I may have just found my new inspirational color palette for the office.
I borrowed this beautiful boutonniere from Pomp & Plumage and inspired by a color palette from Pinterest, created my own with the office/guestroom in mind. When I first came across the image I adored the color combination and decided that perhaps this is the direction I should work towards (you can see in the bottom final color line up that I’m leaning towards the softer pinks and beiges over the burgundy reds though).
Here she is now, clearly in need of some of those alternative colors since the room is full of teal, tan and brown (the teal is hiding in the window curtains, on the bulletin boards, in the artwork and in the fabric leading back to the kitchen):
Color is not really my thing. I think that in general I have a pretty good eye when it comes to mixing color schemes but sometimes I get stuck (and that leads to a crazy amount of frustration because I can’t pinpoint the problem and then am nowhere near a solution).
But over time I’ve pulled together a resource list from those great design experts (you know, the ones with the degrees in color theory and not business – I am the latter) and I have come to embrace these color strategies:
Color Palette Inspiration
- Nature: color schemes in nature are perfection. They can provide inspiration and always always look beautiful. Nature does not screw this up.
- Room temperature: warm and cool should exist in every room. It’s not a hard and fast rule – you will find all blue or all green rooms and they will be beautiful, but one of the happiest pieces of advice that I have heard and attempt to implement today is to make sure that I balance my cold and warm colors in a room for that overall harmonious feel (you know when you walk into a room and it just feels right? I think this is the secret). Now if only there was the perfect tool to find the right warm orange for the right cool blue.
- Shelter magazines and blogs: color schemes resonate with us when we see them. Pull images from your favorite rooms and dissect to learn what it is about those color palettes that you love.
- Fabrics and photos: pull colors right out of a beautiful swatch of fabric or a favorite photo. They work well there so they’ll work well in your room.
- Fashion: trends in fashion turn into home decor and color inspiration soon after.
- Color wheel: stick to color and use it in various shades (from the lightest light to it’s darkest saturation) – and then head to the opposite side of the color wheel for that ‘pop’.
- Online tools! See below.
A few favorite online tools include:
- Colour Lovers: You can search the millions of palettes for a few specific keywords (I chose teal and brown here) and it offers up hundreds of color combinations to choose from. For those of us stuck in that color rut (why don’t they offer color theory in business school?) it’s kind of a sweet life saver.
- Kate and Katie each shared about their experience with Colortopia and it sounds like a great site to have in that color toolbox. The idea here is that you can upload your own favorite photo and select areas or colors from that image – Colortopia will create several beautiful color schemes for you to play with.
- Elle (a reader) mentioned Design Seeds in the comments, which after checking out I had to add. Maybe they were the designers of the original inspirational palette of that above boutonniere that I saw on Pinterest? What I thought was especially cool is that you can enter a color value (I could use a color directly from my curtain design, for example) into the Palette Search tool and it listed all posted palettes. So neat. Anyway, worth a look:
- Pinterest, Houzz, Etsy & blogs: these are often forgotten about as color tools, but when it comes to online solutions there are few better resources than experts out there that have shared their work. Be it for a party, home or piece of art. Use these experts to inspire good color choices.
Speaking of using alternative inspiration, here’s a wedding shared over at Style Me Pretty that inspires my love of natural wood in the home. Mmm beautiful!
There you have it! This is where I turn when I’m stuck in a color rut.
A quick wrap up: turn to nature, take your room’s temperature, be inspired by shelter magazines & blogs (a few of my favorite who readily offer advice are Emily, Jenny and Janelle – among countless others), find fabrics and photos, take a nod from fashion, don’t forget the all mighty color wheel, utilize online tools (such as Colour Lovers, Colortopia) and turn to a diverse round up of inspirational sites (Pinterest, Houzz, Etsy) and blogs that break out of your traditional design reads (especially wedding sites!).
Any other suggestions out there? am I missing any key tools? At the end of the day, I just love me some color.
Tags: Decorating, Patterns & Color
Posted in Favorites, Home, Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures, Tools of the Trade | 9 Comments »
Hope you had a great three day weekend! We traveled out to the Phoenix area to spend time with friends and with Kevin’s family, but now we’re happy to be back home – well-rested from our mini vacation and ready to jump back into work and projects that have been stacking up around here.
Thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions with Friday’s Office Rut post. It was really helpful to hear some great outside perspectives and I agree whole heartedly with mixing up the print sizes/scale of the fabrics (especially balancing out the large print curtains with some smaller print fabrics on the bed – brilliant) and adding a ‘pop’ of a bold color. Ideas are underway on that one…
One recent addition that has helped to bring new life to the room is a new rug.
I love the bold trellis pattern print and the neutral brown color – it really helps to tie in that chocolate ‘nook’ behind it nicely!
We originally didn’t have plans to have a rug-on-rug in this room. The room is carpeted and I had hoped against all odds that the white remnant we had installed would miraculously stay that way for years, but I think I have always known that this high traffic area would need some protection some day.
The unfortunate part is that the carpeting is less than eight months old and we’ve already had a professional cleaner (after trying to remedy on our own) out to fix the Bodie paws + Liv spills + shoe marks that have cropped up here and there. I suppose it was inevitable.
So when Rugs USA offered to partner with us to test out an area rug from their site at a discount, it was perfect timing and I was excited to work with them to find the right rug for this space. Rugs USA has a huge selection of rugs at every size imaginable – so finding several that met my criteria wasn’t difficult. That criteria included: dark rug (to hide those inevitable spots), wool pile rug (not dhurrie or flat so that I can easily vacuum up Bodie hair and it wouldn’t get stuck to the rug), and a 5×8′ or 6×9′ size so that the furniture on each side of the office would overlap the rug rather than having a rug-on-rug look that looked disproportionate. It was narrowing the choices down that was the problem .
Below are a few that caught my eye, though some were indeed flat rugs or strayed a bit from my original brown idea:
The bulletin board fabric is a busy print (and the board itself can get a little overloaded with photos and clippings) so I was immediately leaning towards options that were either solid or had one repetitive pattern.
And I’m really really indecisive about this stuff – poor Kate over at Rugs USA didn’t realize what she was getting herself into with our email exchange that included a change of heart every couple of days for months.
I ended up choosing the Safavieh Newport Collection in chocolate and I’m really happy with the choice. Something solid would have felt too plain and something too patterned (floral, etc) would have been too busy/contrasting with the other fabrics in the room.
This particular rug didn’t come in a 6×9′ size but as a slightly smaller 5’6″ x 8’6″, which actually worked out a little better. If you’re walking into the office from the kitchen, here’s how it looks:
This shot show how the french doors connect the kitchen and office, though those doors are readily in need of their makeover moment. Right now the frame is the natural plywood color and the doors are a hunter green (we left the color from the previous owner for now).
A close up of the pattern:
I’m still trying to decide if I’ll unload those massively packed bookshelves so that the rug can go under furniture on at least one side of the room. Or perhaps at least add a little more carpet color between the two so they’re not smooshed right up against each other.
If you head back out to the kitchen from the office, I ended up hanging the temporary window curtains on a double rod over the french doors to add a little privacy to the space for guests and to help me ‘disappear’ when working at home. The old french doors separating the office and kitchen will be beautiful when complete, but the clear glass isn’t always the best when a guest is wanting to head to bed or I’m trying not to distract Liv when she’s eating lunch with the babysitter.
Here’s that beautiful girl coming to find me during me now!
I’m so fortunate to be able to work primarily from home, even if I have to hang a curtain between my office and the rest of the house to get a full day’s work done .
I chose a double rod so that from the guestroom area you see the thicker patterned panels (that serve as a light blocker) and from the kitchen the sheer, breezy panels (instead of the back of the other curtains). You can always have one or both pulled tightly across depending on how much of a separation between the two rooms you’re hoping to create.
The only bummer? I realized that after I had cut and hung these babies that my salvaged World Market sheer panels (from another room) were about 4″ too short!
One day I’ll have to line them with a solid fabric or something like that. One day.
So the office is officially back on track. Hope to finish this guy up very soon as we prepare for a summer of guests and the plenty of other projects that are calling our name!
