Color Inspiration: Yellow

It’s the color of daffodils, sunshine, and Spring. In honor of this being the first day of March, I’m showing off some of my favorite yellows . . .

(image via Poppytalk)

I can’t help but drool over these smooth, modern yellow cabinets. Those of you who think yellow is just for country kitchens — think again!

The cover of the new West Elm catalog, featuring this sunny Everett chair, made me smile.

I’m so happy that CB2 has reinvented the traditional Mexican Acapulco chair . . . check out their Ixtapa chair in these delicious colors!

Our favorite yellow paint color is Laguna Yellow (Benjamin Moore 291). It really made this kitchen and dining room that we staged glow.

And speaking of Benjamin Moore, they’ve selected Lemon Sorbet as their color of the year. This buttery yellow brings a soft brightness to surfaces.


Do you use yellow in your home decorating? Tell us about it, in the comments below.

Spring 2013 fashion colors work in the home too!

Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color, has released its official Spring fashion color trends. And we love them.

In fact, we’ve been using most of these colors in our latest decorating projects — via accent walls and accessories.

Dusk Blue
Our choice for this tone is Buxton Blue by Benjamin Moore. It makes a wonderful accent wall in a bedroom, as you can see here in our latest project . . .

(photo by Liz Rusby)
Grayed Jade
For a soft greenish blue, we really like Covington Blue, and we often use it in bedrooms as well for a calm, peaceful feeling.
(Photo by Liz Rusby)
Tender Shoots
It’s no secret that we love bright greens! In another bedroom, we used Stem Green to create a bright and playful vibe.
Lemon Zest
Our go-to sunshine color is Laguna Yellow, which is bright without being too neon. We’ve used it in bedrooms, kitchens and offices (below).
Poppy Red
Reds can be tricky, especially if you want to find the right color for an accent wall. We made a bold impact with Million Dollar Red in this bedroom.
Of course, you can use these bright colors in a room without painting a single wall. In this living room from our latest house, we injected color through pillows, artwork and other accessories.
(photo by Liz Rusby)


Gray — the fashionable neutral

Tired of beige walls? Want a new alternative to your stand-by black pants? It’s time to check out gray — the freshest neutral in both fashion and home design.

We’ve built a Pinterest board showcasing some of the best gray:

Here’s a closer look at a few of our favorites:

via Pinterest, via Satsuki Shibuya
via Pinterest, via Jaime Derringer
via Pinterest, via Afro Chic, from design*sponge
This week’s email from West Elm also features gray (or “graphite”, a more glamorous name):
We just used two soft grays in a living room, and we love the results!
photo by Lisa Ratner
The darker gray on the left is Coventry Gray, and the lighter on the other two walls is Horizon (both Benjamin Moore):
A word of warning about grays: they can look really different from the color cards when painted on your walls, depending on the light. We’ve found that many can end up looking purple or lavender. And these I’ve shown here look almost green on my screen — not so in person. So always test your color selections before you buy that big gallon!

Color Trends for 2013

Last week we attended the Color Pulse 2013 presentation at the Benjamin Moore showroom in the San Francisco Design Center. These yearly Color Pulse shows give a fun preview of what colors will be most prominent in the design world for the year ahead.


The theme for 2013 is Intersection, broken down into four categories: Interflow, Intercycle, Interanimate, and Interconnect. The colors are inspired by art, design and architecture from around the world, and have three-dimensional references within each group.
Interflow is all about reintroducing colors and textures of the past in a new and modern way, retaining what is comfortable and familiar. Think colorful chunky knit pillows and quilts made in a fresh way.
Intercycle refers to upcycling “disposable” materials, repurposing elements through unusual pairings of color and material. Some examples are structures made out of old tires, and artwork from discarded license plates.
Interanimate is about play – using bold and dynamic color to escape the everyday life and connect with our inner child. This category is inspired by bright legos, marbles, and comic books.


Finally, Interconnect explores the juxtaposition of what is virtual vs. what is real. Color strikes a path through the virtual, illuminating the familiar and material world. Think digital photography and computer graphics.

So what colors will be “hot” in 2013? According to Benjamin Moore:

  • Reds — those that are sophisticated, with blue undertones
  • Pinks — both soft and feminine and bright pinks
  • Oranges — deep corals and camel tones
  • Yellows — when offset by red and oranges
  • Greens — darker kelly green and very pale green
  • Blues — watery blues, soft blues are starting to trend (influenced by popular website colors)
  • Purples — smokey, almost mauvey, purples
  • Neutrals — animal prints contrasted with bright colors

And what colors won’t be popular next year?

  • Black and white — this harsh contrast is going away
  • Metallics.
It will be fun to see how these predictions play out!

New Colors from Benjamin Moore!

Last night we attended an event at the SF Design Center premiering Benjamin Moore’s newest colors — Color Stories. According to Benjamin Moore, “Color Stories’ 240 full-spectrum colors are clearer, richer and more vibrant than conventional colors.”

These color formulas are created using between 5 and 7 pigments (traditional methods use just 3 pigments). The result? More depth, overtones, nuance and luminosity, which means the shades actually change according to different light. They are gorgeous.