ALL POSTS IN Paint Colors & Palettes

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HGTV.com editor Camille Smith summed it up beautifully: Our October Color of the Month is “saturated, intense and a real show-stopper.” A child of the ’80s, Camille is psyched to see the return of this bold hue. I think you’ll agree, its comeback feels nothing like that maligned decade. Today’s interpretations make fabulous design statements, like this 1940s McCoy vase or this ’60s Samsonite train case. Classic looks that are totally now. (And a color you probably never thought you’d love paired with regatta blue or grass green.)

Meet turquoise’s subdued but equally stunning big sister…a Pantone top fall color

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I hope you’re still following along after last week’s embarrassing divulgement, because again, here we are with another project that should have been completed light years ago. You remember our siding project last summer, yes? And how we had big plans to paint the exterior, build window boxes and build a modern pergola on our front porch?

We had good intentions. We did. Earlier this spring, we opted to wait until the rainy season had passed before we tackled any outside projects. And then summer arrived, and it was too hot for manual labor (or anything, for that matter!). Of course, now that we’re entering autumn, we’re fresh out of excuses and are finally forced to tackle the most important exterior project of all: painting the aluminum siding.

Why so important, you might ask? Exhibit A:

Exterior Paint Makeover- Erin Loechner

Why yes, that is a giant spray-painted star on the left side of our home. Faded a bit. But it's there.

I can’t blame the kid who thought it would be awesome to spray paint the side of an abandoned home a few years ago. Maybe he ran out of paper? I’m not one to judge. I am, however, one to apologize to our neighbors near-weekly for the periwinkle star they are forced to gaze upon daily. (Hi, Bob!)

So, consider this a community outreach project of sorts. By painting the exterior of our home, we’re giving back to our neighbors and friends in the name of aesthetic holiness. Right? Right.

I’ll digress. There really was no good reason for us to drag our feet on this project, because it was surprisingly easy. Ken convinced me years ago that we needed to invest in a paint sprayer, and (as much as I hate to admit it) he was absolutely correct. We’ve used that sweet little paint sprayer (not-so-aptly named Herman) more times than I can count. We even wrote a song for him. It’s called “Oh, Herman.”

I’ll digress, again. Because we used fiber cement siding on the front siding of our home, the color was super hard to match. And although Ken fought hard to paint the sides of the house white for a stark contrast, my rigid instincts won and we found a close match that would ensure our exterior is as uniform as possible:

Exterior Paint Makeover- Erin Loechner

Our winner? Rugged Suede.

I fell hard for the color we chose, as it just seemed to be the only color that was up to the challenge. I don’t allow just any hue to grace the side of my home, especially when it has an important assignment to mask the remnants of a neighborhood graffiti raid.

Want to see how it turned out? I’ll give you a hint: AWESOME.

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You know those super by-the-book, overly nice types who preach things like “you shouldn’t use the word hate, it’s a very strong word, and it’s not very nice”? I really hate those people. Just kidding! In fact, I’m kinda-sorta one of those un-hateful types; I just have a pleasantly snarky side which I like to believe gives me an edge. But as a designer, there are some things I have been open about hating, specifically the colors purple and yellow.

Well, my former distaste for the dynamic duo has taken a 180—for the most part. I’m now officially a huge lover of purple, specifically violet, plum and lavender. Yellow is still gonna take some time to win me over, but I’m really trying to work through it. What I recently discovered about purple is that it’s uber-difficult to work with. Sometimes it’s too Austin Powers. It can often be so lilac-y that it screams “baby girl”; most of its hues seem childish or tween-ish. Frankly, there are not many combinations that make purple seem sophisticated. But when used correctly, the purply result can be uh-may-zing.

Last week, I was asked to design a modern living room vignette for the opening of the Italia Furniture showroom in Atlanta. Determined to use something others would most likely have no interest in, my natural choice was to unleash the “One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater” inside me to see if he would be kinda debonaire or just flat-out monstrous. The result? Hmmm, I think it went okay. In fact, I had the vignette photographed to share with y’all some of the purple-tastic finds that are internet-errific. As far as yellow is concerned, I’m gonna give that canary tone a whirl later this week when I knock out a little girl’s room in Fort Lauderdale, then fill you in somewhere, somehow here on HGTV.com. Fingers crossed!