PS Rugs USA is always offering sweet discounts over at their site, check in often to snag an area rug at 20-35% off on any given day.
For more Office Makeover posts, check out: stuck in a rut, designing and sewing the curtains, diy fabric bulletin board panels, handmade capiz pendant light, organizing the bookshelves, wall collage part 1, part 2, fabric bulletin board inspiration, (new) inspiration board, new lamps, wallpapering open shelves, finding the perfect credenza, new trim, dining table-to-desk, a new desk & bookshelves, installing remnant carpeting, grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nook, finding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress, inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300,inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.
Tags: Decorating, DIY, Home, Office
Posted in Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »
I’m in a bit of a rut when it comes to our office/guestroom. So much of a rut that I really haven’t touched it since putting up the new curtains in December. I stare at the space everyday since I work in the office from about 9 to 5 – and it stares back at me gloomily wondering when it will be finished.
See, I had this picturesque plan in my head of how I wanted the finished room to work and as I slowly decorated (after Kevin turned the room into an office from the old kitchen) I slowly realized that the pieces just weren’t fitting together. But I couldn’t put my finger on the problem.
We demoed, dry walled, plastered, rebuilt a concave ceiling, carpeted (to cover up a mismatched wood floor), painted, hung grasscloth wallpaper, found and fixed up furniture:
Organized bookshelves, built bulletin board panels:
Designed curtains (using Spoonflower), created a capiz light pendant, started a wall collage:
And then bam. Hit a decorating wall.
I didn’t know where to go from there. I loved the new curtains but I was having a hard time making a bronze/tan/teal/mint green color palette feel fresh and not 70′s.
I knew immediately that the headboard that I had made from an old bed frame needed to be recovered. The silvery grey fabric was one of my favorites (left over from this event) but it just didn’t fit. at all.
I thought one of my favorite crewel fabrics (left over from this event) would be just right for the space, so I draped it over the original headboard and have had it there for the last two months. But something still didn’t feel right.
I might still need to come out of my color mixing shell, but I love a room full of patterns! I thought I would really love the curtains with the crewel (especially with a nice neutral bedding).
When my parents were here to visit near Christmas my mom casually suggested a solid tan headboard. No, I thought – that would be too safe and boring. Plus, I was kind of digging the pattern overload going on there. But after a month of that sitting on the back of my mind (and me becoming utterly frustrated with a non-progressing room) I headed down to my local discount fabric shop and bought 3 yards of tan linen for $30.
And it worked! Suddenly the room was breathing again and the space felt fresh and light. (All I can think about looking at the above picture is how wrinkled my pillow cases are!). This is a better shot:
I haven’t covered up the original headboard just yet – still letting this idea grow on me. It’s just draped over the headboard for now.
I think that maybe if the pattern on the bulletin boards were subtler and the bookshelves didn’t feel so overloaded with projects and work stuff then more pattern at the far end of the room wouldn’t feel like so much. The room was becoming so busy!
Maybe I’ll make the crewel into a duvet or throw:
Then the patterns won’t be so stacked and there will be enough neutral to help them breathe. It is so, so pretty – see how the floral pattern is raised up just a bit?
So that finally got the brain juices pumping again… and now I’m beginning to see where the space might go from here.
To find that extra inspiration, I started tearing out magazine sheets of rooms that used my color combo.
And every time I spotted a fabric that might work I picked up a little snip of it to test out.
I’ll have to narrow those choices down, but maybe light pink or yellow would work well as a contrasting shade to balance all of the tan & teal out.
And so the saga continues! Have a wonderful weekend! PS am I alone in this or have you ever found yourself in a room rut? PPS I am always open to suggestions!
For more Office Makeover posts, check out: designing and sewing the curtains, diy fabric bulletin board panels, handmade capiz pendant light, organizing the bookshelves, wall collage part 1, part 2, fabric bulletin board inspiration, (new) inspiration board, new lamps, wallpapering open shelves, finding the perfect credenza, new trim, dining table-to-desk, a new desk & bookshelves, installing remnant carpeting, grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nook, finding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress, inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300,inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.
Tags: Decorating, Office, Teal, Turquoise
Posted in Home, Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures | 14 Comments »