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Colorful Home – Could You Live Here?

Wow! Did you check out this, “neglected Federal-style schoolhouse in the Catskills transformed into a glamorous and chic home”, today on the Country Living website? Oh my goodness this is a color and pattern explosion — and it totally works! I love all of the paint, wallpaper, collections and patterns. Yowser!

Country Living

It’s so funny how some people have the natural ability to pull this off so simply yet others struggle with using so many bold patterns and colorways in a home. Why do you think this is? I think the harder it is to decorate using a certain scheme then one is either over-thinking things or trying to decorate with colors and styles that they don’t really like or connect with. For me, if something doesn’t come natural for me to do in my own home, if I have to really force myself to use a color or pattern, then I skip it and go with what feels good for me. Sometimes I’ll throw in something that doesn’t come so naturally just to challenge myself to make sure my views are narrowing too much… but still — I know what I like and so I try to use only things that I really click with in my home.

Perhaps this is why I never liked to incorporate tons of pattern and color in my home, I just can’t bare the strength of it all because my inner world is so colorful and alive that I always felt like all of these layers surrounding me at home would compete with me. I love the home shown above but for this reason, I could never live there though I’d love to find a bed and breakfast like this and spend a long weekend. :)

I was just thinking… and I’ve said this in the past, but red in the home stresses me out unless it is used as a small accent combined with a calm, soft blue or pink. Do you have a “trigger” color that stresses you out in the home? Could you live in this space above?

(images: country living)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Decorating Tips on October 08, 2010

Color Me Pretty: Purple Hues

Hello and happy Monday to you! It is Leslie here with September’s Color Me Pretty column. This time around I am using muted purple, cream, grey, silver and a touch of black. I was reminded of some of these colors in Holly’s post here where she discusses a décor possibility for her new home, which she moves into this week! The palette was inspired by Sibella Court’s paint line which I am sure most of you have checked out on her website. I tried using this palette loosely in a much smaller scale with a few little projects to get your creative wheels turning.

Color Me Pretty

I have been seeing many of these colors appearing in my catalog pile as well and, once again I can’t help but tear out images. They are clipped into my journals, stuck onto my mood board and taped on my wall for further inspiration. Today you will see images in my photographs from the Noa Noa, J.Crew, and Himla catalogs.

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

Purple hues seem to dominate the flowers in my garden too, like lavender, salvia, geraniums, verbena and solanum. I plucked a few sprigs and popped them into my vintage Amethyst bottles for the series. For some of the bottles I put on a little white paper with Japanese silver tape to balance out all the purple. You could tape any patterned paper on any kind of glass vase or jar for a similar effect. It is simple and shows you do not need to spend much time or money on flowers to have a nice display for your home.

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

I had fun using my watercolors to create little studies on small 2” by 3” cards. Sometimes it is nice to do really small creative steps towards a larger project, especially if you are feeling stuck or unmotivated. Like myself, when it is 95 degrees and I have no air conditioning in my studio! As I painted, stitched and glued sequins on these little cards I began to feel inspired and ready to work on the entire photo series. Do you have suggestions on how you get motivated for your creative work?

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

I hope you have enjoyed the series today and I look forward to seeing you back here next month. Take care, Leslie.

(images: leslie shewring)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Color Me Pretty, guest bloggers on September 27, 2010

Color Me Pretty: Navy Stripes + Salmon

Hello friends, it is Leslie here with my latest Color Me Pretty series. This time around I got really inspired by navy, straw, salmon, a little lemon, a little wood and denim.

Color Me Pretty: August

These colors work well together in clothing and I found myself tearing out images from the early summer catalogs of J.Crew, Madewell and Noa Noa to include in my mood boards.

Color Me Pretty: August

Don’t you think clothing catalogs can be a treasure trove for ideas about color and texture? We have seen how fashion can inspire interior design projects but it can also inspire much smaller projects, like how you wrap a present or combine papers for your next collage.

Color Me Pretty: August

With navy it seems to be all about stripes, in fashion, on my Japanese bowls, striped ribbon from New York. I just had to paint some for you, as I like how watercolor can make stripes look even fresher, if that is possible!