Italia
In small doses, purple works magically. It’s gender neutral and can take on a more modern appearance, albeit formal or casual, depending on textures and sheen. Here in the Italia showroom, I set it all against uber-neutral backdrops including dove grey walls, a white Natuzzi sectional, black club chair and glass/dark wood coffee table.
Purple Print Pillow

In January, I was introduced to the magical, hand-made world of seamstress/blogger/writer/supermom Susan Peterson of Freshly Picked. Her violet wool throw pillows were the stars of the space and can be purchased through her website. She also lives in Utah which is always super cool. For real, aside from Utahns, how many people do you know from Utah, really? PS – it may now be my very favorite state, not just because of Susan and her pillows but also because every single place you look is inspiring—kinda magic mixed with the taste of Pinkberry.
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With the end of Fashion Week, I can only imagine the industry buzz surrounding the spring/summer 2012 clothing trends and styles we’ll see next year. So of course, I was super excited to see the recent release of Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Spring 2012. The report features the top 10 colors for women’s fashion for spring 2012. And with enticing names like Margarita (Pantone 14-0116) and Tangerine Tango (Pantone 17-1463), I’m dying to skip over a few seasons (sorry Mother Nature) to fully engulf myself in these luscious hues. For spring, designers are especially inspired by diverse influences and lifestyles, creating contemporary classics, vivid brights and fun-loving pastels. We found some of Pantone’s new beauties in some of our favorite spaces. Take a look!

Haute Hotels: Try Pantone in Your Home

Pantone Spring 2012 Fashion Color Report Design Happens Design Blog HGTVHGTV Green Home 2009 :: Pantone 18-2140  Cabaret

Pantone Spring Fashion Color Report 2012 Design Happens Design Blog HGTVJane Ellison :: Pantone 18-3628  Bellflower

Pantone Spring 2012 Fashion Color Report Design Happens Design Blog HGTVPantone 14-5420  Cockatoo :: Andreea Avram Rusu

Pantone Spring 2012 Fashion Color Report Design Happens Design Blog HGTVShelly Riehl David :: Pantone 17-1463  Tangerine Tango

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One freezing cold January, Vicky and Marinique Dabissiere visited an uninhabited house in Queens, New York, after receiving a call from a former client. Her parents had bought an older house, and the client wanted the sisters of LaVie Design to bring it into the 21st century for them. When Vicky and Marinique crossed the threshold, they discovered a house stuck in the 1970s. Mirrored walls loomed all around. Layers of dust covered the wood floors, parts of which needed serious repairs. The old cracked plaster walls were painted a shade of white that had obviously lost its umph over the decades. As you’ll see, this talented design duo turned the neglected 1,438 square-foot New York house into a traditional, but unexpected refuge that exceeded their clients’ wants and needs.

LaVie Designs

Vicky says: After touring the first floor, we asked the clients about their design style and tastes. The wife, who was at first hesitant, eventually voiced that she liked prints and that while she liked color, she tended to gravitate towards earth tones. She described her style as traditional, but not too traditional. The husband’s main wish was that the family room be “comfortable”. We had four weeks to work with their contractor before the family would need to move in. That is no time in the design world! As we sketched, photographed and measured the space, we could see that the rooms had great bones and underneath the layers of dust and years of neglect, there was indeed a hidden treasure.

LaVie Designs

The clients were originally from the Caribbean, so we chose to interpret the island feel through color, fabrics and accessories. We painted the living room walls in Benjamin Moore’s Leisure Green. The only moldings in the room were those that accented the walls, and they were caked with decades old paint. We all liked the visual interest they provided to the walls, so we had the contractor replace them and paint them in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. The moldings certainly help the mother of pearl mirror and black/amber accent chest pop against the possibly overwhelming green walls. Since the clients decided to forego installing central heating and opted to keep the radiators original to the house, we painted those the same color as the walls so they would seamlessly disappear into the background. (On the right in the top photo.)

When it came to the lighting in the living room, in addition to the wall sconces, the space needed more central lighting. Rather than adding wiring to the ceiling for a chandelier, we had the electrician install an electrical socket in the floor in the center of the room for side table lighting. This gave the clients the option of turning on only the table lamps for a more intimate mood.
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Through the process of researching our September Color of the Month and compiling inspiring interiors and decor in this shade, I came across some pretty interesting online debates that verged on hostile. Apparently, defining this color can stir up some heat. Surprising for such a peaceful color. (You’d think we’d picked fire engine red.) Is it possible that a greater internal struggle surfaces not when asking “To be or not to be” but rather…

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My childhood summers consisted of running around with baskets to help my grandfather pick fresh fruits and veggies from the garden. Of course, the watermelons were too heavy for my 5-year-old arms, but that didn’t stop me from sitting by the pool and cradling my one-and-a-half-foot long, freshly-cut watermelon in my lap with the sweet and sticky juices dripping down my face. (I still live by the motto — the messier, the better — when consuming watermelon.) A true staple of summer, watermelon isn’t just an incredibly tasty fruit; it also represents a peachy, melon-pink hue that can instantly brighten any space. Just look at Pantone’s Color of the Year, honeysuckle. Both watermelon and honeysuckle are representing the middle pinks that aren’t quite fuchsia but aren’t tea rose either, and we love ‘em for it.

Sixhands-Wallpapers-Watermelon-Pink-Summer-Fruit-HGTV-DesignHappensVibrant Living Room, Australian House and Garden :: Skater Watermelon Wallpaper, Sixhands Wallpapers

I fell in love with this stunning wallpaper pattern before I even realized it was so appropriately named Skater Watermelon. The intertwining shapes create a mesmerizing design that would be perfect for an accent wall. And like this eclectic and colorful living space proves this pattern can be coordinated with just about any color scheme: teal, green, white, yellow, red and turquoise.

Watermelon-Curtains-Print-Summer-HGTV-DesignHappensWatermelon Print, Sarah Illenberger: Good Weather Exhibition, Gestalten :: Watermelon Accents, Fancy House Road

If you think a watermelon hue can only thrive in the spring and summer, you’re so wrong. It’s actually the perfect color addition for winterized navy-blue walls. White draperies would look gorgeous, but that fruity-pink shade is just the smile-inducing burst of color this room needs. And did you see the rainbow-style, chevron-patterned carpet? That might be my favorite part of all.

Quirky-Watermelon-Designs-Summer-HGTV-DesignHappensWatermelon Bus Stop, Toxel :: Watermelon Building, Flickr user Daquella Manera :: Watermelon Pillow, Etsy / ArtSnack :: Watermelon Car: Inhabitat, image by Rungue at DeviantArt :: Keep Calm Print: We Heart It

Of course I couldn’t leave out the quirky, crafty and artistic representations of this inspirational fruit. Can you imagine how much fun it would be (for once) to wait for public transport in a watermelon room (top, left)? I love the fresh look given to a row of rundown homes by turning the entire left side of the building into a giant, juicy watermelon.

What’s your take on watermelon pink? Do you love it? Hate it? Could smother a room in it from floor to ceiling? Any favorites from this post?

Tell us in the comments below.

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Developing a color palette is one of my favorite things to do. Whether I’m designing a new pillow or wall treatment for AphroChic, one of the first things I like to start with is color. As you can probably tell from my posts, I’m all about bright palettes and bold shades, and I love to explore the color spectrum by creating a mood board or something visual to get inspired. I have a few favorite tools for finding just the right shade. I personally can’t live without the Pantone app on my iPhone, and my other favorite tool is Pinterest, a cool site where you can take some of your favorite images from the web and put them into a visual scrapbook or “board.” I decided to create one for my current color crush — purple.

Regal, warm, and a beautiful accent color, my Pinterest board explores all my favorite purple shades from grape to a warm gray-purple mix.

Angie Hranowski Design Studio

I’ve found that curating a favorite shade in a visual inspiration board leads to unexpected discoveries. You never know what will pop out at you. Like that a purple sofa can look amazing when paired with bits of brown and cream…

Marie Claire Maison

…and that modern wood furniture pieces can ground shades like dark purple, blue and pink.
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Are white jeans the fashion equivalent of the white room? A crisp, clean (and glamorous) look but impossible to keep, well, white? I have an awesome pair of white jeans that I never wear. Ever. Because it seems that any time I wear white, I manage to dribble something on myself, like bright yellow mustard. Likewise, I doubt I’ll ever enjoy the luxury of a white-on-white room. (Can you say pet owner?) Design icon Syrie Maugham popularized the all-white room in the 1920s and ’30s, earning the nickname “White Queen.” Fast forward to 2011. Designer Jonathan Adler never hesitates to don his signature white jeans, and many of his top decor pieces are in a bright white. The author of Happy Chic Colors calls white “the ultimate soothing backdrop.”

Syrie-Maugham-Jonathan-Adler-Interior-Design-White-Rooms-HGTV-DesignHappensPhotos: Top row and left :: Jonathan Adler Interior Design; Bottom right quadrant :: Syrie Maugham: Staging Glamorous Interiors, Acanthus Press

Soothing…until you spill something on it.

What do you think of the white-on-white look? Like white jeans, are white rooms achingly desirable but impossible to keep pristine? Or are you the proud owner of a room decked out all in white that has stayed that way for years? If so, what’s your secret?

Tell us in the comments below.

