Home and Living welcomes designer and color expert extraordinaire, Cathy Hobbs. Cathy is a 5-time Emmy award winning television personality and the founder of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes™, a New York City based firm specializing in interior design, home staging, and home staging training.
This is Part 2 of how to design your home with color, and here, includes Cathy’s best tips for selecting color and painting.
My color trends this season
Instead of the typical yellow, use green instead! As an ASID Interior Designer specializing in residential interior design, I simply love using the color green. Why? To sum it up in a single word, “versatility”. Not only can green be paired with so many colors, there are so many shades and tones of greens to choose from. One of my favorite shades of green to use is the color of Jalapeno pepper. What I love about this rich shade is that its deep yellow undertones not only creates a bright, warm interior, but also looks so amazing with a myriad of colors, from pure white to eggplant and other citrus colors such as orange and yellow. The color green, also adds a level of sophistication to an interior especially when paired with other strong neutrals like white, black, and chocolate brown.
Additionally, I also love using bold rich green tones as a wall color and one of my favorite shades is Fresh Cut Grass (color 064-6) by eco-friendly paint company Mythic Paint. Not ready to take the plunge? Well why not use bursts of rich green in your accent pieces such as artwork and accessories (such as toss pillows or bedding). While colors like yellow and amethyst work well with green, so do colors like blue, charcoal gray, as well as pure white, black and chocolate cocoa brown. In many ways, I actually think green is the new “neutral”. I believe green is one of the few colors that is on trend, without being trendy. It is really a standard color that stands the test of time. Shades such as Hunter Green are often associated with traditional interiors, while shades such as dill pickle (which I’ve used in children’s rooms) and even chartreuse add a modern edge.
I believe green is one of the few colors that is on trend, without being trendy.
Hurray for Orange!
Orange is my all time favorite color. In fact it is my “signature” color that I sneak into nearly all of my designs. Orange to me is lively, sophisticated, trendy, yet timeless at the same time. I also feel Orange is a happy color that instantly brightens a room. I especially love pairing orange with pure white. Here’s a fun fact, a shade of orange is actually this year’s Pantone color of the year!
As an interior designer, I especially love using different shades of yellow and pairing it with other citrus colors such as green or mixing it with chocolate, black or charcoal gray to create a high contrast color scheme.
When it comes to yellow as well as other bold, vivid colors use different tints, tones and shades of the same color. One example with yellow would be to introduce a natural sisal rug into the space in order tobring in some rich mustard, caramel yellow tones.
Layer your décor using different shades of the same color and carry it through the accessories and furniture. Try selecting woods like walnut that have a lot of yellow tones and then incorporating toss pillows or accent pieces such as pottery or pillows. One of my favorite decorative tips for the table using yellow, is to fill a tall vessel with apples or lemons, it brings in a wonderful burst of color.
The wonderful thing about yellow is that, like a great black dress, you can pair it with so many things! Match it with warm colors to create a space that is cozy and cheery or cool it down using shades like chartreuse and pairing it with grays or black. From accessories to decorative elements such as pottery to artwork and natural elements like woods and ropes, there are so many different ways to incorporate yellow into your decor!
Turquoise in the last few years has really been a popular color that is on trend with a lot of designers. I love using turquoise especially in bathrooms as it reminds me of the color of water. Turquoise also works well in living rooms when paired with black, charcoal or brown.
Black and White
Yes! Black and white are colors! From Dorothy Draper to today’s modern décor, black and white is actually one of those timeless color combinations, that I believe will always be in style and is even making a comeback! When it comes to creating the perfect color palette, there is nothing quite as pure, timeless and versatile as decorating using black and white. Black and white simply serves as the perfect “blank slate” for creating virtually any color scheme you desire.
First and foremost don’t be afraid to use a simple all white color palette, as it can be crisp and fresh, the simplicity of let’s say a pure white dining room color scheme in which the plates and tabletop items provide the hint of color (as opposed to using the traditional pure white). Also open yourself to the possibility of creating a pure black and white palette; the stark aspect of the pure white with the rich black can really be stunning. What I tend to do most however, is use black and white as the foundation of my color palette and then bring in a single accent color such as yellow or red. Warm colors work really well as accent colors against the cool tones of the black and white and really add an appealing sense of luxury and coziness. Also, don’t be afraid to bring in an accent color, by using an accent wall, some of my most successful designs ever; have involved the use of pure white furniture or a white and black color scheme, highlighted by a bright, bold accent wall!
Colorful color combinations
Plaid can be bold and graphic and a pattern style that is also classic and timeless. Further, the multi-colored nature of plaid makes it easily adaptable to various color schemes.
Aubergine and Amethyst over traditional Lavender.
Instead of muted tones, I suggest using richer shades this Easter like Aubergine or Amethyst both colors look fabulous with chocolate brown, charcoal, and burnt orange.
Over all Do’s and Don’ts
- Do consider using neutrals such as black, charcoal, gray or beige and accent them with a “bold color”
- Do select a signature bold accent piece and build a color palette around it
- Do consider black and white as potential bold color statements
- Do consider an accent wall if you’re afraid to commit to a strong accent color in the entire room
- Do bring color into your décor through accent pieces such as artwork and accessories
- Do consider using cool colors in a space that you want to visually enlarge
- Don’t just tie yourself into one shade of a bold color, consider tints and tones of the same color
- Don’t be afraid to mix vintage pieces with modern
- Don’t use colors that are too grayed down or muted
- Don’t use colors that are too warm in small rooms, it can make a room look smaller
- Don’t be afraid to “go bold”
- Don’t paint the ceiling a color, it will automatically close in a space
Cathy is also the creator of design recipes™, easy to follow do-it-yourself design guides, available through the website www.design-recipes.com. Go to www.cathyhobbs.com for more design recipes tips or to ask Cathy a question send a tweet to @cathyhobbs.
Be sure to visit the slideshow to see photographs of this great color trend.