eyecandy10_18I love this combination. We’re in the midst of fall and Halloween is just around the corner — these colors are perfectly suited to both of these oft documented topics. The dark color is somewhere between plum and brown, is full of earthy goodness and grounds the ripe,  juicy orange and pink, but it’s the contrast of the muted blush that for me makes these colors work. Together they are just so sweet.  If I were to open a candy store where I made my homemade fudge — these would be my colors!

Challenge: Pull 4 or 5 sheets of cardstock and pattern paper that coordinate and “feel” sweet to you. Note: Don’t worry too much about matching the exact colors — focus rather on imitating the contrast between dark + vibrant and soft. Love that.

Even Better: Use you circle punch to create a background that mimics the design on this water bottle. Use this background for a layout or a card.

Image from Sigg

water bottle

As a *BONUS* this week …

… a peek into my personal process for working with color inside my home. Keep in mind that while I have a insatiable curiosity and passion for color, but I am not an interior designer. I say this so that you can feel justified in disagreeing with me. This is, as I already stated, my personal process — it works and it is fun.


Search for and be patient in finding a decorative object (picture, pillow, vase, etc) that you LOVE and can use as an inspiration guide.
When you find it and you will know, by the undeniable feeling/surge of “this is it” inside, BUY it. Don’t hesitate — it will be absolutely critical to your success. I found this STICKS lazy susan at a store called Fireworks in Seattle. Our current home had just barely been framed — still almost a year to go until completion, but I knew I needed this lazy susan. The colors, the style, the symbols and even the words precisely captured the feeling I wanted in and for my new home. I needed to bring it home and live with it and learn from it. Sounds kooky I know …

lazy susan from Sticks.com


One you have your inspiration, study it – why do you LOVE it? What are the colors, how saturated are there, how have they been used — what is it about the pattern, texture and overall design of the piece that thrills you. Memorize these things. I stored my lazy susan under the sofa in our old living room and I pulled it out weekly and looked at it.



Before you begin selecting paint or fabric or anything else, pull together a color palette that supports your inspiration. I had a little notebook where I pasted about four square-punched pieces of cardstock — my green, yellow, red and brown (pulled from my lazy susan) I wrote “turquoise ?” next to these color swatches — as I love turquoise and knew I wanted to use it here and there as an accent color. I carried this rudimentary palette with me as we selected surface, paint and carpet colors. Lucky for me, about six months after we moved in, I found a complete palette of ideal colors in a Pottery Barn swatch book. These colors had the same “feel” as my lazy susan — I knew it, and I brought it home to confirm.


Neutral walls in my home are Colombia Paint: Toasted Cashew
I paid the builders to paint my kitchen, my bedroom and my studio, knowing that I could handle all other walls on my own.


The last step is to simply be patient. Don’t rush to purchase items that don’t feel right. I tell myself and others “my home is a work in progress” and it really is. I’m still looking for a BIG picture to put above my fireplace. I want just the right armoire for my living room too — haven’t found these items yet, but I will.  About a year ago I had a layover in the Minneapolis airport and remembered a store (much like Fireworks in Seattle) that I had browsed before. I only had 15 minutes — but I walked fast with the idea that I would make one trip around just to feed my creative spirit. I had taken no more than three steps inside when my eye caught hold of this mirror …


I didn’t care how much it cost. I knew it would be the inspiration for my basement family room — a playful extension of my palette. I’m sure the lady behind the counter thought I was NUTS because I was in her store maybe a total of 6 1/2 minutes. I walked straight over to her  and said “I need to buy that mirror (pointing across the store) and I need it shipped to my house and my plane is boarding in 10 minutes.”

I share this story simply because once you have a color-based vision for your home and you are committed to patience — you will find the right items and the right time and it WILL all come together in a very energizing way.

When the mirror came, we hung it and I decided to focus on the basement for awhile. I asked Geoff and Clark to paint the opposite wall red (btw, painting red walls is a pain in the butt — so I told them it would be my Christmas present) I had several of the photos that Allison Tyler-Jones took of our family, framed in white and little by little the basement is now taking shape.

I’ll continue to share my process and progress in future posts, but remember …

1. Find something that Inspires you.
2. Study your inspiration and memorize how it “feels.”
3. Create a color palette that focuses more on combination and proportion than precise colors.
4. Be patient in your search for additional decorative items that “work.”

OK … wait. One more thought — I love decor that is functional. By this I mean, look for little things that are bugging you and see if you can find a decorative solution. The floor in front of our entertainment center downstairs is almost always covered with blankets and  pillows that my children drag down and around so they can snuggle and watch TV. This so BUGGED me — until I happened upon an idea. I purchased colorful down throws (from The Company Store) and had Geoff hang hooks for me.


Now these blankets are part of my decor — see how fun? I’m now being patient and waiting to discover just the right “something” to hang or apply above these blankets —  perhaps a vinyl saying about home and warmth? I have to talk hard for this though, as my sweet and supportive hubby has told me “enough words already”

we’ll see.


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