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daffodils, forsythia and all things yellow

24 Mar

After all the writing about black and white, I’ve been curiously drawn to all things yellow, both online and in the real world.

And after this dreary winter, daffodils and forsythia are definitely my unicorn chasers.

Front garden in Boerum Hill, on my way home the other day

David Hicks for Clarence House wallpaper

Sadly, I believe this wallpaper is discontinued, but I’ve just learned about David Hicks and will feature more designs in the future.

Daffodils always remind me of the Meadow line of bedding and decor from Amenity.

Amenity crib bedding, Design Public

I love all the Amenity designs, which range from woodlands to wetlands to meadows.  Amenity linens are all organic and even made with organic dyes.  Of course, they’re of the highest quality, which is why they’re available at Design Public.  

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on orders $50+


As you can tell from the photo above, I’m a very amateur photographer.  But if you want some real photography, you really can’t miss with the prints I found on Etsy.

Top: Curiously yellow.  Bottom: A little dream.

The above two photos are the work of a woman named Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic, of Windsor, Ontario (by way of Sarajevo).  Her shop is found under the name Ajawin.

There’s something simply beautiful about her work, which is available on 8×8 archival paper, ready for framing and – best of all – only $20 each. 

Gordana’s Flickr page features more photos, each one more beautiful than the last. 

 My favorite photo of the day.

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blue and orange: truly complementary colors

11 Mar

 Color wheel from This Old House online

I’d never really considered the idea of complementary colors in a room before reading an article in This Old House magazine online (a fantastic resource, by the way).   I suppose it has something to do with the fact that primary colors, when matched in this way, seem to morph into Christmas-themed decorations or my university’s school colors (Go Fighting Illini – maybe next year’s the charm…)

Toy Story-inspired boy’s room, HGTV Dream Home 2010

But I keep returning to this photo from HGTV.  I couldn’t pinpoint what I really loved about it until recently, while browsing a fantastic blog called House of Turquoise (lucky her, it’s the Pantone color of the year, donchaknow).  It’s a virtual look book jam-packed with turquoise-tinted interiors and matching accessories.  She has a folder heading titled “Turquoise and Orange” where I found the image below.

Tobi Fairley design

Then I found some more.

This Old House feature referenced at top

Cottage Living magazine

I just love this color combo.  Because it’s not just blue, and not just orange.  It’s a rich, deep brownish blue – darker than the traditional turquoise and lighter than a royal blue.  And the opposite shade is a rich, deep, burnt carroty-creamsicle, darker than a peach but lighter than the old iMacs.  The combo is truly unisex, neither really boyish or girly.  It’s just amazing to me how complementary colors can be so incredibly interesting, something I’d never consciously thought about as a foundation for a room.

 An Orla Kiely print, via Just Imagine Design

So next time you go paint shopping, find your favorite color, then check out its complement for bedding, pillows, rugs, or artwork.   You might be happily surprised at how well it all comes together.

UPDATE: I just finished this post and realized the color I’m talking about is the same as the RFYO bird logo at top.  Weird.

color: inspiration via iPhone

7 Feb


1950s Sherwin-Williams color palettes, via Retro Renovation

I’ve been online quite a bit lately. And whenever I get a free minute, I start browsing the websites I’ve discovered since starting my blog. One link leads to another, which leads to a new bookmark, a new image, or a new discovery. By the time ten minutes have passed, I’ve got seven tabs open on my browser, four new bookmarks, and no idea what I was looking at in the first place.

Similarly, picking your primary colors for a room can be just as tricky and meandering a task. There are SO MANY great colors, shades, hues and tones to choose from, and it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why I love the iPhone apps created by paint companies Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore. They’re like writer’s block erasers, in visual (and virtual) form.

Both apps work on the same principle. You snap a photo or select one from your photo library, and the program conducts a color match based on the area of the screen you touch. You can then save the corresponding paint chip number, so you have it on hand when you visit the retail location kindly selected through your phone’s GPS.

The programs also differ in subtle ways. I’ve taken some amateur photos using Roscoe, my very patient rat terrier, to illustrate the point.

Sherwin-Williams, Color Snap

Color Snap is useful when you seek a precise match. Using a little text box, you can clearly zero-in on a specific section of your image. In addition to the color recommendation, Color Snap also offers creative suggestions for secondary colors.

Benjamin Moore, “Ben” Color Catcher

Benjamin Moore is better when you want more options. If you’re set on a color but not the intensity, you can view the shades featured ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ on the virtual paint chip. It also works by touch, but it’s a little more hit-or-miss based on how accurate your finger is at touching. The complementary shades are also less prescriptive here.

The best thing? They’re both free, and they’re both a helluva lot of fun. If you don’t have an iPhone, don’t fret (I’m a very recent convert). Both websites also have great color visualizing tools online for uploading pictures and playing around.

If you seek more color chip inspiration and you’re a mid-century fan, I strongly recommend Retro Renovation. It’s a fascinating site. Rather than focusing on the exclusive and high-priced items we associate with that period, it celebrates all the middle-of-the-road design (think tract houses and pink-tiled bathrooms) that most Baby Boomers grew up with. (Mad Men fans, think Draper residence, not Campbell apartment).

But after nearly a decade of living in un-renovated New York apartments, I think I’ll wait a while before returning to “Appleblossom pink” featured on the chart at top.