23 August 2010

Decorating with COLOR: Part II

Last summer, I did a post entitled, "Decorating with COLOR: Part I", fully intending to get to a follow-up post shortly thereafter. I don't know how it is with many of you readers, but I simply can't tell you where my own time goes, or why it disappears so darned fast! Here it is more than a year later, and I am finally getting to "Part II", even though this subject has constantly been in the back of my mind.

Color affects our brainwaves and therefore our moods. A room that is vibrant with, say, bright red or orange, will have a completely different affect on its occupant than would a soft turquoise or sand colored room. Since I also just did a post on rainbows this week, and how I like to arrange things in rainbow order, I thought it would be fun to combine the two ideas. Here are pictures of some rooms I have decorated, arranged by color highlighted.

PINK - perky, positive and feminine
Soft an enveloping, this shade of light pink, with peachy overtones, is a joy.

Coraly pink in my master bathroom at Tranquility Lodge.

Traditional with a punch - this pink tartan wool, punctuated by forest green Ultrasuede, livens up my sister's living room.

Pink fabric, upholstered on the walls of this two story foyer, is cheerful and welcoming.

Raspberry strie glazed walls in a living room I did, West of Boston. The room was very feminine, in one sense, but comfortable for the husband because it was so exciting - not a baby pink.

A guest bedroom in Newport. The room has soft green walls, so the pinks jump out at the viewer.

A young girl's bedroom, combining raspberry and taupe - very sophisticated.

Hoppin' happy pink!

The painted coral interior of this antique cabinet in my kitchen is a lovely backdrop for dishes.

RED - vibrant, warm and cozy
(Photo by Nan & Monty Abbott)
All of the woodwork in my kitchen, at Tranquility Lodge, was painted this gorgeous red - a shade somewhere between cherry and Chinese red. This is an incredibly cozy room!

My coral red living room at Tranquility Lodge

I painted two petite tables Chinese red, so that they really make a statement it the room.

Coral red silk upholstered walls made my living room at Tranquility Lodge a warm and happy place - day or night.

These white lamps have such presence against the white walls, because of their orangey red silk shades.

ORANGE - edgy and exciting
My favorite dining room I ever did, for a client South of Boston. Edgy, and just plain fun!

Vibrant tangerine hues stand out on a turquoise blue ground.

Look at how these peachy orange pillows pop on the blue loveseat. And one can't miss the orange tufts in the upholstery.

Orange polka dot ribbon glued around the edges of this shade give it definition, while also being playful.

OCHRE - old world, earthy and tranquil

My kitchen at Tranquility Lodge. I faux painted the walls to look like stone. The atmosphere was that of a farmhouse in Provence.
(Photo by Jay Elliott)

A powder room with upholstered walls. The ochre with burgundy is so earthy, yet snappy, too.

YELLOW - bright, sunny and cheerful

Thibaut wallpaper in a master bedroom - so sunny!
(Photo by Nan & Monty Abbott)

A very formal, and potentially dark, dining room is lightened up by sunny yellow walls.

China plates pop against this soft lemon background.

GREEN - invigorating, outdoorsy and natural
A charming bedroom in an antique home, wreathed in garden greens and touches of coral.

The peacefulness of the turquoise background, in this dining room, is enlivened by vibrant splashes of lime.

I find lime green to be so cheerful and uplifting - wonderful both indoors and out.

A little girl's room in garden greens - such a charming and happy atmosphere.

My dining room at Tranquility Lodge had numerous greens, which all worked together, because that's the way the are found in nature.

A teenage boy's bedroom, above, and a man's study, below, both done in dark greens, are masculine and sedate.

TURQUOISE - serene, soft and beachy
This living room, in an oceanside town, is so relaxing because of its various turquoise fabrics.
(Photo by Nan & Monty Abbott)

This dining room in Newport is mostly aqua blue. It is at once bright and calming.
(Photo by Michael Lee)

(Photo by Michael Lee)

My sunroom at Tranquility Lodge was a great segue to the garden, with shades of turquoise.

Watery hues in a master bathroom.

A serene and sophisticated little girl's room.
(Photos by Nan & Monty Abbott)

Turquoise by our pool, is so soothing, especially as a foil for the warm-colored terra cotta tiles on the patio.

BLUE - cool, watery and crisp

My daughter's "big girl" bedroom at Tranquility Lodge included lots of soft blue, to cut the sweetness of the rose wallpaper and fabric.

While blue can be a cold color, it is very useful when a cooling vibe is called for.

This room was so bright and sunny that I knew I could get away with lots of cool and crisp blue hues.

VIOLET, LAVENDER & PERIWINKLE - warm, inviting and offbeat
Lavender and periwinkle - a match made in heaven! It's both cool and edgy, at the same time.

My niece's bedroom, which my sister decorated. I added periwinkle accessories and finishing touches.
(Photo by Nan & Monty Abbott)

A guest bedroom in Newport - all purples, periwinkles and violets - so appropriate, as this room overlooks the ocean.
(Photo by Michael Lee)

Lavender touches in the flowers, linens and china bring life to this table. (Note, also, the lavender flowers in the historic wall mural.)

NEUTRAL TAUPES, SANDS AND WHITES - clean, quiet and peaceful
I painted the ceiling in this den to resemble a cigar smoke stained gentleman's club. The effect is one that envelopes its occupant in peace and relaxation.

In a dining room with quiet taupe walls, chairs and white slipcovers, anything can be done to the table, from ultra sedate to ultra vibrant, as in this photo.

My sister's screen porch - a completely peaceful respite.

This very restful master bedroom combines mostly sand and cream colors with touches of watery blue.
(Photo by Nan & Monty Abbott)

BLACK - makes a statement, grounding
A black lamp, and black matting around the framed portrait, bring this corner to life.

Small powder rooms can be difficult to decorate, but the black here just makes this room jump to life. I love the way the white fixtures, as well as the motifs on the Tibaut wallpaper, pop against the black ground.

Please note that all of the photos in this post are of my own designs, and are copyrighted. They may be reproduced on other blogs, but I ask that you please give me credit, and link back here, when you do use them. Thank you!


  1. "WOW" you do Beautiful work!!! LOVED everything. I need more time though, I'm going back to study every picture... Where are you located??? I'm in Connecticut

  2. Thanks, Donna. I'm on Cape Cod, but was, until recently, in Hingham, MA for 24 years.

  3. I loved this! Such a great take on the many ways to use color in decorating. My mother is a decorator and worked in DC (where I grew up) for years. She has many stories about trying to work with husbands who fear traditionally feminine colors. So I especially liked that caption about the raspberry walls that weren't "too pink" for the man of the house.

    Thanks for visiting me at Wishing True! I'll add you to my blog roll there AND at my parents' decorating blog, Style Key West.

  4. Katie - Thank you for adding my blog to your blogroll. I love both your Wishing Well, and your parents' Style Key West. I'm looking forward to following them!

  5. What an feast for the eyes! I love everything here, and, so many fond memories of your beautiful Hingham house!

  6. Thank you, Janet. It was family and friends who made all the wonderful memories we cherish about that that house.


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