Make-ing Up A Color Scheme

October 25, 2012 | Color, Gray, Make-up Palettes, Pink/Blush

I am a sucker for color and lots of it! People often ask how I devise the color palettes that inspire the design of one room or an entire home.  While the most obvious way to do this is to shop the design building for new fabrics, there are some more unconventional and fun venues that I visit when I am in need of some color inspiration.

One of my favorite places to explore color is the beauty mecca, Sephora.  A fun Saturday afternoon for me is a trip to Sephora with my children – it’s a good thing I’m the mother of girls!  We love to test the new make-up and can spend hours trying on rich, velvety eyeshadows and sparkly lip glosses.  While my girls are perusing the aisles for things they may actually wear (sometimes things I would only let them wear on Halloween!), I spend my time scanning the make-up and thinking “that nail polish color would be fabulous on the walls, in shiny lacquer just like the polish!” or “I would love to have a velvet sofa the color of that eye-liner!”

My inspiration — Smashbox Eyeshadow Trio in Hyeperfocal

My brain is always honed in on how I can take cues from the world around me and transform them into new design concepts.  So when I see a three-color eyeshadow compact that is particularly eye-catching (pun entirely intended!), I am more likely thinking about how I can re-interpret that as a living room than I am thinking about how I can wear it on my eyes – which is probably a good thing because my kids are always telling me that I am too old for those fun, interesting colors!

Here is an example of how I took the above Smashbox eyeshadow combo and turned it into a room scheme.  I imagine this room as a beautiful library, the perfect balance between masculine and feminine — the lush, dark graphite velvet from Romo and the iridescent gray silk from Weitzner are softened by the blush tones which would be used sparingly as accents.

I would love to see the walls in this room painted in a deep gray like Benjamin Moore’s Smoke Gray #2120-40,  and the ceiling done in a high gloss blush such as Benjamin Moore Melted Ice Cream #2095-70.

Assuming this room has at least one wall of built-in bookcases, I would paint the cabinetry the same Smoke Gray color as the wallsto create a cocoon-like feel in the room, and then line the backs of the bookcases with one of my favorite Designer’s Guild wallpapers from Osborne and Little, Whitewell-Pearl.  This paper has an organic, painterly feel and would add brightness and interest to an otherwise dark room.

Designer’s Guild wallpaper, pattern Whitewell – Pearl

Here is how the wallpaper helps pull the scheme together:

Next time you run out of your favorite lip gloss, I hope your trip to the make-up counter inspires you in a whole new way!



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