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Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

Pastels are everywhere but do they feel fresh or a bit sluggish to you? I must admit, all of that sugary softness can feel totally boring (Easter needs revamped!) so why don’t we turn up the heat and make pastels ZING. What I’m about to show you (brace  yourself) is a very hot ‘n spicy palette for Spring on the runway so why not try it at home by mixing pastels with spicy red, 80s neons, warm cooper or gold tones, maybe a shot of black, deep violet, emerald or navy. I’m tellin’ ya people, we can take pastels from Oy vey to Oh yay in mere seconds – take a look…

Giving Pastels Energy

Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

This is a very lively mix – a real party girl combo using sugar sweet pastels and punctuating them with clever color accents that are bold and risky. While pastels can feel really granny and dated (or seasonal), you can easily perk them up with my favorite metal of the moment – copper!

rhfhMaking Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

If you’re a bit bored with neon pink, opt for neon orange because that looks quite gorgeous when placed in a pastel playground.

Try neon ORANGE over Pink

Giving Pastels Energy

I even love spicy reds – they can energize a pastel palette taking them from Easter egg hunts and tea parties to grown up girl Glamorama cha-cha! Want to get a little edgy with pastels? Grab a little black or navy and dot it around the space.

Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

RowenaCushions1

Cushions by Martinich&Carran

Making Pastels Zingy + Fresh!

Giving Pastels Energy

Giving Pastels Energy

How are you using pastels at the moment? Here are some visuals to give you some ideas that I love…

I have to add that Lucy over at the Design Files is such an inspiration to me. This Australian blogger has such a gorgeous design blog about Aussie design and recently had a beautiful open house event where she turned an empty rented home into a living blog OPEN HOUSE showroom for a weekend. I really love Lucy’s photography, blog and now her open house events – I’m tempted to fly down to Australia to attend the next one later this year – it’s my big dream ! Anyway, Lucy loves color and knows how to mix pastels with more vibrant hues so I selected several photos above from her open house party to inspire you to be a bit more daring when you decorate. To see more about the Design Files Open House, please visit Vimeo and watch this stunning video. Lucy, you rock with color and design!

(images: ferm living, revolver, design files)

Posted in Color Inspiration on February 06, 2013

Color Crush: Feeling Moody

I hope that you enjoyed my previous post about color with 3 color study exercises – please try at least one of them to see what you discover about yourself  -it’s fun and we need more FUN in life because it fuels our creative side. I thought I’d practice what I preach and apply one of my own tips so I selected the first tip, to spot themes which is exactly what I did this morning after a pinning session over on Pinterest. Here is a very moody color palette that emerged: Indigo, gray, pale pink, peach, mint… Pretty yet also moody and winter-y.

Color Crush: Feeling Moody ( photos above: all things comfy, naturally ella, mrs french, thriving twenties.)

What does this palette reveal to me? It’s the dead of winter where I live and I mean DEAD. Everything is gray outside. It’s freezing. There is nothing to look forward to (no fairs, no flea markets, nothing to do outdoors). It’s a bit of a depressing time of year BUT I’m not hopeless, in fact, I’m using this period as a bit of a rest period so that I can gather my ideas and energy so that once March arrives, then April, May, and so on, I can put all of this stored energy into practice and go out and do lots of fun things.

Color Crush: Feeling Moody (illustration from the ammiki shop on easy)

Color Crush: Feeling Moody (from welke)

Color Crush: Feeling Moody (illustrator marika maijala, whole living magazine, pillow from Bright July shop on etsy, skona hem magazine)

Color Crush: Feeling Moody (illustration by My Lovely Thing, Mod Cloth thumbtack DIY, Butterfly photo books)

This palette also represents a changing of seasons as very soon, we’ll be facing Spring yet this is the overall energy in the air today. It’s a time of candles, conversations over tea, indulging in comfort food (like porridge, soup, fresh bread) and big, cozy sweaters.

By the way, be sure to click on lots of the links above where these images came from because they are sure to inspire you – loads of great sites, blogs and stores to visit!

What is your current color crush?

(images: linked below each grouping/photo)

Posted in Color Inspiration on February 04, 2013

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

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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