Archive | Color

Theory, practice and inspirational ideas for using color in various ways on objects and surfaces throughout the house.

Asian Orange

orange home decor - Japanese maple leaves - flatbush gardener via atticmag

In art and life, orange home decor expresses the color of this weekend’s Fall equinox.

A few weeks from now the leaves on our ancient oaks and Japanese maples will begin to turn the color of autumn. This blazingly beautiful hue is also dramatic indoors, especially when orange home decor is Asian inspired.

Stylized poppies lend the aura of a Japanese kimono to this dramatic wallpaper with the orange picked up as an accent color for the velvet-upholstered side chair.

The naturalistic pairing of orange and green on a black ground distinguishes this famille noire-style covered jar in the forum of lotus blossoms.… Continue Reading


Mostly Mauve

kitchen with mauve ceramic tile range guard with a black Aga - housetohome via Atticmag

Unusual mauve ceramic tile shows its home décor chops.

Grayer than magenta and softer than fuchsia, mauve is a muted purple Victorian color that can range from dusky rose-ish to grape. Named during the late 19th century after the mallow flower, it is a color that is currently seen on upholstery, especially in England and in mauve ceramic tile found in kitchens and baths. Not only does it blend beautifully with whites and grays, the most muted variations can be visual shifters in combination with stronger hues. Although I’ve written about a Purple Cabinet Kitchen and Shades of Purple Bathrooms, mauve ceramic tile sounds offbeat but looks stunning in a kitchen.… Continue Reading


Grayscale Expressions

gray and white striped interiors - Church of St. John the Baptist in Mogno, Switzerland - Mario Botta via Atticmag

Gray and white striped interiors can be found in public and private spaces, from the sacred to the mondaine.

The term “grayscale” is usually applied to visual images. I’m using it here to describe gray and white striped interiors which are created from shades of gray and are dependent on the play of light and dark. But I don’t want to put too fine a point. Essentially,  I was struck by the beauty and similarity of two images with striped shades of gray in common.  The exquisite Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista (Church of St. John the Baptist), in Mogno Switzerland [top], was designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta.… Continue Reading


An Eclectic Entrance

pink front door - pink painted modern entrance door - Moises Esquenazi via Atticmag

Unexpected color on a pink front door puts a modern spin on the entry of a desert home.

Bubble gum, Barbie Pink, Pink Panther or Pepto-Bismol.  No matter which name the color brings to mind, the owner of this Palm Springs mid-century style home went for a feminine statement. The contemporary door style, with 3 over 9 raised panels —  was personalized with an eccentric paint color and elaborate hardware selections. In desert communities, white stucco is common on home exteriors.  I’d love to see the coach style lanterns replaced with modern fixtures – simple, large sconces with clear glass globes. … Continue Reading



collage of yellow print patterns on pillows - modernality2/etsy via Atticmag

How do you compare yellow print patterns on pillows and a staircase?

Sometimes, color and pattern can create unlikely relationships when, in reality, there appears to be no connection except for a visual idea. The yellow print patterns pillow collage [top] was assembled by modernality2, an etsy seller from Utah to show the various patterns she sells in a single colorway.  Mainly geometric, with yellow fields or accents, the fabric patterns used for the pillow covers also include some animal prints and florals as well as a damask motif print.

A yellow-and-white stenciled staircase uses Moroccan-inspired geometrics from Royal Designs.… Continue Reading


Ten Top Spring Accent Colors

accent colors - System 1-2-3 chair in shocking pink by Verner Panton via Atticmag

Vibrant or subtle, expected accent colors can embolden any room.

I’ve been thinking about accent colors as I look around my house and consider what needs repainting. Because my walls are more or less neutral, and I have a whole-house color scheme, I like think about how to throw fresh colors into the mix. This year, it’s been hard to get by emerald green which, thanks to Pantone marketing, is showing up everywhere. Fabulously or hideously (perhaps both) I lived with a Chinese Art Deco emerald green rug for many years and still find it a challenge for home décor. So what’s fresh and great I asked myself? … Continue Reading