By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger
As you have probably already heard, or at least read in a not too distant blog post of mine, Marsala is the Pantone 2015 color of the year. This color is rich, deep and warm and was a fabulous choice by Pantone, but it got me thinking about all of the ‘wine’ hues that were not selected.
I’ve included six of my top ‘winey’ picks to use alone or mix-and-matched with your other favorite colors. These can even be used right alongside Marsala in any décor. These are all taken from one of my favorite lines, Devine, but you can find comparable shades in all other paint lines.
- Devine Bordeaux: This shade is gorgeous and deep. It feels luxurious and familiar while being surprising. It has an obvious deep red shade, but is underlined with purple and brown. This would be beautiful on a dining room wall or a bedspread. You may consider using it in a breakfast nook and painting the walls flanking the space a lovely neutral so the nook really ‘pops!’
- Devine Cabernet: Oh I LOVE this shade! It again is that deep red, but unlike its sister shade of Bordeaux, it lacks the purple undertone. This allows it to feel less formal and more accessible. Again this would be a wonderful hue for a dining room wall, an accent chair in a living room or even a whole powder room (ceiling too). Its velvety appearance affords it the ability to feel quite cozy.
- Devine Merlot: This is a hot new-old shade. You may look at this shade and think the dreaded 80’s Mauve. Well yes it does have a shadow of shades-past about it, but let’s remember that every color has been around again and again. It’s time to bring this one into the 2000’s and make it fresh and new once more. Try this in a graphic design against a stark white background or mix it in with some of the darker wine hues to create balance.
- Devine Brick: “Well that’s not named for a wine!” you may say. Well not all wine shades are. This one is a beautiful pinky tan ’blush’ shade. It reminds me of adobe from the southwest United States. This would be a beautiful color for a guest room or a feminine office. Try it with soft warm grays or barely there beiges. I think you too will fall in love with this one.
- Devine Mesa: Similar to Brick in the pinky hue of it, but with more underlying brown. This lovely clay shade is a wonderful color for a kitchen with white, cream or black cabinets. It will provide a lovely rosy shade against which your cabinetry will stand out and will cause the rest of the space to emit a warm and gracious homey feeling.
- Devine Poodle: This is another beautiful ‘blush’ color. I love this subtle shade and the way it can turn any room from cool to radiant in just a few coats. Try this one in a master bedroom that faces north and gets little to no natural sunlight. This shade will give the room just the right amount of ambient ’light’ to make the space feel brighter. You may also want to use this color in any room in your home that has very small or no windows (i.e. a laundry room, butler’s pantry, etc.)
So grab a glass of your favorite wine, sit back and consider where you’ll begin to incorporate these beautiful shades into our home. Enjoy!
By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger
Good design, as with most things, is made harder by what we don’t know and instantly easier once we gain more knowledge.
It makes no difference if you are a free-spirited bohemian, a more traditional-classic soul or a straight-laced contemporary up-and-coming; there are several design ‘rules’ that can help you put a polished, finished shine on any room you decorate.
Here are seven fantastically easy tips to consider when decorating any space. Keep these in mind and your space will ooze lovely balance and beautiful style.
- Threes and Fives, Never Twos and Fours: When clustering objects on a sidebar, kitchen counter, or a bedroom dresser, for instance, remember that odd is better. Placing three or five objects together actually creates a balance that an even number of items will not. I know this seems to fly in the face of every math class we have ever taken—after all, the very notion of even numbers is of ‘balance’. We learn if you have two on one side then you should have two on the other to balance the scale, but in design it just doesn’t work that way. Stick to the odd numbers and you will find your display aesthetically pleasing.
- Floor to Ceiling Not Top to Bottom: When hanging curtains (unless it is a kitchen window above a counter—which is a whole other blog) always hang the rod as close to the ceiling as you can and have the curtains long enough that they brush, if not pool a little, against the floor. This adds a since of drama and height to your space and gives the illusion that your window is larger than it really might be.
- 1/3 Up or 1/3 Down but Never in the Middle: When hanging art, adding chair rails, dividing a wall horizontally to paint two separate colors, etc. always divide your wall space into three equal parts and add your feature either 1/3 up from the floor (chair rails, borders, etc.) or 1/3 down from the ceiling (art, plate rails, borders, etc.). Again this is playing in the odd number realm, but again our eyes and minds find this the most pleasing ratio and it works.
- Florals Do Play Well With Stripes: Whether you are adding throw pillows, replacing your bath towels or updating your china pattern play with a combination of solids, bold graphics and florals. When there is a mix of patterns the display looks less flat, more textured and accumulated over time. Just make sure you keep the color palate similar throughout the patterns you choose. This will be a uniting factor and assure that your pieces mesh well together.
- Side Tables Must Be of a Usable Height: Your side tables should fall between 18” and 28” high. This is a comfortable height for retrieving anything from the table without needing to stretch up or bend way down over the chair arm. Also consider a side table that offers storage space. It is always nice to have furniture that performs double-duty.
- Lighting Plays a Huge Role in the Overall Feel of the Space: A tabletop reading lamp should be below your eyes, but above your hands/lap. This provides good light by which to read, but won’t bother your eyes. Dining room chandeliers should hang 36” to 40” above the table. This height gets them up and out of the way, but still allows them to hang low enough to provide ample lighting by which to eat, play games, work on homework, etc.
- Every Room Needs a Little Surprise: Add a little whimsy to your home. It may be a bowl of antique pool balls, a bust of Mozart on which to pile your hat collection, or an accumulation of chopsticks you’ve collected from around the country and now reside on the kitchen windowsill in a tall brass pillar candle holder—whatever it is it adds a point of interest to the space. This is “texture”. Texture is what takes a room from ‘Oh yeah. It’s nice.’ to ‘Wow! I love it’. Not only will it add some interest, but it adds some personality. Our homes should reflect us in them. They should tell our stories.
We hope these tips will inspire you when decorating your space. If these all just sound overwhelming to you, take just one of them and start there. Decorating isn’t about instant décor or immediately getting it all done in a day. Instead it is about the progression of our homes from empty boxes into large scale vignettes that are always changing while continuing to remind us of who we were yesterday, celebrating who we are today and anticipating who we will be tomorrow. Enjoy!