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Warning. Somewhere our feature blogger Brian Patrick Flynn is feeling the urge to “punch an angel.” That’s what he said in February when he ixnayed this color in favor of tangerine. Then in March, you, our Design Happens readers championed aqua over this hue in a runoff vote. But for those of you who described it as the color of happiness… for TaraLovesHGTV, Jolie, Leslie, @paintedroom, Amy PureHome, CplusE, Cynthia, time for a big smiley face. Kayla made a persuasive pitch to our color team, and HGTV.com’s August Color of the Month is…

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My strange connection to The Smurfs has left me in love with their electric-blue hue ever since I painted myself that shade from head to toe in order to become a real-life Smurfette. And with today’s long-awaited release of The Smurfs movie, I can’t get enough of blue. But as much as I fantasize about getting a little crazy and painting my walls electric blue or lipstick red, I always end up with a subdued color palette. Always. You’d think if I can sport electric-blue body paint to break a Guinness World Record that I could at least handle adding some boldness to my walls. So, what’s your take on eye-popping color in design?

The-Smurfs-Movie-Electric-Blue-Designs-HGTV-DesignHappens21. Elizabeth Rosensteel; 2. Emily Henderson; 3. Alia Meyer; 4. Studio M Interior Design; 5. Alexandra Angle Interior Design; 6. j. d. bell inc.

If I handed you a gallon of electric-blue paint, would you daringly take it to the walls or play it safe by painting an accent chair in the corner?

Tell us in the comments below.

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I have a funny connection to The Smurfs. In 2009 while living in Swansea, UK, I (along with more than 2,500 other people) broke a Guinness World Record for “the most people dressed as Smurfs.” I kid you not. For one night, the tiny town of Swansea was bombarded with people doused in blue body paint and white Smurf/Smurfette costumes. It was an insanely surreal experience to see your favorite childhood cartoon come to life — literally. Two years later, it looks like smurf blue has taken over another unsuspecting city.

The-Smurfs-Movie-Sony-Pictures-Juzcar-SpainImages (top left, bottom right): Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images; Images (top right, both images bottom left): AP Photo/Sergio Torres

Sony Pictures chose the tiny Spanish town of Juzcar to promote and host the premiere of The Smurfs 3D by turning the town into a life-size Smurf Village. More than 1,000 gallons of blue paint and a dozen painters transformed the distressed white buildings of Juzcar into bright blue beauties. Nestled in the Ronda highlands with an estimated population of 205 people, Juzcar has gained instant worldwide popularity. And even though Sony plans to return the structures to their original color come September, many of the residents surprisingly prefer the Smurf-blue hue and may just leave it that way.

From your travels, what is your favorite city that proudly breaks away from traditional exterior colors and has boldly splashed their homes and buildings with a rainbow of colors?

Tell us in the comments below.

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While lime is HGTV’s Color of the Month for July, its deeper, darker cousin — emerald green — is the rising “it” color. Where fashion goes, home decor soon follows, and last year emerald green kept popping up on runways. Now, it’s trending in interior design portfolios. This jewel-tone provides a rich backdrop and a touch of elegant sophistication when used for accessorizing. I hope you like some of my favorite luxe emerald green rooms that are sure to inspire.

Emerald Green Living Room via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Emerald green furnishings, combined with the screens, chandelier and moldings, take this living room “pinned” on Pinterest from stuffy to lively. My favorite element is the patchwork rug that has been dyed to bring the varying shades of green together in this space.

Coastal Living :: Photographer Lisa Romerein

Coastal Living :: Photographer Lisa Romerein

For a fresh coastal mix bring emerald green pieces together with turquoise accessories.  This room featured in Coastal Living is light, airy and perfect for the summer season in a refreshing color palette.

Lonny

Lonny :: Interior Designer Miles Redd

For a rich look, go with your favorite shade of emerald and place it on the walls. Designer Miles Redd shows that this hue is a beautiful backdrop for a room with a mix of colors and pattern.
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There are certain colors that pack more than visual appeal. They also evoke powerfully strong (and hopefully positive) sense memories that further our desire to include that color in our home. Some hues easily achieve this status because they also connect to a readily identifiable taste or scent. Others because they are associated with life events. We think you’ll agree, our July Color of the Month makes for a delicious and refreshing experience, whether you taste it, drink it, smell it or simply lay eyes on it. Check out our favorite indoor and outdoor decor finds that sport this color (it’s July, after all!), plus three inspirational rooms. Then let us know, what happy memory does this hue bring up for you, and how do you (or will you) incorporate it in your home? I’ve included my answers in the comments at the end. We hope you will, too!

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Happy Fourth of July!  This is absolutely my favorite time of year. Independence Day not only represents a time for family reunions and summer fun like barbecues, it also signals the perfect opportunity to contemplate how to bring those red, white and blue hues home all year long. Here are some looks sure to set off fireworks!

