Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Did I Make You Blush?

This week's lesson is about using color.  Don't shy away from it!  Be bold, be vibrant, be fun.  If any of you have been watching NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice, you know that in this week's episode, the teams were challenged with decorating an apartment-hotel suite and that the room that got the most attention was the one Cyndi Lauper decorated.  The walls were daredevil red, the sofa was in adventurous glossy black patent leather, and the accessories included a birdcage and a huge Eiffel Tower.  The choices were very daring and the result is pure rock star glam, and exciting! 
Now obviously this is not a style that suits the lifestyle or taste of everyone, but it is memorable and just plain cool.  Now imagine this same room with a backdrop of white walls.  Not nearly as interesting, would it be? In fact, it would look more like an aisel of a HomeGoods / HomeSense store with an eclectic mish-mash of furniture and accessories.  The strong red walls are proof that the whole design was meant to be eye-catching and feisty.  Cyndi Lauper may not be a decorator by trade, but her creativity and "out-there" style certainly came through in her choices for this room.

Now I am the first one to advocate sensible, somewhat neutral palettes for the bigger common rooms in your homes.  If you have conservative and classic tastes then painting the dining room purple may not properly reflect your style or the vibe you want guests to feel in your space.  But why not find one space in your home where you can go a bit wild and fun and be completely remarkable with your design choices?  Maybe you have a small home office that is used just by you where you can express something unique, or an area dedicated to scrapbooking or woodworking or fitness that will allow you to stretch your imagination?  Perhaps it's a walk-in closet, where a fabulous leopard-print carpet and baroque chandelier can be displayed as you unleash your inner Cher?

As I've said before, find your inspiration in anything that "speaks" to you - the color of a book cover, a piece of clothing, or a funky collectible garage sale lamp.... and then find a corner of your home that lets you throw "safe" color out the window and just go bananas.  Remember my design lesson in eclectic style? Things are chosen more because they "don't go" - they are collected, fun, interesting and that's what gives the space interest instead of calmness.  In this office below, I used "sangria" paint color on one feature wall and added floor-length draperies in the same color silk.  The drapery panels add some texture and depth to the wall without breaking up the impact of the full wall of punchy hot pink.  The large upholstered bulletin board gives your eye a resting point on the wall and creates some contrast, just as Cyndi's choice of predominantly white artwork did on her red wall.   Now pull out the paint chips and look at those colors you'd love to use but haven't yet!

No comments: