While taking an oil painting class in college, I once had a professor tell me I have good instincts for color. Every art student begins their studies with a color theory course. Color theory is the more cerebral way to approach color-an entire vocabulary for describing colors’ relationships to one another and how and why certain shades work together and why others clash. Personally, I prefer to “feel” color. That sounds silly and a little new-age-y, but I guess it goes back to what my professor said when he told me that I have good instincts for color.
When I begin a job, every project begins with a palette. This group of colors steers me towards how I want the space to “feel.” Often, if the jobsite has a beautiful view or is in a special location, I try to pick up colors from its surroundings, making the interior an extension of its environment. By beginning with a palette, there starts to be a cohesion to the project. We have all been in homes where none of the rooms relate to each other. Often each paint and furnishing choice has been made piece-meal with disjointed results. In architecture and interiors, we talk about space “flowing”- “This room flows so well into the next.” The “flow” is achieved in many ways, but a unified palette sure helps.
Our new house was built in 1911. The pictures from previous posts show that it is a traditional home, lots of moulding and period details. While I love this about our home, I never particularly saw myself in a traditional house. My tastes tend more modern and I probably would have chosen a Eichler-esque mid-century house or something contemporary. A little more Dwell and a little less American Bungalow. But that’s not what is available in the neighborhoods where we were looking. So my challenge became how to marry my more modern taste (and furniture that I already have) with this traditional home. So I began where I always do: with the palette.
When I got married, there was only one place I registered: Heath Ceramics. The company has grown and become more well known, but I began following their work when I moved to San Francisco and the company had just changed owners. Their dishes are still made by hand in their Sausalito factory and I knew that they were what I wanted on my table. Rather than choosing one color, we registered for a mix, and every day while cooking, setting the table or entertaining, the dishes make things a little better. When choosing the colors for our home, I was inspired by the colors on our dishes.
These are the colors that then informed the rest of our decisions. This palette is modern, young and joyful. The rooms in our house all open on each other, so it is important that all of the colors “play well together” since you can see four rooms or more at a time. Also, all of the moulding, which we are keeping white, lends an airiness, keeping the colors from getting too much. To translate the colors inspired by Heath into paint, I turned to Yolo Colorhouse (more on them later).
These are the chips that I carried with me everywhere, helping me stay on concept while making the rest of the decisions for our house:
Leaf 06, Stone 06, Create 03, Air 07, Stone 05, Imagine 02, Water 06, Imagine 04