Miles Redd

Miles Redd

While a red, white and blue color scheme runs the risk of being kitsch, here’s a sophisticated, modern interpretation. Interior designer Miles Redd reveals how traditional yet contemporary the red, white and blue color scheme can be when you mix in bold black and dark brown furnishings.

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The color team at Design Happens chose cerise as HGTV’s June Color of the Month. In the reveal post, Anna shared a collection of fabulous products along with home decorating inspiration using this fun hue. Some of you loved it and some of you were not big fans. For those who adore this happy, vibrant color, I’m wrapping up our June look at cerise with entertaining inspiration featuring this deep, hot pink and similar shades. Personally, I have a weakness for all tones of pink, so searching for party ideas that incorporate this color was quite enjoyable. I adore it paired with blues, especially bright blue as shown in this gorgeous tablescape.

Cerise Collage

credits :: tablescape, cupcake liners

Planning an event or gathering? Cerise is an unexpected, gorgeous color to incorporate. It works well for showers, brunches and weddings. With such a girly color, dainty details are a must. Dress the part with a gorgeous frock or accessorize with a ruffled clutch. Yes, I am one of those hostesses who coordinates her outfit with the party. Display cupcakes beautifully by adding cerise ribbon and bows to a tiered cupcake stand.

Cerise Collage

credits :: dress, cupcakes, clutch

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I’m a huge fan of bright colors, but softer shades can also be used beautifully to decorate a room. Chalky pastels in blue, lavender, pink and green are making a comeback in interiors and for good reason. Pastels can be the perfect backdrop for darker shades. They can also be used to highlight an architectural detail or just add some unexpected color to a space. Consider using green pastels to bring a little bit of the outside in, with shades that reflect garden landscapes.

Homes & Gardens

Homes & Gardens

A simple green-blue curtain adds to the restful feel of this living room from Home & Gardens. Little hints of pastel green break up the blue and beige color scheme and bring life to this room.
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A few months ago, I walked into my local art store to buy a paint pen and some Gesso but instead bought a $16 purple coffee mug instead. Why? The power of Pantone, that’s why. Ever since I was first turned on to the world’s leading authority on color, I’ve been fascinated by their forecasting of soon-to-be-seen-everywhere palettes. When I found out that they were manufacturing coffee mugs in many of their most popular colors, complete with the color number, I instantly had to have one…and I don’t even drink coffee.

Pantone Coffee Cups

This situation was heightened upon learning that Pantone actually has its own seven-floor, 59-room Pantone Hotel in Brussels, a magical place referred to as “where the principles of design meet the principles of color.” Every floor is dedicated to a different color: blue, green, orange, brown, red, violet and yellow. Of the seven tones, I would feel most happy sleeping on the orange level. But enough about me, let’s get back to the hotel. Designed by the Belgian interior designer Michel Penneman along with architect Olivier Hannaert, the property is unmistakably branded from its folding chairs to its get-around-town bicycles; however, it’s incredibly tasteful, striking definite balances between color, concept, shape and scale.

Pantone Hotel - Color - HGTV Design Happens

Whether you’re into ultra-white or borderline-nuclear orange, take a look at some of Pantone Hotel’s color-tastic interiors as well as some toned-down ways the same principles can be applied to residential spaces. And hey, if you can’t make it to Brussels, at least you can buy the coffee mug, right?

Pantone Hotel lobby

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Using color in the kitchen is a big trend. When so many appliances come in industrial-looking stainless steel, the kitchen can get a bit bland. Adding some color is a definite “do,” but how much is too much?

bruce bolander green kitchen

I saw this picture of a Bruce Bolander kitchen design on Dwell and kept waffling in my thoughts about it. “It’s crazy.” Then, “No, it’s crazy good.” I think I’ve landed on the side of loving this kitchen.  The bright color adds a huge amount of personality in a space that is all about the homeowner. Everything that comes out of your kitchen says a little bit about who you are, so why shouldn’t its look reflect you too? Would you ever do something this bold in your home?

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We all know that colorful decor can make an significant impact in spaces like the living room, kitchen and bedroom. But what about bright, bold hues in a white bathroom?

House to Home white bathroom with colorful chandelier and clawfoot tub

House to Home :: Photographer Nick Pope

Rainbow-inspired decor, from the elegant chandelier to the striped basket and towel, brightens up this neutral bathroom from House to Home. While not a French empire-style chandelier like the one featured in this space, Urban Outfitters‘ candelabra-style Gypsy Chandelier is equally fun and decadent with its multi-colored acrylic jewels. And at $159, it’s a steal.
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  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"