Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

Decorating trends

Wild about animal prints

Animal prints glam up a room better than almost anything.

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There are a couple of tricks, though.

First, is to use only in moderation.

ONCE is enough. This is an accent, not the main attraction.

Second, make sure you repeat the color of the animal print somewhere else in the room.

The key is not to overdose so that it kills the look. 

You can overdose some themes, and succeed. But, animal prints are not for overdosing.

The exception is when you use an animal print carpet. It will be the main attraction:

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And please save leopard print walls for Snooki ūüėČ

It takes a practiced hand to repeat the colors without overdosing the accent fabric.

Take a look at some gorgeous examples.

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Below, the gold and the black of  the leopard ottoman are repeated in the portrait.

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Memphis/Palm Beach decorator William Eubanks takes it to the max, but he always follows the rule of one:

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William Eubanks again:

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And I will let you see for yourself what happens
when you break the “rule of one”:

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Or the colors in the animal print are not

repeated properly or at all:

Is there a place for an accent animal print in your home?

It can be done very tastefully.

Just remember to use as an accent.

And repeat the colors in the animal print elsewhere in the room.


They never sit here together

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No, the couple have never sat together, here.

Not even once, well, maybe just that one time when they first arrived.

But, so what?

A pair of comfy chairs looks dynamite in the master bedroom.

What a nice secondary focal point to the bed.

It is nice to have a place to sit in the bedroom (besides the bed).

The perfect place to toss a robe before climbing into bed.

Comfortable enough for her five-minute morning check-in conversation with her best friend.

He likes to put his socks on here.

And, the teenage daughter always perches here, on the edge, just so,

to tell them that she is back by curfew.

A pair of chairs in the master.

Do you have room in yours for this wonderful style vignette?


High Style Chinoiserie for the powder room!

If you have a powder room in your home, there is nowhere more fun to indulge a passion

for beautiful chinoiserie (or other high style) wallpapers, fabrics, and finishes.

Because of the small scale, it is much more affordable to install that fancy wallpaper,

go for the silk roman shades, the marble counter, gorgeous pair of sconces, etc.

I like to advise my design/color clients to go all out with the colors, and/or high style they love

but might not like in larger doses for a big room.

My own powder room is teeny tiny. I would never go Plain Jane in a space this small. 

Here is a detail of my sconce and mirror.

Which set against a scenic chinoiserie toile paper, causes the eye to travel.

Style maven Diana Vreeland said it first, and it is so true:¬†“The Eye Must Travel.

image Color Calling

Image Color Calling

Here is another powder room with similar scale to mine (basically a chest-of-drawers width

wide).  

Although I would avoid grouted tile counter tops, which are dated, I truly love the lyrical

nature of the yellow and muted green scenic paper.

The touch of red is perfect, as are the golden koi decorations on the counter top. As for 

the red in the wallpaper, notice how your eye travels from the red to the red,

almost involuntarily?

Let’s look at some other fabulous chinoiserie powder rooms that may give you some ideas.

More scenic paper, see anything you like?

Style tip:  No offense to whom I am sure is a very talented designer, but the cabinetry, just below,

is a little “too-too” for me.
I personally find this mix of finishes jarring (i.e, the pewter basin + gilt mirror + shiny cabinet
+ heavily veined marble top.)
Remember the “decide what is most important” rule?
I would have underplayed/simplified the basin, countertop, and cabinetry to let the over-the-top
trio of fabulous wallpaper, gorgeous rock crystal sconces and ornate mirror take center stage.
Together, it just way too much ornateness.
That being said, “it is much easier to criticize than it is to create something from scratch.
And hopefully, this is taken as constructive feedback for my readers rather than criticism
to another design professional.

All is forgiven, though,  by use of  the handpainted Gracie silvered scenic, which is divine.

Breath-taking!

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And here, below, see how the plain counter allows the ornateness of the mirror to shine?

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Christmas Mailbox

Do you live in a community where residents decorate their mailboxes? 

Image Color Calling

Image Color Calling

Just one more way to add a festive look to your house for the holidays!


Is Green the Perfect Color?

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With Green so often used in Christmas decorating

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and since Pantone just announced its 2013 Color of the Year

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Let’s talk about the color green.
Here are the primary colors on a color wheel–  red, blue and yellow:

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The color green is sometimes called the fourth primary color.

This is not true, because primary colors can’t be made by mixing any other colors together.

Green is not a primary color because it is made by mixing blue and yellow.

However, I think this refers to its versatility in décor, as it is the one and only color

that has some shade of it which will go beautifully with every other color.

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Janice Lindsay refers to greens as “the chromatic peacekeepers, getting along with any color.”

Green is actually categorized as a secondary for color (as in paint, with the three  primaries being red, blue and yellow),

but a primary for light (speaking in terms of wavelength, with red and blue being

the other two).

[credit: Janice Lindsay, All about Colour]

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When you think of nature, our Creator, the perfect colorist, gave every possible flower color an equally perfect leaf color!

 

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When you draw greens from nature’s palette, the way colors are found naturally,

it is hard to go wrong!

Green, it really is the perfect color.


Chinoiserie bedroom makeover for a young twenty-something

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Design by Ellen Rhett

My young collegiate was anxious for an update to the room that had last been decorated when she was thirteen.

A college co-ed desires a sophisticated space to return to when she’s home.

Chic chinoiserie details pleased and surprised.

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Pink dogwood linen fabric unifies the hot-pink wallpaper with the neutrals.

And repeats the Chinoiserie theme.

Existing strié wallpaper was kept.

Foo dog lamps add a youthful vibe and continue the Chinoiserie theme.

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They also repeat the white in the dogwood fabric and bedding.

Remember, white is never a neutral in décor, even though it always is in fashion.

It must be repeated at least three times in a room.

White peonies, a favorite, are a natural in this room.

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Design by Ellen Rhett

Custom padded headboard with expertly hand-applied nailheads (by my wonderful upholsterer)
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Fun and funky and ultra-feminine light fixture, below, with plenty of sparkle and a dark finish.

Repeating the shape, movement, darkness, of the branches on the drapery and neckroll fabric.

Repeating the color of  the  lampshades as well.

And, a gorgeous on-trend sunburst accent mirror, handmade and all-wood. 

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Design by Ellen Rhett

Both sourced online for a song.

If I told you from where, you wouldn’t believe it anyway.

But, I know you, reader.

I know what you really want.

You want the before.

I’ll show you the before.

Get ready.

A little embarrassing so I’ll make this quick.¬†

Here you are:

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Before

And,  one more time, the AFTER:

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All Images Color Calling

Fabric Sources

Neckroll: Clark and Clark “Dogwood” (trade only)
Draperies: same as above. 
Headboard fabric: Clark and Clark “Chinese Square” (trade only)
Bedspread, shams, comforter: Macy’s

Decorating for Christmas

Image ©Color Calling

I have a new go-to resource for my Christmas greenery.

The Curb Market, located in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.

Above is one of the large centerpieces, (there are two) which will go on my mantels,

after I gussy them up a bit with pine cones and holly sprigs.

And maybe some pomegranates and lady apples as well.

Here are my box garlands and wreaths.

The velvet bows came with the wreaths, and maybe need a little work before everything is hung.

Image ©Color Calling

For some reason, I have always wanted a gold spray-painted magnolia wreath.

This one is a very muted gold. I like it because it doesn’t look too shiny.

I have no idea where it will go (somewhere inside, maybe on the breakfast room table?), but here it is:

Image ©Color Calling

Readers, what are your decorating plans this year?