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Making The Case For Color

art chaise bench pillows flowers chandelier
Room design by Suzanne Kasler, using pinks, soft turquoise, and neutrals.

Today is the day I get kicked off the World Wide Web.

O.K, maybe not the entire web. Maybe just Instagram. I say this tongue-in-cheek of course, but after considerable observation I would like to say, just once, out loud:


Don't get me wrong, I'm very fond of the popular, all white farmhouse look. I have several rooms in my home filled with its simple cottage charm, yet I wonder if the layers upon layers of pure white splendor can be even more interesting. So today I'm going to

Make the Case for Color.

beautiful blue fabrics lee jofa fabrics used in living room
Lee Jofa Manor House Collection

When I entered a fabric warehouse recently, I stood in awe of the many beautiful textiles created by very talented hands. Even more overwhelming is paying a visit to the fabric houses of Schumacher, Kravet, and Thibaut at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. If there is ever a time I need a defibrillator, it's at ADAC.

Brunschwig & Fils Summer Palace fabric
Brunschwig & Fils new Summer Palace Collection - Jardin Fleuri - Opal

Color IS making a comeback. I'm witnessing it slowly creep in my social media feed. I've even shared some private conversations with friends both online and in person when I mentioned I was going to blog about Color.

"Oh, I can't wait to read that. I'm tired of feeling blank."

"I love seeing color in rooms. It just makes me feel happy."

"I have a tendancy to play it safe with white walls and dark floors, but color adds personality to a room".

I plead guilty to the 1st degree if I'm going to Make the Case for Color publicly. I have a tendancy to relish a quiet mood in decor, focused on texture rather than color. Here is an example in my living room:

Currently, I've begun incorporating colorful stripes, florals, checks and chintzes. My changes have begun in small increments. For example, using Robin's egg blue and white Kravet fabrics, I'll be sewing two colors together to create a very wide stripe for a new chair I found.

Another view of my "work in progress" living room. The facing chair is currently being slipcovered in Bird & Thistle by Brunschwig & Fils. Up close it is a mix of rose, blue, yellow and tan hues. I've added a different animal hide rug as well. In the foreground is the Regency chair in queue for reupholstering.

The inspiration for the wide striped chair came from his beautiful settee created by Suzanne Kasler, one of my all-time favorite Atlanta designers.

I have a throw in a similar blue on the sofa, next to a pillow made with Fortuny fabric my friend in Los Angeles generously gifted to me. You've heard of him in my other blog posts. He sends me beautiful yards of leftover fabric here and there and I'm ever so happy to receive them. The beauty of Fortuny fabric is that no two runnings are ever the same. They are a piece of art in their own right and definately bring complimentary color into this room!

Speaking of complimentary colors!


color in living room james t farmer designs interior design room makeover
James T. Farmer designed living room
blue interiors interior makeover interior design living room interior design adding color to your home
Beautiful example of complimentary colors by James T. Farmer Designs

I do think people are pining for more color. The work of James T. Farmer pops up quite often in my social media feed, and for very good reason! His last book, A Place to Call Home - Timeless Southern Charm, is a top resource among design enthusiasts. If ever a case were made for cultivating Southern Charm and color, it is within this book. I love his generous use of fabric pairings and passenmenterie, literally turning rooms into visual masterpieces.

dining room  artwork in dining room james farmer design
Drawing colors from artwork is one way James Farmer incorporates color throughout a room

(Psst. Today James Farmer just announced his newest book, Arriving Home, will be released

in August 2020).

Another brilliant use of color by Suzanne Kasler is featured below in a House Beautiful issue. As a fellow designer, she carefully weaves color from room to room in layers, proving "even a little bit of color can make a big impression."

When using a bold print, as in these two club chairs, one design trick is to repeat the fabric on one furniture piece or type of piece (2 chairs), then on your window treatments - and nothing else. This use of restraint makes for a classic design move and you'll look like a pro in action!

Another dramatic use of soft color in a dining room. This is my go-to method of layering in color: Solids, stripes, small patterns, and a large pattern harmonizing in a neutral room. Beautiful installation by Suzanne Kasler. Can you guess I am her #1 fan?

Even in a farmhouse style setting, this room is more appealing with punches of blue artwork, fabrics and accessories among the white backdrop. Notice the use of solids, stripes and geometrics.

Perfect for Spring and Summer, new colorways by Schumacher will make any room Make the Case for Color. These florals would be beautiful as pillows, curtains or table skirt.

My closing argument for Making the Case for Color is: we all look good in it! Even our mamas would tell us, "Go outside and turn your faces to the sun. A little color will do you good!"

And if mama ain't right, none of us are.

Have a rich and colorful day, everyone!


Hembree House Interiors

Follow me on Instagram @hembreehouse

and Facebook at Hembree House Interiors

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