Religion and politics: the worldwide dynamic duo of topics unwelcome at dinner parties. Known amongst my social circle as the designated diplomat, neither subject gets me heated since I see the pros and cons of each. However, bring up beige at my table and you’ll be sent home before supper.
A world without color is like a song without sound; it baffles me that bold, high-energy hues are often perceived as juvenile, garish or over the top. Although I love a muted blue-gray as much as the next guy, I also love me some turquoise.
However, instead of going on and on all about MY particular thoughts on color, I turned to two design bloggers who are just as passionate about haute hues: the UK’s own Will Taylor from Bright.Bazaar and Atlanta’s “oh-no-she-did-not-just-write-that” Jenny Andrews from My Favorite and My Best. Proof that color/colour has no boundaries: both the Atlantan female blogger and European male stylist/blogger have the same favorite room — that’s in New York.
Jenny Andrews, My Favorite And My Best
BPF: Please tell us your stance on saturated color; however, to prevent readers from suffering boredom-related deaths, let’s start off with a pop culture-centric example.
JA: You might remember the super-famous super-group of the 90′s, Color Me Badd?
Can you see and therefore appreciate the use of color saturation in this masterpiece? Can you feel the power that all 4 badd a$$e$ possess probably due to the fact that they are in different-colored button downs? What about the sexy dancing in the foyer of your mom’s house? It’s all just so effective, isn’t it?
BPF: So it’s safe to say you live in a technicolor home inspired by the timeless lyrics and award-winning set decoration of a 1990’s three-piece-suit-coordinated pop band?
JA: Quite the opposite. I maintain a fairly neutral interior in my own house. In fact it’s not that I don’t love color; it’s just that I am kinda skeered of it. Getting color right, for me, is hardd (see what i did there?). I think decorators who get color right are the most popular decorators out there, and for the most part, I think people love color in their homes. The closest I got to color in my house is my Hague blue buffet (above) I painted 2 years ago.
BPF: Off the top of your head, best color-tastic room you’ve ever seen in a shelter magazine?
JA: This Jeffrey Bilhuber-designed sitting room seen in House Beautiful with its inky blue walls and golden accents…it works!
BPF: Your reaction to hot pink: (a) punch me in the face or (b) I want it, I want it NOW.
JA: Option B. A great example is this Jonathan Berger-designed room also from House Beautiful. When i saw this for the first time I think I peed in my pants. Who does hot pink walls in a foyer? Awesome people, that’s who. And paired with those glossy black stairs and that blue and white ginger jar? Yes. Oh yes. Oh yes.
BPF: You’re a girl; stereotypically, it’s expected for you to love pink. Not just hot pink but I-own-a-teacup-Yorkie-and enjoy-florals-everywhere-pink. Give us an example of a soft pink done right.
JA: Lisa Fine’s Paris flat from Lonny mag. Yum. Everything about it is perfection: the colors, soft like melting sherbet but not cloying, the mix of pattern and texture…so subtle. So good.
BPF: Give me an example of a done-to-death color combo trend that you totally love.
JA: Jenna Lyons’ house for Domino magazine. This house basically put the yellow and gray and black trend on the map. So many people copied this look in their own home — and for good reason. It’s awesome to look at.
BPF: From your tone, writing style and blog topics, you’re a total rule-breaker. Give us an example of an outside-the-box design that totally breaks the rules in many ways — starting with color.
JA: Miles Redd’s New York apartment! Miles is a genius and I would probably have his babies if he needed some. Some of you might look at this and be all “that is just super scary and it would haunt me forever and I would never sleep and probably have murderous thoughts”. And to that I say, “Okay, stick to white and beige, then. No worries.” Beige can work too; just look at the work of Vicente Wolf or Brad Ford. But just once, I would like to live in a house full of color because at the end of the day I think color can soothe and/or energize. You just have to pick the right color(s) for you. Wordd.
Will Taylor, Bright.Bazaar
BPF: As your blog shows, you’re a shelter magazine stylist, Rue Magazine columnist and blogger who is fanatic for bold color. In fact, Bright.Bazaar is so saturated, it makes black look neutral. How do you feel about black interiors?
WT: Black is the perfect “bold neutral” because whilst adding visual depth it also serves to anchor a room, allowing you to layer the scheme with brighter accent shades….
These black rooms with added yellow accents are great examples of how to use black as your neutral shade. Imagine that living room without the candy yellow sofa — the room would lose all its impact and the black flooring and accents would feel cold next to the grey walls. In the bedroom scheme, a bold yellow headboard adds visual dimension to the intense black wall.
BPF: Doesn’t it drive you bananas when people are all like “Black is morbid and over the top?”
WT: It is true that not every space would be able to pull off a predominately black scheme and it’s certainly easy to think small spaces can’t hold their own with this bold colour, but the reality is: they can!
Check out this little living room nook; small, cosy and floor to ceiling black. Warm wood accessories and simple window treatments that allow in plenty of natural light, which is key to keeping the space feeling fresh. Come nightfall, the strategically placed table lamps will prevent corners from feeling gloomy, giving an atmospheric feel instead.
BPF: You know how decorators and designers often battle over accent walls being amazing or atrocious? How do you feel about them?
WT: I take it case-by-case. I adore this Parisian apartment with its Palm-Springs-on-the-5th-arrondissement style. The mixture of period pieces with modern art adds a tangible sense of personality to the space. Meanwhile, juxtaposing glossy surfaces with the aged herringbone flooring provides further character. However, the main reason I like this space is the punchy yellow colour blocking. It’s vibrant, uplifting and energising. And, for me, that’s just what I look for in a home. I blogged the whole home tour recently and it’s well worth checking out for some colour-blocking inspiration.
BPF: Saturated colors always take over a room. True or false?
WT: False! Whilst bold colours can be super-bright and statement-like in their approach, they don’t have to be. Take this lounge area from stylist Emily Henderson’s apartment*. She’s been bold with her combo of midnight blue hues and blood red artwork, yet the scheme remains delicate and feminine. Using a milky white neutral for the walls keeps the scheme fresh and matte, rather than gloss; shades have been used for the introduction of strong colour accents. Staying clear of a gloss finish keeps the scheme feeling calm. You can see more of Emily’s lovely apartment, here.
PS Emily won HGTV Design Star 2010. Check out her show, Secrets From a Stylist.