Let’s get color – by mixing up all those color trends I have been sharing with you over the past week, to create a mix that speaks to your own vision.

Those of you who are not first-timers at Re-Do it Design have heard me expound of finding your color comfort zone. Color’s safety net is hue.

Hue is the description of the intensity color, which you have all seen in paint stores in the form of samples that come in paint fan-decks. The colors are graduated, or gradated in intensity ranging from their most vivid incarnations to near-white.

Paint Chip Holders – a great DIY idea from – check it out!

Keep gradation in mind while I reiterate another of my design mantras – there is nothing new in color.

Color trends in an oxymoron to rival “jumbo shrimp”.  Trends are little more than great ideas that have worked in the past and been resuscitated for their latest incarnation of popularity…

Further, the only division between color trends, are a few gradients between color palettes. The palette below could be Pantone’s Color Forecast for Fall 2013, but would be equally contemporary in the 1950’s; these chairs speak in both color and form equally to Pantone and the aesthetic of Mid-century design…

image via

The palette (below) shares a palette similar to the chair image (above) as well as the mid-century lines and colors of the image of the home up-top. Yet these paint samples (below) date back to 1807 – yes, that would be the turn of the nineteenth century! So why do we think of this as trendy?

The human experience embraces a generational memory that may go as far back as your great grandparents. No one alive today can speak directly to the color consensus of 1807 – but good ideas in color and design never die…

Paint Swatches from 1807 – stylecourtblogspot

…and the inspirational impetus of most great color palettes and their subsequent reincarnations can be traced back to mother nature.

succulent floral image via Justina Blaeney’s Color Pinterest Board

The resultant dejavu is a collective memory of having seen those corals and pastels before.

1950’s paint colors from Papers & Paints LTD in London

If this all leaves you at the end of the day gaping before the overwhelming wall of paint chips at your local paint dealer and asking yourself what now?… you scarcely in the minority. There are some tricks that make it easier to look like a pro.

Looking at a plethora of color is really confusing to most people. The best way to get color is through the process of elimination,

Color ports of call – image via Pinterest; source unknown

and the consideration of both color elements, their surface treatments, and how they speak to you. Surface treatment matters! – Varying the sort of surfaces you use in context to your color palette adds interest and depth to your room design. The semi-opaque spoons (from Leif) below are not simply rich in color; their matte surface and semi-opacity give them a jewel-like shimmer that raises the bar of this color palette.

spoons from

Another great way to get color that is more personal is to take some color license with those colors that experts have compiled and are already engineered to work. Just find the trend colors on your fan deck, and choose instead colors positioned near the trend colors.

The palette below is a lovely variation on the palette at the top of the page, offering balance between pastel and more vibrant tones.

image via Kelly Market Blog

Color comfort can also be found by maintaining relationships between color families.

yellows from

Monochrome Yellows

Many people are confused by the term Monochromatic, believing it to mean related neutrals.

Monochromatic color describes the relationships between same-color families, such as these yellows (left). Using a number of shades of yellow for example provides the more vivid shades with balance, offering harmony, flow and balance to your color scheme.

Buttery Sofa from Layla Grace – image from Layla Grace

This is exceptionally true in the case of Benjamin Moore’s pick for 2013 paint color of the year. Yellow chiffon is as yummy as it sounds, and is closer to equal in its RGB distribution than most yellows that don’t seem as though they should have a gray suffix attached to their names (such as blueish-gray).

Bathroom Design from Baenjamin Moore Paints featuring Lemon Sorbet

Bringing monochrome elements into your room design to coordinate with Yellow Chiffon is nearly effortless – the honeycomb pattern, like the stencil above and the screen (below) from Joss & Main is becoming very prevalent suddenly and is sort of an ad-hock trend for 2013.

I have also repeated the 60/30/10 rule as another tool for divining your color comfort muse, and have on every occasion also stated my feelings on this rule’s limitations. This design rule defines the opportunities for color saturation via it’s location – 60% on walls,

30% when used on furnishings, and 10% for the proportion of color dedicated to accents such as pillows, lampshades, rugs, and so on. The real problem I have with this rule, is that it equates the area of a room to a box rather than a cube – in the box thinking is never terminology describing great design.

A room is a cube; not a box. It includes color opportunities on 6 walls, which include a floor and ceiling. Another very safe way to design around a more neutral yellow tone is to use your color on the ceiling. Ceilings are the unloved step child of most rooms, but you will almost never see a designer room that lacks ceiling color.

Bringing in a vivid color in context to your 30% with a large piece of furniture and more neutral wall color is a great way to get color and stay within your comfort zone – but if you do this, make sure the pieces you pick are colors that were your favorites before the event of the trend – you can always re-upholster, but your sofa should be chosen with some longevity. I have always loved Tangerine Tango, and mid-century lines, so this sofa that landed in my inbox from One Kings Lane would be a no-brainer that has me chewing the corner of my VISA as write this…..

Midcentury Sectional Sofa – One Kings Lane

Don’t forget the jewelry for your color – gold and silver metallic surfaces (dependent on your palette and preference) add the glam to any room and bring a richness to your design as whole. They blend with matte surfaces, high gloss, transparent elements and semi-opaque elements to transport any room design.

Gold adds a bit of warm Glam to any palette – image via compaiblogcom

So what are you waiting for? GET COLOR!