Finding Inspiration for a Scheme

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Inspiration is the key to designing a room, choosing paint colors, and all things design. Inspiration can come from anything, a fabric, piece of artwork, other spaces the client is drawn to, or a magazine clipping.

When choosing the perfect paint color for a space, I always consider the floor, woodwork, fireplace surround, built-ins, and countertops. Soft grays and creams are always safe. My “go-to” paint deck is usually Benjamin Moore. Some colors I have used time and time again are White Dove, Linen White, and Decorators White on woodwork. For neutral walls: Stonington Gray, Chelsea Gray, Revere Pewter, and Edgecomb Gray. When more color is desired on the walls one may use a sheen or lacquer.

If I am working with someone who is nervous about color, texture or pattern on the walls, I start with one room at a time, choosing brightly hued table lamps, fabric or artwork while keeping the walls quiet and simple.

Here is some advice I recently gave in an interview with Consumer Reports and some photos of other designers’ colorful and patterned projects that have been recently published.

Living Room: There is never a go-to color, as every project is different.

Dining Room: I often choose a wallcovering instead of paint. I also love painting the ceiling a color in a dining room to add an element of surprise.

Kitchen and Bathrooms: It is key to keep in mind cabinetry and countertop color when choosing wall color. It should complement the other colors and materials and not compete with it as those are more focal points.

Entry: An entry vestibule is the perfect smaller space to have fun with a patterned wallcovering or a saturated paint color.

Front Door: A highly lacquer paint is best, as glossy as possible. Black is always a classic but a bright color could be a hint of what’s to come in the interior schemes.

Take risks in small spaces: wallpaper in this bathroom creates a fantasy oasis.

Designed by Andrew Howard.

Crisp white walls with woodwork picked out in a soft blue created architectural interest and definition in a room with high ceilings.

Designed by Andrew Howard.

A wallpaper with a delicate pattern and very large repeat creates interest in a dining room.

Designed by Andrew Howard.

A feminine print on these bedroom walls is cozy in a guest room. Keeping the color scheme to just navy and white prevents the space from looking too busy or overdecorated. 

Designed by Andrew Howard.

Green lacquered walls in a room by Palmer Weiss is glamorous and reflects candlelight.


All images from House Beautiful. 


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