can even find the recipes for each of her creations in case looking at them has made you hungry. This is just so ahead of the curve and creative, I adore Emilie’s work and can’t wait to share her first column later this week on decor8 with all of you!

(images: emilie griottes)

Posted in Color Inspiration on March 19, 2012

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