Color Commentary

I’m feeling the itch to redecorate again. This is a sure sign I’m  going through some sort of transition. Maybe it’s the fact that I turned 40 this year? I don’t know. But I’ve repainted the rooms of this house so often that they’re probably a quarter-inch thicker than they were when I moved in.

Sipping brights palette from Design Seeds. These are the greens of my kitchen; I'm going to add that cherry red as an accent. Click for original Design Seeds link.
Sipping brights palette from Design Seeds. These are the greens of my kitchen; I’m going to add that cherry red as an accent. Click for original Design Seeds link.

My first go-round in this house involved color. A LOT of color. My entry had a strawberry-red wall (it took five coats of paint). The soft grey living room walls harmonized with with navy and deep purple upholstery. After repainting the red brick fireplace cream, I painted the wall surrounding it a deep bittersweet orange. Then I thought, what the hell, and painted the opposite wall orange too.

The dining room was a brilliant yellow, the kitchen apple green. My first attempt at a deep pink in the project room (office/junk room) left it looking, in the words of my mother, “like a Chinese bordello.” I repainted it Tiffany-box blue. My own bedroom was a deep, nearly cobalt blue.

It was a bit like living in a box of crayons, but all that color satisfied something deep in my soul in my late twenties and early thirties.

After the end of a relationship in my mid-thirties, the first thing I did was repaint my bedroom a soft aqua. This was the beginning of my Tuscan farmhouse era. The walls of the living and dining rooms are a mid-toned apricot. The project room is sea-glass green. The kitchen is still apple green, although a lighter tone than the original. Despite a lack of lace or frills (I’m not a fan of either) there was no doubt that a woman was running this home.

Macro bloom color palette from Design Seeds. (
Macro bloom color palette from Design Seeds. My bedroom uses those two bottom aquas and the second (really bright) pink. Click on the photo to see the original at the Design Seeds site.

Now I’m finding that I need more contrast, a little more edge. I’ve introduced black into the rooms (frames and art) to ground them a bit more. I’ve added patterns for the first time, having in the past been firmly a solids kind of girl.

As I look through the palettes on the Design Seeds, I’m finding that monochrome palettes make my lower back itch. (I have VERY visceral reactions to color.) I need some contrast. The apricot on my living room walls, warm as it is, isn’t quite cutting it any more. I’m drawn now to darker oranges, spots of raspberry, and hits of intense aqua.

I find this is true in the garden, too, where my early affinity for English-style pastels has been replaced by a love of orange and pink zinnias and dark purple salvias and lavender.

So it’s back to the paint-strip aisle I go. I love my bedroom; I just need a few hits of raspberry in there. The kitchen and project room just need a bit of tweaking. But the living and dining rooms need some thought. It may take a full year to get around to redoing them. In the meantime, I continue to cut up magazines for my inspiration files and curate images on Pinterest.


Fraudulent Farmgirl
I teach garden and homesteading skills—the stuff your great-grandmother knew how to do. But if there's a faster, cheaper, or easier way to do it, I'll find it!By day, I design earth-friendly gardens for Spotts Garden Service. By night, I don my Wellies to become the Fraudulent Farmgirl. On my small urban homestead, I've ripped out the front lawn to plant vegetables and fruit trees, turned the garage into a chicken coop and grown enough strawberries to feed half the neighborhood.

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