Tangerine Tango-ing with Peacock – A Design Star is Born

An incidental color meeting between Peacock and Tomato Red

By now, particularly those of you who are subscribers are not surprised by much of anything I come up with – and thankfully, you continue to tune in irregardless!

This morning, while I was checking my email, my youngest cloud-child floated past, randomly dumping a bag of tomatoes onto my open Para paint deck, for no discernible reason. Great minds think Alike, I thought and had to smile. The tomato red beside the teal – peacock tones we discussed yesterday reaffirmed their love at first sight,

in the tentative palette selection for the Green basement family room project. You may be thinking that removing all that tile and thin-set has had an unfortunate effect on my ability to perceive color – but rest assured that nothing other than my aching forearms seem affected. Peacocks, in nature dazzle with the benefit of close relationships between the jade greens of my palette (above right) and the teal (upper left and lower right).

image via thedeepbluejar.com

In our green basement marriage metaphor, these yellow – blue color mix tones are the bridesmaids, and the tomato – colored Tangerine Tango bride is front and center, as she tends to be.

stairway image via house of turquoise



The red will always draw the full attention of the eye, regardless of the quantity in which they’re used. Black and white are the crisp tuxedo colors that both ground and flatter red, and keep the drama to a comfortable yet entertaining minimum. When used to separate teal, and keep these bridesmaids from brooding over their respective roles, the effect is  quite stunning!


Orange red on its own can feel more like a bride-zilla to roughly 98% of color-users (though I really have to admit my rank in that 2% whose first love is courageous color!)

A vivid bedroom that’s more fun than restful, from House To Home, UK.

Yet separated from the heat and interest of a warm color muse, and the restraint of that black and white tuxedo, both deep blues and vivid greens (or chartreuse shades) can be  ill-behaved either in relation to one another or in their own respects.

Unicorn Bedroom image via House to Home UK

Blue can be the eater of all worlds in room design – used alone and in concentration deep blue rooms exude a calm that resonates with the darkest hours of night, that a great many people might find depressive after the initial attraction wears off.

Vivid greens can be equally salient left to their own devices. Greens until recent years were pretty much absent from the conventional color palettes used by graphic designers for food labels, due to the belief that this grassy shade inhibited appetite – though some of this is utter nonsense. Red gets caught in the paradigm of being thought to stimulate appetite, yet simultaneously creating a psychological impression of danger – so, when we are in flight or fight mode, we should stop and eat? Common sense and personal preference offer better tools for divining your style than hidden meaning.

If you want blue and green to behave, (or many other vivid shades for that matter) there are some basic tools to go about creating that happily ever after result:

1. The best and most cohesive manner for effective use of vivid blues is to interrupt the wall color with wall art, mirrors, shelves or lighting.

Blue bedroom via HGTV

The intrusion of wall art and crisp white headboard and lamps creates a welcome diversion from deep, moody color.

2. Introducing a very courageous shade into the midst of a space with gray and vivid whites creates the magic made iconic in cinema,when Dorothy stepped from black and white into technicolor, over the rainbow in Oz.  The repetition of circular shapes and the muted leafy green pillow make you want to be no place, like home!

Deep chartreuse with British restraint makes a statement on house To Home, UK.

3. Mixing shades and values of blue is a tried and true tip in  every designer’s bag of tricks – but creating a relationship of opposite attraction between a rich wood floor with hints of orange and a complementary array of blues in equal roles is more genius than trickery.

A Bedroom decked out in blues with on sweeping hardwoods is dressed to impress – image via Homezinterior blog

4. Floors are a color relationship tool capable of creating attraction between opposites and equals alike. Uniting lighting with the color palette in a tiled floor creates a relationship meant to endure.

image via Shelterness.com

5. When color relationships become so close that the boundaries between blues and greens begin to blur, you’re usually looking at either a very traditional or a cottage style.

image from rachelolon.com

6. Separate but equal is a healthy foundation for any color relationship, and one that characterizes Mid-Century Modern Style – this style encourages independence between textures and colors, but endures via the bonding nature of elemental shapes.

A blue and green Jamie Drake Living Room – image from Jamie Drake’s website portfolio.

But I am still in love with that unlikely but successful relationship between heat and deep enduring blue/greens – not because it’s a trend; because it works for the long haul!

This mix endures whether you’re in to wet your feet, or diving to the depths that color can offer.

Emily Henderson – vignettes of teal and tangerine


A Katie Ridder red and teal living room design – image via KatieRidder.com

Find you color match at MyHomeFaceLift.com and fall in love again, with the home you’re in!

Currey Lighting, Designers Guild Eberson Rug and some fleamarket finds