Color Me Pretty: August

Color Me Pretty: August

Once I started doodling with the navy paint I had a hard time stopping and after the stripes I ended up writing with my paint brush, painting patterns on envelopes and decorating plain paper fans. I can imagine that a few hand painted fans on a wall would be really pretty. Painting fans is also a fun project with kids as my daughter and her friend loved painting their own too. I picked up the plain uncoated paper fans in LA’s Chinatown for a dollar or so each. The paper was pretty thick and a good surface for the watercolor paint.

Color Me Pretty: August

Some of my stripe patterns got cut into squares and made into stapled quilts for my corkboard. I saw pieces of paper stapled together like this at an Anthropologie store near my home. I thought it was a great idea to show you as you could make something similar for your walls or for a card with little bits of paper or with photographs.

Color Me Pretty: August

Color Me Pretty: August

Color Me Pretty: August

Finally, I wanted to show you how these colors even inspire my desk. I love looking at ever changing little boxes and rolls of tapes. The wooden dispensers from Uguisu are a constant, as is the beautiful card-file from lovelydesign and the artwork. I framed a series of small prints by Catherine Campbell of My Folk Lover together to form a grid so that I could view all of them all of the time.

Color Me Pretty: August

I hope you found something today that may inspire a creative project for you. Please enjoy the rest of August and I will see you back here next month. – Leslie

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Psst: If you’d like to see more lovely inspirations from Leslie and her Color Me Pretty column, please refer to this page to view gorgeous color palettes to inspire you today!

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Like what you see? If you’d like to learn how to create your own moodboards and learn how to style your own photos for your blog, Leslie is co-teaching Blogging Your Way, an online self-paced class along with me next month for 4 weeks where you will learn all of this and more. To enroll (hurry space is limited!), you may click here. Class is for all levels and you DO NOT need a blog to participate in this class  but it would be helpful if you started one during the class so you can start applying your newfound education! :)

(images: leslie shewring)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Color Me Pretty on August 19, 2010

Color Me Pretty: Neon Pink

Hello Friends, it is Leslie here for July’s Color Me Pretty series. This time around I decided to explore black, white, silver, grey and yes, neon pink. I do not think I have gone totally eighties on you. I have just been a little obsessed with this color combination since I saw the cover of Inside Out magazine last month.

Color Me Pretty

This magazine inspired this mood board below… and this series today!

Color Me Pretty

You can sneak a little neon pink into a neutral interior and have it feel really fresh and summery with a simple pillow as an accent as shown below.

Color Me Pretty

Of course it is a trendy color, which is what makes it so fun, just use it in small dosages! Handwriting, beads and tape were also brought into the mix this time around. I hope you enjoy what I have put together for you.

Color Me Pretty

I love photographing chalkboard menus when I travel in Europe. It is more about the handwriting, less about the menu. Chalkboards are fun in the home and I like the idea of sketches or poems written on them, maybe even a fancy frame around their edge. Even if you are nervous about showcasing your own handwriting, go for it. That is what the eraser is for!

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

I have been sticking Rob Ryan’s tape on everything. As most of you know, tape can instantly personalize a plain journal or a blank card.

Color Me Pretty

On my mood board I combined some Japanese tape with a little neon pink stitching to make a card. I also combined Rob Ryan’s tape with some Japanese tape to make another card.

Color Me Pretty

Recycle tip: An empty food can is painted white and then spruced up further with a little note and some ribbon to hold a plant for a gift.

Color Me Pretty

Craft Idea: I tried using stencils this month as well –to go along with my eighties investigation because weren’t stenciled walls big back then in the US? Do you remember the do it yourself grapevine stencil kits? Well, stencil kits are back better then ever! I loved using the kits by Ed Roth of Stencil 1. Lotta Jansdotter makes some nice larger scale stencils that I tried too. You can also check out Lena Corwin’s chapter on stenciling in her book “Printing By Hand”.

Color Me Pretty

I used stencils from both Stencil 1 and Lotta Jansdotter to create images on some small square canvases. I realize I am not the best stencil student as I like to paint myself but it was fun to have a guide and the results were very fast. I did not have a stencil brush, which I think I will use next time around. I especially liked making some cards for my mood board collection on heavy paper using the stencils.

Have you tried using stencils? Any tips you want to share with us beginners?

Thank you for joining me here and I will see you again next month with a Color Me Pretty series for August! If you would like to see previous CMP columns please click here. Bye!

(images: leslie shewring)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Color Me Pretty on July 30, 2010

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