Ever been in a home and the colors just look dead? Flat? No life? No zest? Me, too. I hate that.
So the question is: how do you get the colors right? I am a painter by training having gone to art school undergraduate. I actually refused to take color theory my Freshman year because I thought it would ruin my feel for color. (Arrogant? Maybe, but I was only 18…)
Anyway, I can talk color with the best of them, but I promise that most of what I do is from feeling even though over the years, I did actually sit down and learn my color theory. But I will tell you this: When it feels right, it's just right and you know. I feel it in my body. I am not making this up. I feel relaxation come over me.
A new client (who is very nice, by the way) showed me this bowl as inspiration for her great room. We set out to bring her fabrics to make her heart sing. Mostly blue, green, and a bit of plum. The amber tone, she already had covered in the lights over the island in the kitchen.
We found a whole bunch of fabrics she liked and some carpets. Here were the fabrics she liked after the first meeting. All satisfied what was in her mind's eye. We decided the sofas should be a mid tone brown, kind of a hazelnut color. We just needed to fill in the story a bit more. We needed some more purples and were hoping to find one fabric with blue, green, and purple in it. That would prove to be the challenge of the project.
Our first pass taught us that the cobalts, and deep plums were too much for the space, so we decided to tone things down a bit and go for more amethyst than plum, more pale blue than cobalt. But looking through many vendors (OK– just about every vendor) at the Design Center, we realized that the tones she liked do not exist in any single fabric we could find. The greens were too acidy; the purples too bold. Or they contained pink or yellow or something equally that fell in the category of "not what we wanted." Some vendors, of course, will custom color, but we are not in that price point.
The morning before our meeting, I got ready, laid everything out, sorted through all the fabrics, and came to a (panicked) conclusion: we did not have enough purples. I have learned to trust this pre-meeting feeling due to what has proven to be an uncanny accuracy of my gut. So what's a decorator to do? Run to the Design Center, of course!
All of the purples she ended up picking came from that trip. Thank you gut! All we need now is some dusty blues for pillows and for the kitchen chairs. We are already working on quoting everything for her so we can order soon.
What I like about this color story, and working with this client is that she let the process go where it needed to go. When she realized that the bold colors she liked wouldn't work in her space, she let it go. The inspiration is still there. We do have green, blue and purple. Just not in the way that either of us thought, and the result is going to be so much more lovely than either of expected. I think this color palette we came up with is sophisticated, unexpected, and really, really pretty.
By the way, I am in LOVE with the purple circles. We are doing that on a 48" square ottoman and some pillows for one of the sofas. It's going to be DIVINE. Next week we are looking at tiles for the back splash. I can't wait!